Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, awarded Cantor Amy Brenner Mitz with the Doctor of Music at Graduation Ceremonies in New York on Thursday, April 29, 2010, at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York. Cantor Brenner Mitz was honored for 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumna of HUC-JIR.
Cantor Brenner Mitz was the first non-rabbinic student to receive the Benjamin and Molly Borowitz Award in Modern Jewish Thought from Dr. Eugene Borowitz, the first cantorial student to return in 1986 to receive the newly offered Master’s degree from HUC-JIR’s School of Sacred Music, and the first female cantor to serve in both the Chicago and St. Louis areas. At HUC-JIR, she also received the National Temple Sisterhoods Prize and the Abraham W. Binder Prize in Cantillation Mastery.
After graduation, Cantor Brenner Mitz served on the Executive Board of Mazon: Jewish Resopnse to Hunger and the Executive Board of the ACC.
After serving congregations in Chicago, St. Louis, and New York, Cantor Brenner Mitz moved with her husband and sons to New Hampshire. She was the first Jewish clergy to reside in the North Country, becoming spiritual leader of Bethlehem Hebrew Congregation and created both preschool and religious school programs. Cantor Brenner Mitz continues to provide spiritual leadership to the local Jewish community.
The past 25 years have been filled with a multitude of rich professional experiences, including educating students of all ages, interfaith activities, officiating at life cycle ceremonies, leading professional and volunteer choirs, pastoral work, and more.
Cantor Brenner Mitz and her husband, Dr. Howard Mitz, have twin sons, both with significant disabilities. On June 27, 2009, both boys celebrated their B’nai Mitzvah. This process of shared miracles was, without a doubt, the most challenging yet most rewarding experience of her professional career.