Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, awarded Cantor Bruce Halev 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 Halev was honored for 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumnus of HUC-JIR.
Cantor Halev has served as Habonim's cantor since 1983. A graduate of the School of Sacred Music, Cantor Halev also holds an M.A. in Jewish Education from New York University, and a Master of Social Work from Yeshiva University.
Always interested in delving into the themes of Jewish spirituality, Bruce was chosen to participate in a two-year program which explores the concept of spiritual direction for Jewish clergy through Lev Shomeah, an organization of Jewish spiritual directors. Bruce has also shown a strong personal interest and involvement with the Kabbalah/Jewish mysticism movement, and has taught many courses over the years both at Habonim and in other venues.
Cantor Halev began his professional career in the opera and theatre worlds in Europe and Israel, before deciding to pursue a career in the cantorate. He is involved in all aspects of synagogue life, and has a passion for working with students of all ages in deepening their connection to Judaism. He believes that there is perhaps nothing more vital to Jewish worship than music -- it is at the very heart of spirituality, bringing joy, personal insight and a unique sense of community to all participants, while connecting us deeply to our Jewish roots. Cantor Halev lives on the Upper West Side with his wife and two daughters.