HUC-JIR Presents Doctor of Music, honoris causa, to Deborah Bard

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, awarded Cantor Deborah Bard 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 Bard was honored for 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumna of HUC-JIR.

Cantor Bard serves as Cantor Emerita of the historic K.A.M. Isaiah Israel Congregation in Chicago.  Her “sparkling exuberant” voice is enhanced by her firm belief that music has the singular power to transcend the spoken word, to uplift the soul, to inspire prayer, to direct us to the Sacred.

Cantor Bard has a B.A. in Humanities from University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S. in Sacred Music from HUC-JIR, where she received investiture as cantor in 1985.  She completed graduate work in Voice and Music Performance at the Manhattan School of Music and in Creative Arts Education at New York University.

Known for her warmth and ability to connect with congregation and audience, Deborah has performed throughout Chicago and New York City in a variety of venues.  She is one of the featured artists on the 2004 Grammy nominated recording, “Dancing on the Edge of the Volcano: Jewish Political and Kabaret Songs, 1900-1945.”  She is one of the women featured in the anthology, “Women in Classical Music” and she is a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus.

Cantor Bard is married to Rabbi Michael Sternfield and is the proud mother of Rachel Penina Whitmore-Bard from whom she gleans her most inspiration.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu