HUC-JIR Presents Doctor of Music, honoris causa, to Bette Wishengrad Cohen

Friday, April 15, 2011

Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, awarded Cantor Bette Wishengrad Cohen with the Doctor of Music at Graduation Ceremonies in New York on Thursday, May 5, 2011, at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York.  Cantor Cohen was honored for 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumna of HUC-JIR.

Cantor Bette Wishengrad Cohen, a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music with a major in Voice, graduated with a Master's degree in Sacred Music and was invested as a cantor at the HUC-JIR in 1986. 

Cantor Cohen served as the Cantor of Temple Emanu-El of Long Beach, New York for 17 years, where she is now the Cantor Emerita.  She became well known for her creative work with a large children’s choir, as well as for the innovative productions of religious and interfaith services and programs, many of them featuring the works of a single composer, using baroque,  jazz, klezmer, popular, and traditional music, for both voice and instruments. 

In recent years, Cantor Cohen has broadcast weekly readings to the blind from current periodicals, under the auspices of the Jewish Guild for the Blind (now Gatewave Radio).

Click here to view the National Ordination/Investiture/Graduation press release.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first 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 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