Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) will initiate the ordination of cantors for this first time in history. Six cantors (five women and 1 man) will be ordained as Cantors at the Ordination Services at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York on Sunday, May 6 at 9 am. In the past, cantors were invested at culminating ceremonies.
“The ordination of cantors is a significant step in the ongoing professionalization of the American Reform Cantorate,” states Rabbi David Ellenson, HUC-JIR President.
“This issue has been developing for many years,” explains Cantor Bruce Ruben, Ph.D., Director of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music. “Officers of the American Conference of Cantors, Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR faculty, the President of HUC-JIR and I formed a committee to implement this change.”
The reasons for changing from investiture to ordination are multifold: