students studying with dean brian mayer

Faculty and Coaches

Faculty Administration
brian j mayer  Cantor Brian J. Mayer
Associate Professor of Jewish Music and Dean
Cantorial Ordination, Jewish Theological Seminary
D.S.M., Jewish Theological Seminary

Brian J. Mayer, a recognized scholar of "hazzanut" (cantorial music), has served as dean of the school since 2011. Prior to his appointment at Hebrew College, Mayer taught for 14 years at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York as an assistant professor of hazzanut. Since 1989, he has also served as cantor of Temple Emanu-El in Providence, R.I. Mayer was featured in the ABC-TV documentary "To God's Ear," which was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2002. In 2008, he was the artistic director of "Shining Through Broken Glass: Kristallnacht Concert," a highly acclaimed multimedia production featuring Leonard Nimoy. In 2003, he produced the CD "Kolot Emanu-El."
cantor melissa adleman

Cantor Melissa Adleman
Assistant Dean, School of Jewish Music
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Cantor Melissa Adleman joined Hebrew College in 2015. She is a 1993 cum laude graduate of McGill University and was Ordained Cantor by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1997. Cantor Adleman’s undergraduate degree is in Jewish studies, and her master’s thesis focused on the music of the 20th Century North American Jewess. Cantor Adleman is a member of Lesley University’s Ph.D. in Educational Studies program, which includes a specialization in Jewish educational leadership from Hebrew College. Currently, she serves Temple B’nai B’rith in Kingston, PA, and was that congregation’s student cantor between 1995 and 1997. She is a member of the American Conference of Cantors, and the New England Board of Cantors.

joshua jacobson 

Joshua Jacobson

Visiting Professor and Senior Consultant
D.M.A., University of Cincinnati

Joshua Jacobson, one of the country's foremost authorities on Jewish choral music, is a professor of music and director of choral activities at Northeastern University in Boston. He is also founder and director of the Zamir Chorale of Boston, Hebrew College's choir-in-residence. Jacobson's many musical arrangements, editions and compositions are frequently performed by choirs around the world. He served as the conductor and host of the PBS film "Zamir: Jewish Voices Return to Poland." His book "Chanting the Hebrew Bible: The Art of Cantillation" was published by the Jewish Publication Society in 2002.

cantor lynn torgove 

Cantor Lynn Torgove, MAJS'11, Can'12
Head of Vocal Arts
Adjunct Instructor of Jewish Music
Cantorial Ordination, Hebrew College

Lynn Torgove is a mezzo-soprano and stage director and has had an international career as a soloist in many genres of classical music. She has served on the opera faculty at the New England Conservatory and the Boston University Opera Institute and currently teaches at the Boston Conservatory Vocal and Choral Institute. Torgove is co-founder of the communications training firm Gabriel Communications.

debra reed blank

Rabbi Debra Reed Blank
Adjunct Associate Professor of Jewish Liturgy
Rabbinical Ordination, Jewish Theological Seminary
Ph.D., Jewish Theological Seminary

Debra Reed Blank teaches the history, structure and theology of Jewish liturgy. Her most recent publication is "Making Up for Lost Time: Female Rabbis and Ritual Change" in The Sacred Calling: Four Decades of Women in the Rabbinate (CCAR, 2016). From 1998 to 2009, Blank taught liturgy and Talmud at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. She has also taught at the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York and the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow.

cantor jeff klepper 

Cantor Jeff Klepper

Adjunct Instructor of Jewish Music
Cantorial Ordination, Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion

Jeff Klepper is a practicing cantor and one of the world's leading composers of contemporary synagogue music. Several of his compositions, including "Modeh Ani" and "Lo Alecha" (both written with Klepper's former music partner, Rabbi Dan Freelander), have become synagogue standards. Their setting of "Shalom Rav," composed in 1974, is the defining Jewish melody of a new style of worship, bridging varied traditions and connecting multiple generations. Klepper, who has served since 2003 as cantor of Temple Sinai in Sharon, Mass., holds an honorary Doctor of Music from his alma mater, Hebrew Union College.

Amy Liberman 

Amy Lieberman
Adjunct Instuctor of Jewish Music
M.M., Yale University

Amy Lieberman is a conductor equally at home in orchestral and choral music. For five years, she was director of choral activities at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she conducted the NEC concert choir, chamber singers and women's chorus. Lieberman has also been a visiting assistant professor at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where she was director of choral activities and music director for the opera and theater division.

judith pinnolis

Judith S. Pinnolis
Adjunct Instuctor of Jewish Music
M.M., College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati
M.S., Simmons College

Judith S. Pinnolis has taught at the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She is creator and editor of The Jewish Music WebCenter, a go-to resource in Jewish music. Currently she works as Collection Assessment Librarian at Berklee College of Music/Boston Conservatory and previously was a Librarian at Brandeis University for over 20 years. She has been active as former Chair of the Chapters Council of the Association of College and Research Libraries; President of the ACRL New England chapter; and Chair of the Jewish Music Roundtable of the Music Library Association.

cantor ken richmond  Cantor Ken Richmond

Adjunct Instuctor of Jewish Music
Cantorial Investiture, Jewish Theological Seminary

Ken Richmond has served since 2006 as cantor and family educator of Temple Israel of Natick, Mass. He began his Jewish studies locally as a student at Solomon Schechter and Prozdor and as an apprentice to Cantor Charles Osborne. Richmond served as cantorial soloist for five years in Swampscott before graduating in 2004 from the H.L. Miller Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary. He plays several instruments, including violin, and his compositions include a Friday night Klezmer service.

cantor neil schwartz 

Cantor Neil Schwartz

Adjunct Instructor of Jewish Music
Cantorial Ordination, Jewish Theological Seminary

Neil Schwartz has served Conservative congregations for more than 30 years in Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and the prairies of Western Canada. Since 2009, he has taught courses in biblical cantillation and liturgical chant for the online program at Hebrew College. Schwartz founded the Music Network within the Center for Advancement of Jewish Education, and, since 2007, has notated musical settings for more than 1,200 Hebrew prayers for the Tefillah Trainer teaching software of He is completing his thesis for a master's degree in religion and culture from the University of Saskatchewan.

cantor louise treitman 

Cantor Louise Treitman
Adjunct Instructor of Jewish Music
Cantorial Ordination, Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion
M.M., New England Conservatory of Music 

Louise Treitman, who helped to create the Jewish Music Institute — now the School of Jewish Music — in the 1980s, returned to Hebrew College in 2008 to work in the cantor-educator program. In June 2015, she stepped down as the school's associate dean to return to the pulpit at Beth El Temple Center, a Reform congregation in Belmont, Mass. Treitman formerly served as assistant conductor of the Zamir Chorale of Boston and continues to sing with the group. She is co-director of Il Concerto di Salamone Rossi Hebreo and serves on the board of Mayyim Hayyim, a community mikveh and family-education center in Newton, Mass.

Vocal and Cantorial Coaches
cantor peter halpern

Cantor Peter Halpern
Cantorial Ordination, Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion

A native of Long Island, N.Y., Peter Halpern has served since 2012 has cantor of Temple Shalom, a Reform synagogue in Newton, Mass. He formerly worked for 10 years with the Liberal Jewish Community of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Halpern has officiated and concertized in Belgium, Germany and England and sung several opera roles. Inspired by his experiences in Europe, he set a number of Shabbat prayers to music. These were published by the Union of Reform Judaism in 2000 and 2005 and are widely sung throughout the United States.

marcia jonas

Cantor Marcie Jonas, Can'10
Cantorial Ordination, Hebrew College

Cantor Marcie Jonas has been connected to Jewish music in a professional capacity for more than 35 years. She earned her BA in Speech Communication from Ithaca College and her MA in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York. She has also studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel and at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT. Jonas graduated and received her Cantorial Ordination from Hebrew College, School of Jewish Music, in 2010. Her background in Jewish Education and her personal connection to the synagogue environment has helped her to be keenly aware of the growth and development of the synagogue service and the role that music plays in that process.

frank kelley  Frank Kelley

M.M., College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati

Frank Kelley is an American tenor who has performed in concert and in opera throughout North America and Europe. He has appeared with the San Francisco Opera, Brussels Opera, Boston Opera Theater, Boston Lyric Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Opéra de Lyon, Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona),and the New Israeli Opera. He has worked with the director Peter Sellars on projects including "Così fan tutte," "Le nozze di Figaro" and "Die sieben Todsünden." Kelley has sung under conducts Craig Smith, Christopher Hogwood, Seiji Ozawa, Kent Nagano, and Sir Roger Norrington. His discography includes recordings of Stravinsky's "Renard," Bach's "St John Passion," the title role of Monteverdi's "L'Orfeo" and Aldridge's "Elmer Gantry."

becky khitrik  Cantor Becky Wexler Khitrik, MAJS and Can'14

Cantorial Ordination, Hebrew College

Cantor Becky Khitrik received her ordination from Hebrew College (Newton Centre, MA) in 2014. Originally from Washington, D.C., she holds a bachelor of the arts degree in music and religious studies from Macalester College (St. Paul, MN), a certificate of study from the Zoltán Kodály Institute (Kesckemét, Hungary), and a master's degree of the arts in religion from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music (New Haven, CT). Cantor Khitrik is the assistant cantor and choir director at Temple Sinai (Sharon, MA) and the education coordinator at Temple Beth Zion (Brookline, MA). Cantor Khitrik also enjoys an active performance career as a klezmer clarinetist. She has performed internationally and has received acclaim for her technical mastery, warm tone, and unique use of vibrato. She has developed several models for Jewish services based around the use of traditional nusach--prescribed melodies and modes for jewish servies--and klezmer music.

 cantor michael mccloskey

Cantor Michael McCloskey, MJEd'07, Can'07 
Cantorial Ordination, Hebrew College

Michael McCloskey has served since 2007 as cantor-educator at Temple Emeth in Chestnut Hill, Mass., where he facilitates daily minyan, serves as chazzan for Shabbat and holiday services and conducts adult-learning programs. Before that, he served as a cantorial solist-educator and taught at Prozdor of Hebrew College. A graduate of the Aspen Musical Festival Vocal Concert Studies program, McCloskey has sung with the Bostonians, a Boston opera company run by baritone and empresario Richard Conrad, and Kol Arev, the choral ensemble of Hebrew College.


hazzan elias rosemberg



Hazzan Elias Rosemberg
Cantorial Ordination, Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano

Hazzan Elias Rosemberg obtained the degree of Hazzan and Singing Professor from Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano in 1994. In addition to his vocal training, he studied music theory and harmony at the Manuel de Falla Conservatory of Music. In 2001, Hazzan Rosemberg moved to the United States and served as the cantor of Temple Emeth in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, until 2007. He is currently the cantor of Temple Emanuel in Newton, Massachusetts, the largest Conservative synagogue in New England. Hazzan Rosemberg performs regularly with the Bostonian Opera and Concert Ensemble and the Zamir Chorale of Boston. He is currently the New England Region chair for the Cantors Assembly and has served in their national executive council.


cantor elana rozenfeld
Cantor Elana Rozenfeld
Cantorial Ordination, Jewish Theological Seminary

A native of Scarsdale, N.Y., Elana Rozenfeld has served since 2012 as cantor of Congregation Shirat Hayam in Swampscott, Mass. Prior to that, she was cantor for two years at Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan. During her years of study and throughout the beginning of her cantorial career, Rozenfeld has developed a passion for the Hebrew, Yiddish, and Ladino languages, particularly as they are used in Jewish music to express the emotional and spiritual complexity of the Jewish people.