April 22 – 24
Cantor Josh Breitzer of Brooklyn’s Congregation Beth Elohim (CBE) and Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion’s (HUC-JIR) Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music be serving as the Rabbi Robert & Rozelle Kahn Scholar-in-Residence during the weekend of April 22-24 at Congregation Emanu El.
The scholar-in-residence program is funded by the Rabbi Robert & Rozelle Kahn Lectureship Fund which has since its creation brought top Reform scholars and clergy to our community as guests.
Cantor Breitzer has served CBE since receiving ordination from HUC-JIR in 2011. He leads the community through prayer and song, teaches chanting and ritual skills to people of all ages, and helps turn special moments into sacred occasions. During his decade of innovative cantorial stewardship, CBE has become a beacon of dynamic, pluralistic ritual activity, attracting international attention and growing to over 1000 member units.
Named by The Forward in its “Soundtrack of Our Spirit” series as one of the best new Jewish music voices, Cantor Breitzer has sung at concert halls and synagogues across the country. He appears throughout the PBS documentary “The Four Sons And All Their Sons: A Passover Tale” and helped create the New York Festival of Song’s acclaimed cabaret “A Goyishe Christmas to You” in which he has performed every year since 2010. Among his most influential mentors were Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Yehudi Wyner, Cantor Lawrence Avery, and Dr. Jack Gottlieb, whose artistic legacy Cantor Breitzer continues to preserve and promote.
In addition to his congregational cantor duties, Cantor Breitzer is a dedicated instructor at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music where he advises and coaches students and teaches courses on integrative repertoire for Shabbat and Yom Kippur. An alumnus of the Clergy Leadership Program of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, he strives to model in all his work how one might weave traditional and contemporary liturgical settings into a holistic, compelling prayer experience. His former cantorial interns have gone on to serve prominent communities throughout the progressive Jewish world.
Beyond his work at CBE and with our Reform Movement’s seminary, Cantor Breitzer is also active in the American Conference of Cantors (ACC). Originally elected to the ACC board in 2015 and to the officer team in 2016, Cantor Breitzer served from 2016-2019 as Vice President for Professional Development, External Policy and Placement and since 2019, as Vice President for Membership and External Partnerships.
A listing of events during the weekend in residency with Cantor Breizter can be found below.