The Making of a Reform Jewish Cantor

Musical Authority, Cultural Investment

by Judah M. Cohen

Published by: Indiana University Press

320 pages, 6.12 x 9.25 x 1.00 in, 3 b&w illus., 14 musical exx.

  • Paperback
  • 9780253045492
  • Published: September 2019


  • eBook
  • 9780253045485
  • Published: September 2019


The Making of a Reform Jewish Cantor provides an unprecedented look into the meaning of attaining musical authority among American Reform Jews at the turn of the 21st century. How do aspiring cantors adapt traditional musical forms to the practices of contemporary American congregations? What is the cantor's role in American Jewish religious life today? Cohen follows cantorial students at the School of Sacred Music, Hebrew Union College, over the course of their training, as they prepare to become modern Jewish musical leaders. Opening a window on the practical, social, and cultural aspects of aspiring to musical authority, this book provides unusual insights into issues of musical tradition, identity, gender, community, and high and low musical culture.