Community:
Become a Cantor

A Vibrant Community

Hebrew College students and faculty are a community, both within and beyond the walls of the college. We study together, engage in communal prayer and celebration, and share the rhythms of the Jewish year and of each other’s lives.

Student leadership and imitative is actively encouraged and we seek ways to draw forth the distinctive contributions of each member of our community. As a result, our graduates are inspired to create vibrant and inclusive communities wherever they serve as cantors and educators.

Tefillot (Prayer)

Cantorial students learn through both theory and practice, and are instrumental in creating a spiritual community on campus. Each morning at Hebrew College, students and faculty from the School of Jewish Music and the Rabbinical School lead traditional and creative tefillot. Some days, tefillot take place with the entire Hebrew College community, while on other days in small groups based on needs and goals. Daily services on campus are energizing forums for enriching the spirit. Students are encouraged to discover forms of tefillot that speak to their hearts. Both cantorial and rabbinical students cultivate their skills in leading communities in prayer.

Social Responsibility

We believe that Judaism teaches us to engage with the world around us. Through study, prayer, education, activism, organization, community service and interfaith leadership, we seek to address pressing human issues and bring healing to the world. With our neighbors at Andover Newton Theological School, we have a thriving interfaith program that promotes mutual understanding, respect and responsibility. Our graduates understand that cantorial leaders must transcend parochial concerns and take responsibility not only for the Jewish future but for the future of our planet as well.

Musical Performance

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Cantorial students have several opportunities to perform and participate in musical performances throughout the year. All cantorial students are part of Kol Arev, Hebrew College’s Choir-in-Residence, which performs at Hebrew College and in the Greater Boston and Providence communities. Students also perform in vocal recitals each semester, and many audition and join the internationally recognized Zamir Chorale of Boston.

Our Students

Work Prior to Attending Cantorial School

  • Cabaret singer
  • Conservatory Student
  • Hillel Professional
  • Instrumental Musician
  • Opera singer
  • Paralegal
  • Personal Trainer
  • Software Engineer
  • Sound Engineer
  • Synagogue Ritual Director
  • Social Worker
  • Teacher
  • Technology Entrepreneur

Family Background

  • Conservative: 36%
  • Convert: 1%
  • Just Jew: 12%
  • Orthodox: 0%
  • Reconstructionist: 0%
  • Reform: 50%
  • Renewal: 1%

Degree Prior to attending Cantorial School*

  • B.A. Amherst College
  • B.A. Clark University
  • B.A. Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford
  • B.A. Hofstra
  • B.A. Longy School of Music
  • B.A. Muhlenberg College
  • B.A. Oberlin College
  • B.A. University of Maryland
  • M.A. Boston Conservatory
  • M.A. Bowling Green
  • M.A. Towson University
  • M.A. University of Michigan
  • M.S. Baruch College
  • J.D. Vermont Law School

*partial list

Jewish Educational Background

  • Camp Experience: 80%
  • Day School: 10%
  • Hillel involvement: 90%
  • Israel Trip: 50%
  • Supplemental Hebrew School: 90%
  • Youth Group Involvement: 50%

Meet Students: Humans of Hebrew College

Jessica Woolf, COSEL Student

“Everybody knew I was going to go to cantorial school before I did! I realized that I am a product of pluralistic Judaism. I got most of my Jewish education…” Continue

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Jacob Harris, COSEL Student

“Our cohort is so diverse. We have people who graduated from conservatories and people who did their undergraduate work in Jewish studies. We get along well and support each other’s work.”

Listen to Jake

Jennifer Boyle, COSEL Student

“I am the oldest of five girls. We were raised Catholic and were all very active in the church growing up. I sang in the kids’ choir, founded the teen choir, and…”

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David Wolff, COSEL Student

“When I was teaching in Montgomery County, and singing in shul for the high holidays, I used music to help people. I learned that I can do something beautiful…”

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Application Deadlines

  • Cantorial Ordination for Spiritual and Educational Leadership (COSEL) : January 15
  • Jewish Music Certificate Application: May 15 for fall semester; November 15 for spring semester.

Contact Info

Marcia Spellman
Administrator
617-559-8643
sjm@hebrewcollege.edu