Select Page

officers and staff

    luis cattan

President
(203) 454-4673
lcattan@hotmail.com

Uruguayan-born Hazzan Rabbi Luis U. Cattan’s passion for Jewish music, Jewish culture, Jewish spirituality, and Israel inspires every moment of his career. Ever since he arrived in the United States, he has been involved with the Cantors Assembly. He is the hazzan of The Conservative Synagogue of Westport, Connecticut, where he has served since 2014. In 2020, he received his rabbinical ordination and his Masters of Art in Jewish Studies from the Academy for Jewish Religion. He currently serves as President of the Cantors Assembly.

His musical style is the result of the blend between Sephardic and Ashkenazic worlds.

His paternal grandparents emigrated from Turkey to Uruguay in 1919. Ladino was their mother tongue. His Yiddish-speaking maternal grandparents, on the other hand, emigrated ten years later from Eastern Europe.

In Uruguay, he became involved in music at a very early age. He participated in the synagogue choir at age of 11 and hasn’t stopped singing ever since. As a native Uruguayan, he attended the Catholic University of Montevideo receiving his BA in Social Communication Sciences with a major in Advertising. He sought private instruction under the tutelage of renowned local teachers. Upon returning from Israel, where he spent a year studying, he started his hazzanut training with different mentors, both in Uruguay and in Argentina. He became the Head Hazzan at the NCI (the largest Conservative synagogue in Uruguay). He also served as International Vice President of Mercaz Olami (Zionist Conservative Movement) as one of the founders of the Uruguayan Branch.

After moving to the United States with his family in 2003, he served for five years at the Cuban Hebrew Congregation, where he had also created a series of concerts named “Tapas, Wine and Jewish Jazz”. In 2008, he became the cantor at Beth Torah Benny Rock campus in North Miami Beach, Florida where he served also as education director. During that time, he released a CD named “On the Wings of Prayer” that features his unique and eclectic style that blends contemporary and traditional sounds of Sephardic and Ashkenazic origin. Some of the songs from this CD were also included in the last three CDs of the Spirit Series, a joint project between the Cantors Assembly and USCJ.

  joanna dulkin

Senior Vice President
(609) 921-0100
hazzanj@gmail.com

Hazzan Joanna Dulkin received her masters of Sacred Music and Investiture from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2004 and completed the Institute for Jewish Spirituality's Cantorial Leadership Program in 2007. She is an honors graduate of Stanford University where she studied English, sang a cappella, and led community High Holiday Services. Her background as a songleader, musician and educator led her to the cantorate. She is also a published writer and an award-winning composer.

As the Hazzan of the Jewish Center of Princeton, New Jersey, Hazzan Dulkin is committed to innovative musical and spiritual leadership that inspires Jewish living and engagement at all ages and stages. She was the founding music director of Camp Ramah Darom, served on the faculty of Songleader Boot Camp, and has served internationally as Cantor-, Musician- and Scholar-in residence. In addition to her work with the Cantors Assembly, Hazzan Dulkin also serves on the Rabbinical Assembly's Siddur Lev Shalem committee.

Hazzan Dulkin and her husband, Rabbi Dr. Ryan Dulkin, are the proud parents of Zac and Jesse.

   azi schwartz

Vice President of Administration
(212) 369-2600
aschwartz@pasyn.org

Cantor Azi Schwartz is the Senior Cantor of Park Avenue Synagogue, the largest Conservative community in NYC and the flagship of Jewish liturgical music in North America. Worship services and programs led by Cantor Schwartz at Park Avenue Synagogue reach thousands of people in NYC as well as worldwide, via live streaming. As PAS Music Center's Director, Cantor Schwartz creates, commissions, records and publishes new liturgical music.

Cantor Schwartz performs in concerts and interfaith missions around the world. During Pope Francis' visit to New York in October 2015, he represented the Jewish people at the multi-religious service at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, where he chanted the memorial prayer and a prayer for peace.

Cantor Schwartz serves on the faculty of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at HUC-JIR in New York City, of the faculty of H.L. Miller Cantorial School at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and on the faculty of the cantorial school of Abraham Geiger College in Berlin.

Born and raised in Israel, Cantor Schwartz earned a master in music (M.Mus) from the Mannes School of Music in New York City, where he majored in voice and conducting. He is a graduate of the Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute and also studied classical music at The Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance. Prior to embarking on his professional musical career, Azi graduated from the Har Etzion Hesder Yeshiva and completed his military service as a soloist in the Israeli Defense Forces Rabbinical Troupe.

Azi is married to Dr. Noa Schwartz, and they have three children.

  Matt axelrod

 

Vice President at Large
(908) 889-1830
mgaxelrod@verizon.net

Hazzan Matt Axelrod was born and raised in the Boston area. He is a graduate of Brandeis University and received his Masters of Sacred Music and Investiture from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1993. While studying at JTS, he came to Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains, NJ as the latest in a series of student cantors. Upon graduating from the Seminary, Hazzan Axelrod remained at Congregation Beth Israel and became their first full-time cantor. He has proudly served in that community ever since.

Active in both the Jewish and interfaith communities, Hazzan Axelrod is a past president of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Ministerium, comprising clergy of various faith communities as well as leaders of local civic organizations. Additionally, Hazzan Axelrod has served on the United Synagogue Commission on Jewish Education and is a past president of the Cantors Assembly New Jersey Region. He sings with the New Jersey Cantors Concert Ensemble, which performs throughout the state and helps to raise scholarship funds for cantorial students.

Hazzan Axelrod has been a regular columnist and contributor to the online Bar & Bat Mitzvah Guide, and is the author of Surviving Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah: The Ultimate Insider’s Guide, and Your Guide to the Jewish Holidays: From Shofar to Seder. He has been a frequent presenter at synagogues, Jewish community centers, and conferences to speak to groups of parents and teens about the process of preparing for their b’nei mitzvah and how to successfully navigate that period.

Hazzan Axelrod is also an avid aviation enthusiast and is a licensed pilot and flight instructor. When not flying over New Jersey in his Piper Cherokee, he is likely out running and training for his next marathon. He is married to Dr. Tali Axelrod, superintendent of schools in Alpine, NJ, and they are the proud parents of two college-aged sons, Judah and Josh.

  elisheva dienstfrey

Treasurer
(703) 998-6460
HazzanERLD@gmail.com

Originally from Albuquerque, NM, Hazzan Elisheva Dienstfrey did not really grow up with the Cantorial musical tradition ringing in her ears. She did, however, participate in Jewish musical activities from the time she joined the synagogue children’s choir at age 7. Since then, Hazzan Dienstfrey has toured Europe with the U.S. National Chorus, obtained a dual degree in Music and Religious Studies from Occidental College, studied at Hebrew University and the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem, worked as Cantor of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism in New York City, and graduated from the H. L. Miller Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Hazzan Dienstfrey has served as Hazzan of Agudas Achim Congregation in Alexandria, VA since July of 2000. In addition to her usual cantorial duties at Agudas Achim and her work as an officer of the Cantors Assembly, Hazzan Dienstfrey is an enthusiastic member of the Agudas Achim house band, Ein Lanu Z’man.

The only job she enjoys more than her work as a Hazzan is that of partner to her wonderful husband, Tobias, and mother to her beautiful children: Margalit, Akiva, Dassi, and Lev.

  hillary chorny

Secretary
(310) 652-7354 xt 230
hchorny@tbala.org

Rabbi Cantor Hillary Chorny is the Cantor at Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles, California.  She completed her cantorial investiture, rabbinical ordination, and a Masterʼs degree in Sacred Music at the Jewish Theological Seminary before joining the staff of Temple Beth Am in August, 2014. Raised in San Diego, CA, she grew up with a deep attachment to the Conservative Jewish community. In 2008, Hillary graduated American University in Washington, D.C. with a B.A. in Jewish studies and a minor in vocal jazz performance. After working as a Judaics instructor and music director in various Jewish communities and camps, Hillary pursued her dream of becoming a cantor. In time, she was inspired by her teachers and family to also pursue the rabbinate.

For several years, Hillary has co-produced the Sacred Sounds Unbound concert series with burgeoning Jewish music artists and the Kol Tefilla conference on prayer experiences with United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Hillary is an instructor for first year students at the Ziegler School of Rabbinical Studies. She is an avid writer, and is currently enrolled in UCLA’s extension program for a certificate in creative nonfiction writing. She also serves on the advisory board of the Jewish Sacred Music Foundation. She and her husband, Rabbi Daniel Chorny, met in Israel, and continue to enjoy learning together with their two children, Ella and Yossi.

  David lipp

Immediate Past President
(502) 458-5359
dlipp@adathjeshurun.com

David A. Lipp came to Congregation Adath Jeshurun as Hazzan in 1994. He has established a reputation as an inspiring leader of worship and transmitter of Jewish musical tradition, ancient to contemporary.

He currently leads worship services, prepares youth for bar and bat mitzvah, teaches synagogue skills to children and adults, co-officiates at all life-cycle events, does pastoral work and directs the Adath Jeshurun Adult Choir. Cantor also teaches Melton and other adult education classes, sings in concerts and frequently represents the Jewish community at interfaith events. He was the featured soloist for one of Louisville's finest volunteer choruses, Voces Novae, on their first CD, Soul of the Synagogue.

Hazzan Lipp was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and grew up in Jerusalem, Haifa and Minneapolis. Before embarking on his current career, Cantor Lipp was an actor performing in local and regional theatre in the Midwest. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Minnesota and earned a Masters of Sacred Music degree from the Cantors Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

He is married to Rabbi Laura Metzger, and they are the parents of a daughter.

STEPHEN J. STEIN
Executive Vice President
(330) 864-8533
stephenstein@cantors.org

Stephen J. Stein has been the Executive Vice President of the Cantors Assembly since 1998. Founded in 1947, he is only the third person in the organization’s history to serve at its helm. During his tenure, he has devoted much attention to enhancing an appreciation for the unique contributions of cantors to the Jewish world and beyond, as well as to the evolving multi-faceted roles of the contemporary cantor. He has focused, as well, on building bridges with other Jewish communal institutions, notably within the Conservative movement. Hazzan Stein stepped away from serving as a congregational cantor in the summer of 2015 to devote his undivided focus to the CA. Four of his former students have followed in his footsteps and are now members of the CA; three of them are graduates of the cantorial school at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He is a graduate of both Duquesne University and JTS. Hazzan Stein’s additional accomplishments include the creation of recordings of Jewish music for Public Radio, featuring the music department of Kent State University, which have aired throughout the United States.

           JEREMY LIPTON

 

Director of Placement & Human Resources
(330) 864-8533 ext. 204
jeremylipton@cantors.org

Hazzan Rabbi Jeremy Lipton has been an extremely active member of the Cantors Assembly since 1989 and has held numerous leadership positions on both regional and national levels, including as Member of the Executive Council, Treasurer, Vice President Administration, Chair of the Long-Range Planning Committee, Chair of the Education Committee, and Co-Chair of the Cantors Assembly Western Region. As the Coordinator and founding Faculty member (1991-2008) of the highly successful Baal Tefillah Institute (a joint project of the Cantors Assembly and American Jewish University), he has trained hundreds of lay and professional leaders in cantillation and nusach hat'fillah for the entire liturgical year. He has also held academic posts as Professor of Liturgical Studies at the Cantorial School of the Academy for Jewish Religion, California, as well as Adjunct Lecturer in Nusach and Liturgy at American Jewish University's Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York.

Hazzan Rabbi Lipton received Rabbinic Ordination and Master’s of Jewish Studies Degrees from the Academy for Jewish Religion, New York, and holds both Bachelor's and Master's of Music Degrees in Music/Vocal Performance from California State University. His multi-faceted background encompasses an array of teaching experiences, including those in a number of colleges and universities, where he has also taught voice, choral conducting and opera. As a performer, he has concertized frequently and has appeared in numerous Cantorial concerts, opera, oratorio, recital, recordings, radio, television, and film.  He and his wife Kay, a noted musicologist, are the proud parents of two sons, Jonathan and Adam.

BRUCE BRAUN
Membership Chair
(330) 864-8533 ext. 202
brucebraun@cantors.org

Ḥazzan Bruce Braun has served as Membership Chair and coordinator of the Cantorial Intern of the Cantors Assembly (CICA) program since February 2014.  In addition to his duties at the Cantors Assembly, Ḥazzan Braun has been with Shaaray Torah Synagogue in Canton, Ohio for 45 years, beginning in 1976 as the High Holiday Ba'al Shacharit, Ba'al Korei and Ba'al Toke'ah.  In 1981, Ḥazzan Braun took over as the congregation's cantor, and since 2000, he has been Shaaray Torah's Spiritual Leader.

During the early 2000’s, Ḥazzan Braun was a mentor to eight rabbinic students from the Jewish Theological Seminary, each of whom spent a year at Shaaray Torah through the Legacy Heritage Rabbinic Fellow program.

Ḥazzan Braun is a graduate of The University of Akron, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. He studied Ḥazzanut with Ḥazzanim Gabriel Berkovits (z”l), Stephen Stein, and Moshe Taubè (z”l), to whom he credits much of his development as a Ḥazzan.  Ḥazzan Taubè was not only a teacher to Ḥazzan Braun, but also his mentor.  Ḥazzan Braun became a member of the Cantors Assembly in 1985 and earned his Commission in 1988.

In 2018, the Jewish Theological Seminary presented Ḥazzan Braun an honorary Doctor of Music degree for his years of dedicated service to Shaaray Torah, to the cantorate and to the Conservative Movement.

Hazzan Braun and his wife, Dianne, an attorney, are the proud parents of Allison and Daniel.

CINDY PRESTON
Special Projects Coordinator
(330) 864-8533 ext. 200
cindypreston@cantors.org
CRYSTLE MARTIN
Office & Placement Coordinator
(330) 864-8533 ext. 201
crystlemartin@cantors.org
MICHELLE STRICKLAND
Financial Coordinator
(330) 864-8533 ext. 206
michellestrickland@cantors.org