Uruguayan born Ḥazzan Rabbi Luis U. Cattan’s passion for Jewish music, Jewish culture, Jewish spirituality, and Israel transpires in every moment of his career. Ever since he arrived in the United States, he has been involved with the Cantors Assembly, which is the organization that, to him, represents the embodiment of his passion for Jewish music, Jewish spirituality, and Jewish education.

Since 2014, Ḥazzan Rabbi Cattan has served at The Conservative Synagogue of Westport, Connecticut. In 2020 he received his Rabbinical ordination and Master of Arts in Jewish Studies from the Academy for Jewish Religion. He currently serves as President of the Cantors Assembly.

His music is the result of a blend between the Sephardic and Ashkenazic worlds. His paternal grandparents emigrated from Turkey to Uruguay in 1919. Ladino was their mother tongue. His maternal grandparents emigrated ten years later from Eastern Europe. They spoke Yiddish.

Growing up in Uruguay, he became involved in music at a very early age. He began participating in the synagogue choir at age of 11 and has been 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 Ḥazzanut training with different mentors in Uruguay and in Argentina as well. He became the Head Ḥazzan 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.

In 2003 Ḥazzan Rabbi Cattan moved to The United States with his family.  He served for five years in Miami Beach, Florida, at the Cuban Hebrew Congregation, where he also created a series of concerts named “Tapas, Wine and Jewish Jazz”.  In 2008 he became the cantor at Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus in North Miami Beach, where he also served as education director. During that time, he released a CD named “On the Wings of Prayer” that features the eclectic style of his renditions that blend tradition with contemporary sounds of Sephardic and Ashkenazic origins. Some of the songs from that CD were also part of the last three CD’s of the Spirit Series, a joint project between the Cantors Assembly and USCJ.

Senior Vice President

Ḥazzan 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 song leader, musician and educator led her to the cantorate. She is also a published writer and an award-winning composer.

As the Ḥazzan of Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minnetonka, Minnesota, Ḥazzan 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, Ḥazzan Dulkin served on the Rabbinical Assembly's Siddur Lev Shalem committee and is currently serving on the CA/RA Clergy Manual committee. The  tentative release date is scheduled for the summer of 2023.

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

Vice President of Administration

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.

Vice President at Large

Ḥazzan 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, Ḥazzan 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, Ḥazzan 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, Ḥazzan 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.

Ḥazzan 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, Your Guide to the Jewish Holidays: From Shofar to Seder, and Raising the Bar Mitzvah: Reimagining What Our Kids Learn. 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.

Ḥazzan Axelrod is also an avid aviation enthusiast and is a licensed pilot and flight instructor. When not flying over New Jersey, he is likely out running and training for his next marathon. He is married to Dr. Tali Axelrod, a public school principal, and they are the proud parents of two sons, Judah and Josh.


Originally from Albuquerque, NM, Ḥazzan 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, Ḥazzan 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.

Ḥazzan Dienstfrey has served as Ḥazzan 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, Ḥazzan 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 Ḥazzan is that of partner to her wonderful husband, Tobias, and mother to her beautiful children: Margalit, Akiva, Dassi, and Lev.

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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.

Immediate Past President

David A. Lipp came to Congregation Adath Jeshurun as Ḥazzan 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.

Ḥazzan 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.

Executive Vice President

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. Ḥazzan 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. Ḥazzan 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.

Director of Placement & Human Resources
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Ḥazzan 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.

Ḥazzan 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.

Membership Chair
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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 46 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 J. 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 1989.

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.

Special Projects Coordinator
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Office & Placement Coordinator
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Financial Coordinator
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