Cantorial Ordination for Spiritual and Educational Leadership

read boston globe story about cantorial programThe Jewish world is changing. Synagogue life is evolving. Today’s congregants are seeking a new kind of spiritual leader, one who invites deeper personal connections, leads 
dynamic worship services and creates compelling programming.

Hebrew College stands ready to lead in this new environment. 
In fall 2015, we launched an accelerated three-year Cantorial Ordination for Spiritual and Educational Leadership program, designed to meet the needs of 21st-century Judaism. The new program fuses traditional Jewish text and liturgy with innovative musical and spiritual programming, and features two eight-week summer institutes and a year of post-ordination supervision and advisement.

Graduates of the program earn cantorial ordination plus a Master of Jewish Education and will be eligible to apply for membership in both the Cantors Assembly and the American Conference of Cantors.

The Hebrew College Difference


Hebrew College's pluralistic environment of open inquiry, intellectual rigor, personal engagement and spiritual creativity empowers and inspires individuals to contribute their unique voices and vision to the Jewish community and bring their own values to bear on the critical issues of our time.

Hebrew College promotes excellence in Jewish learning and leadership within a pluralistic environment of open inquiry, intellectual rigor, personal engagement and spiritual creativity. We empower and inspire individuals to contribute their voices and vision to the Jewish community and to bring Jewish values to bear on the critical issues of our time. - See more at:


Our first-of-its-kind accelerated program means lower cost and faster entry into the cantorate — without sacrificing the quality educational experience you've come to expect from Hebrew College and the School of Jewish Music.


Our newly designed curriculum integrates traditional Jewish text, liturgy and practice with musical and spiritual innovation, greatly broadening the horizons and expanding the career options of our graduates.


All cantors ordained at Hebrew College will also earn a Master of Jewish Education degree, enabling them to serve congregations as mentors and facilitators, and as spiritual leaders who can empower their congregants in study as well as in worship.


Hebrew College's thriving rabbinical school and its membership in the Boston Theological Institute, an association of 10 university divinity schools, schools of theology and seminaries in Greater Boston, gives you the opportunity to study and interact with those who most share your ideals and aspirations.


The program draws on renowned faculty from three Hebrew College schools — the School of Jewish Music, Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education and Rabbinical School — as well as resources from member institutions of the Boston Theological Institute.


Located just outside Boston in Newton Centre, Hebrew College is in one of the leading regions of Jewish innovation and entrepreneurship. With its myriad arts and cultural offerings, thriving nightlife and scenic beauty, the city is a great place to live and learn.

Course Requirements

cantorial rehearsal with dean brian mayer

Fall and spring semesters
(over three years)

  • Cantillation
  • Education
  • Intensive Hebrew Language
  • Jewish Music History
  • Judaic Studies and History
  • Liturgy
  • Nusach HaTefillah (prayer chant)
  • Pastoral Counseling
  • Vocal Arts

Prayer Leader Summer Institutes

(two summers)

  • Contemporary Models of Tefillah Leadership
  • Nusach HaTefillah (prayer chant)
  • Accompanied Repertoire
  • Cantillation Master Classes
  • Choral Conducting
  • Composing and Arranging
  • Liturgy

Admission Requirements

  • A passion for Jewish music
  • Involvement in Jewish communal life
  • Intermediate Hebrew proficiency
  • Prior training in vocal or instrumental performance
  • Knowledge of music theory


Marcia Spellman
Recruitment and Enrollment Manager

request more information

apply now

Cantor Jeff Klepper

Watch "Prophets on Guitar, "
a webinar with Cantor Jeff Klepper., SJM adjunct faculty member.