If you were to ask me what qualities I would ascribe to the ideal Cantor for the 21st century I would say that first on the list would be a passion for Jewish Music, Jewish liturgy and Jewish tradition. Also important is a warm and engaging personality with the ability to reach out and connect with people of all ages. Of course, a beautiful voice that can express the very soul of the texts that are dear to our people is essential. Embracing their role as Shaliach Tzibur, prayer emissary of the congregation, the Cantor should possess deep knowledge and understanding of our liturgical heritage, as well as the ability to communicate this to others. Cantors should be energetic and able to adapt to any situation with which they are confronted. Compassion and empathy are essential qualities, as the Cantor will accompany individual members of the community and families through both joyous and sad life passages. They must always continue to find new ways to connect to the community in which they serve. And above all, the ideal Cantor must love what they do! These qualities and many more describe our wonderful guest artist for this year's Cantor's Concert to support the Seth Rich Memorial Camp Scholarship Fund: Hazzan Joanna Dulkin.
Hazzan Joanna Dulkin received her Masters of Sacred Music and Ordination 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 Holy Days Services. She describes how a background as a song leader, musician and educator steered her toward the cantorate, “I became a cantor because I can bring people together with music.”
Today, Joanna Dulkin is one of the leading voices on the American Jewish music scene. As she states, “Jewish music has always been part of the fabric of my life.” In addition to being a gifted and beloved cantor, Dulkin is also an accomplished guitarist, a published writer, and an award-winning composer.
One of Hazzan Dulkins's congregants made the following remark on a video produced by the Cantors Assembly. “We really love her, she helps us connect to the congregation on a very personal level because her enthusiasm is completely contagious…she makes [the synagogue] a joyful place to come to.”
Hazzan Dulkin’s magnificent, sweet, melodic voice has delighted audiences around the globe. Her versatile repertoire ranges from Broadway, Pop and Folk to popular Israeli music and traditional Hazzanut. She has served as a Rosh (head of) Music for Ramah Camps, and she is extremely involved in the Ramah Movement. Hazzan Dulkin has also been on the faculty of the Song Leader Boot Camp and has served on the editorial committee of Siddur Lev Shalem. She is currently the vice president of the Cantors Assembly, the international professional organization for the cantorate.
Dulkin serves as the Hazzan of Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minneapolis MN. She and her husband, Rabbi Dr. Ryan Dulkin, are the proud parents of Zac, who will be on staff at Ramah Wisconsin, and Jesse, who will be a camper at Ramah in the Poconos.
When asked how she felt about starring in our event Hazzan Dulkin replied:
“I am overjoyed to be joining Beth El and my dear colleague and friend Hazzan Krausman for the annual Cantor’s Concert! As I often mention, years of song leading at Jewish camps across the country paved my way to the cantorate, and I strive to bring the joy of summer music-making to the months away from camp. I can’t imagine a more worthy cause than to help raise money for camp scholarships.”
Beth El Synagogue’s annual Cantor’s Concert is entitled, “A Singing and Swinging Celebration of Summer.” The show will be live-streamed at 4 p.m., Sunday, May 16. Although there will be no charge to view the concert online, a variety of giving levels have been established on our website: www. bethel-omaha.org. You can also sample some of Hazzan Dulkin’s work on that page. All proceeds from the concert will support the Seth Rich Memorial Camp Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to send our youth to Jewish summer camp and Israel. Joel & Mary Rich, and Bruce & Pam Friedlander serve as chairs of this annual program.
Those who support this most worthy cause will be listed in a future edition of the KOL – our synagogue newsletter. Feel free to contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“A Singing and Swinging Celebration of Summer with Hazzan Joanna Dulkin” Promises to be a fabulous concert – people of all ages will have a wonderfully joyous and engaging experience!