Erica Lippitz

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Erica Lippitz and Marla Rosenfeld Barugel were the first two female hazzans (also called cantors) ordained in Conservative Judaism. Their ordination was held in 1987,[1] two years after the first woman was ordained a Conservative rabbi.[2]

Lippitz and Barugel were ordained at the same time by the Cantors Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City.[1] Since her ordination, Lippitz has served as cantor at Oheb Shalom in South Orange, New Jersey.[3] She is also the director and co-founder of the Kol Dodi choir, director of Oheb Shalom's adult and children's choirs, and a member of the folk-singing group Beged Kefet,[4] which performs nationally and has made three recordings.[3][5] She is a cofounder, with Cantor Perry Fine, of the JTS Cantorial Alumni Association’s Shir Joy Choral Festival.[3] In 2005 she sang at Carnegie Hall.[3]

Prior to becoming a cantor, Lippitz earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan, as well as a Masters in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University.[5] She had also served as the director of Loyola University Chicago's Hillel. When she entered the Seminary, she did not believe graduating as a Hazzan would be possible. By the time she graduated, she was one of eleven women in the program.[6]


  1. ^ a b Jewish Women in America: A-L. Taylor & Francis. 1997. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  2. ^ Goldman, Ari L. (1987-02-06). "A Sex Barrier forr Cantors is Broken". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  3. ^ a b c d "A woman cantor celebrates 20 years in a pioneering role". 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  4. ^ "Kol Dodi: The MetroWest Community Chorale". JCC Metrowest. Archived from the original on 2012-08-11. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  5. ^ a b "Oheb Shalom Congregation". 2006-10-19. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  6. ^ Biddle, Fred Marc (1987-03-13). "Sour Notes Remain For Women As Cantors". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-08-26.