One last note

The ‘Cantor’, is an older profession than the Rabbi.  The Cantor used to have the distinction of leading the Temple choir in Jerusalem.  ‘Cantor’ is from the word cantare (to sing) but the Hebrew word is hazzan, a word meaning ‘to have vision’.  The hazzan was not a full-time profession and was not really professionalized until the 20th century.  The Cantor would have been somebody who had another job, had a pleasant voice and was intimately knowledgeable in Jewish liturgy.  The Cantor’s job was to lead the Jewish worship service. That was not the job of the Rabbi.  The Rabbi’s job was to preach and teach.  The role in Judaism of the Cantor really began to grow and evolve with the modern synagogue.  Cantors today are trained to perform and officiate at all life cycle events: weddings, funerals, bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies, baby namings, pastoral visits, etc.  Although most people associate the role of Cantor as integral to music within the framework of synagogue liturgy, it is much more of a clergy experience enveloped in the interpersonal relationships of both synagogue members and the greater Jewish community.

As the person who has had the vantage point from the bimah of looking out into the eyes of the congregation for thirty-three years at Dor Hadash, I have tried to lift the spirits of worshipers through music, teaching and touching hearts.  My vision has always been one of trying to model the beauty of living Judaism with a sense of purpose and dedication so as to inspire others to embrace the gift of a Torah guided lifestyle.  I am grateful that the 1986 Executive Board took a chance with me and gave me the chance to grow in ways that perhaps I never imagined.

Vocal music has been a part of my essence since childhood.  My own children often comment that I can turn any situation into a song.  When music fills a room, it transforms a space.  When music fills a heart, it transforms a life.  With the ever present support of my wonderful husband, Mark, who has always been a sounding board and pillar in our family, I have been blessed to choose a career path that has provided me with a cup that has surely runneth over.  I have been honored to serve and preserve Jewish tradition in my role as Cantor and ‘spiritual leader’ of Dor Hadash.

I pray that the congregation inspires individuals to become future leaders and continues to be a beacon for those wishing to connect to a community that has always demonstrated ‘the heimish way’ in all things Jewish.  Chazakv’Amatz, may Dor Hadash remain strong and strengthen the Pittsburgh Jewish Community with its vision of showing that everyone’s voice is integral to making the music of life more powerful and meaningful.

‘Cantor’, Rabbi Cheryl Klein

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We extend our deepest gratitude to the Pittsburgh Community for your overwhelming outpouring of support since the murder of 11 of our fellow Jews on October 27.

You have stood with us. You have sung with us, prayed with us, grieved with us and raised funds for us. Your support has held us up over the past several weeks and affirmed for us the strength of our Jewish and Pittsburgh Communities.

We were attacked because we are Jews. We condemn the white nationalist ideology the perpetrator embraced, a toxic belief system that promotes anti-Semitism and demonizes non-white immigrants, Muslims, the LGBTQIA+ community, and people of color.

We raise our voices to demand an end to hate speech and the othering of any human beings by anyone, including our elected leaders. We raise our voices to demand rational gun laws to help prevent future tragedies.

This tragedy will forever be a part of our story, but it will not define us. We will move forward and rebuild, not only our congregation, but our country.

We hope that you will continue to stand with us in that work. Donate, volunteer with us, or with these organizations, and support these causes.


If you or someone you know needs support in recovering from this tragedy, please see these resources from Jewish Family and Community Services


Dor Hadash Congregation

Congregation Dor Hadash is a member-led congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, an affiliate of the Jewish Reconstructionist Communities.

Congregants share in the responsibility for ritual programs and in all the administrative aspects of congregational life. Active participation is central to the exploration and development of our Jewish identities.

Our congregation is welcoming, egalitarian, and inclusive. Our congregants are Jews by birth or by choice; they are single or part of family units; they include people of different sexual orientations and gender identities; and they live in households that are of the same or different faiths.

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Rodef Shalom Congregation
4905 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213