Cantor Janet Leuchter
Cantor Janet Leuchter, GHC's part-time cantor, leads the GHC community in prayer on Shabbat mornings and holidays, teaches prayer and leads singing in the Religious School, tutors our b'nei mitzvah, sings with our Early Childhood Center, and helps expand our cadre of lay Torah and Haftarah readers and davenners. She loves interacting with people of all ages, inspiring and supporting the GHC community in singing and prayer, bringing a taste of the rich treasures of Jewish music past and present, and being with our community in times of joy as well as sorrow.
A native of Vineland, New Jersey, Cantor Janet has lived in NYC for many years. She is known for her involvement as a performer and teacher of Yiddish songs. Active in the early years of the klezmer revival, she was the vocalist with the pioneering women's band Klez-meydlekh and has taught at the Yiddish Folk Arts Program ("Klez-Kamp") and other national festivals. She has appeared in many well-known NYC venues, such as Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, 92nd Street Y, and Center for Jewish History, and throughout North America.
A classically trained mezzo-soprano, she has sung in concert, oratorio and opera throughout the metropolitan area. She has performed with trail-blazing playwright/directors Maria Irene Fornes and Elizabeth Swados, and composed the music for Fornes' Obie-award-winner Eyes on the Harem.
On CD she can be heard on the forthcoming Jewish children's music release from the Cantors Assembly, Zumerteg--Yiddish songs by National Heritage Award-winning songwriter Bella Gottesman, and Dancing with the Dead-the Music of Global Death Rites, on Ellipsis Arts. Among her documentary soundtracks is the acclaimed Partisans of Vilna.
Cantor Janet has a BA in history from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Masters in Sacred Music from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (1999). She served Congregation Beth Elohim (Park Slope, Brooklyn) for nine years, and Temple Avodah (Oceanside, NY) for two. She has worked as a chaplain at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Medical Center, and currently serves on the Budget and Continuing Cantorial Professional Development committees of the American Conference of Cantors.