Gratz Faculty

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Rabbi Robert Freedman

Adjunct Professor of Jewish Studies

Division: Graduate Studies, Undergraduate Studies
Program: Jewish Studies (Graduate), Jewish Studies (Undergraduate)

Rabbi Bob Freedman began singing for his synagogue when he was 13 years old. His love of music led him to study at the University of North Carolina, where he received a bachelor of music degree, and at the Eastman School in Rochester, NY, where he earned a master's degree in vocal performance. In 1974 he moved to Toronto, where he sang professionally for seven years, performing in opera, oratorio, choral groups, solo recital and synagogues.

He returned to the United States in 1981 to enroll in the cantorial program at the Hebrew Union College School of Sacred Music. The following year he took the post of student cantor at the Jewish Center of Princeton, NJ, where he remained for 14 years, becoming fulltime cantor upon investiture in 1985.

Wishing to expand his ability to serve the Jewish community and to deepen his own understanding, he resigned from the Jewish Center in 1996 and enrolled in the rabbinical program at the Academy for Jewish Religion, a trans-denominational seminary in New York City, where he received rabbinic ordination in May 2000.  While a student, he served as rabbi of the String of Pearls congregation in Princeton.

From 2000 to 2007 he was the rabbi of Israel Congregation of Manchester, Vermont. Currently Rabbi Freedman lives with his wife Sally in Princeton, NJ, teaching, studying, and writing. He is active in the Havurah and the Renewal Movements. In the past several years he has taught courses and led workshops at Elat Hayyim, the Jewish Renewal Kallot, and the National Havurah Summer Institute.