Clergy & Professional Staff - Interim Cantor's Biography


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Faith Steinsnyder was born in Philadelphia and raised in North Miami Beach by music-loving parents, Jane and Wynne Steinsnyder.  Cantor Steinsnyder studied in Bloomington, Indiana, and in New York City, becoming one of the first women ordained as a cantor from Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion.  She was inspired, encouraged and coached by esteemed Cantors Jacob Mendelson, Israel Goldstein, Ben Belfer, Lawrence Avery, Max Wohlberg, David Koussevitsky and Moshe Ganchoff, "master cantors" who each believed in the expressive power of hazzanut in a woman's voice. Cantor Steinsnyder was the first woman to teach hazzanut (Eastern European Jewish liturgical repertoire) and nusach (traditional prayer modes, melodies and musical formulas) at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York City.

Cantor Steinsnyder has served Reform and Conservative congregations from Maryland to Massachusetts, Long Island to Los Angeles.  For the past four years, she was Cantor in Residence at Temple Israel, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her cantorate is defined by commitment to empowering congregational participation and devotion.  Generations coming together through music, prayer and Torah has been a priority, from Early Education to Religious School, Hebrew High School to adults of every age.  Faith is an enthusiastic, supportive b’nei mitzvah coach and humbly welcomes the opportunity to teach prayer skills and build Torah confidence!

Faith Steinsnyder has been heard in concert throughout North America and Europe and is much admired for her meticulous performances of Cantorial, Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino repertoire, as well as Musical Theatre and Opera.  Featured on WQXR radio's "The Listening Room" hosted by Robert Sherman, New York audiences have enjoyed Faith's distinguished music making at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, the Amato Opera, Mannes Opera, Brooklyn Conservatory Opera, and Joseph Papp’s Opera at the Academy in NYC.  Voted among the "Top Ten Jewish Vocalists" by Moment Magazine, Cantor Steinsnyder has received much critical acclaim for her recordings "Birthday of the World" and "A Taste of Eternity" with The Western Wind, Matthew Lazar and Leonard Nimoy, as well as the award-winning film documentaries "100 Voices: A Journey Home" and "House of Life". 

Featured in Dr. Michael Isaacson’s cantata for Hadassah’s 50th, "To Celebrate a Miracle", Cantor Steinsnyder has recorded Isaacson’s "Nishmat Chayim" and “Made in America”.  Performing the title role in Stephen Richards' opera "The Ballad of Ruth", recent recordings include "Ladorot Habaim: For the Generations to Come”.

Cantor Steinsnyder is an original member of the a cappella chamber ensemble “The Mantua Singers”, conducted by Matthew Lazar, celebrating the music of Salamone Rossi. Performances included Merkin Concert Hall in NYC.  She enjoys singing with the LA-based klezmer ensemble “Mostly Kosher”, is featured on their debut recording and has performed with them many times, in SoCal, Las Vegas, OK, NJ, and White Plains.

A student of voice teacher Braeden Harris, Cantor Steinsnyder also teaches vocal production and philosophy of music-making every summer at the Zamir Choral Foundation's North American Jewish Choral Festival.  An active member of both the American Conference of Cantors and Cantors Assembly, Faith has presented master classes and workshops at national conventions and looks forward to teaching again for The Guild of Temple Musicians and Mifgash Musicale at HUC Cincinnati.

Together with Hazzan Ilan Mamber z’l, Faith Steinsnyder and her husband, Cantor David Perper, created “Coffeehouse Cantors”, performing original works and American folk classics with colleagues Cantors Jordan Franzel and Dana Anesi. For more than a decade the quintet created intimate concerts and community events. Faith contributes vocals, keyboard and percussion.

Cantor Steinsnyder’s original compositions are performed annually in Baltimore, at St. Ignatius R.C. Church, and at the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music in NYC.