JTS’s H. L. Miller Cantorial School Receives Generous Endowment from the John Leopold and Martha Dellheim Endowment Fund

Press Contact: Beatrice Mora
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: bemora@jtsa.edu

January 15, 2014, New York, NY

The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) is honored to announce that its H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music, a leader in cantorial education and performance, has received a generous endowment from the John Leopold and Martha Dellheim Endowment Fund. Created by John Leopold Dellheim (z"l) as part of his legacy and in honor of his mother, Martha (z"l), the Dellheim Endowment Fund stands for two of the most important elements of Jewish musical training: cultivation by a mentor and the live handing down of a tradition. The Fund is committed to Jewish sacred music through research, education, and publication, emphasizing Western European / Ashkenazic traditions; the performance of Jewish sacred music in non-synagogue and synagogue settings in order to reach the widest possible audiences; and the mentorship of the next generation of cantors. The Dellheim Endowment Fund will support the continued joining of cantorial masters with eager students through the John Leopold and Martha Dellheim Internship Program at the H. L. Miller Cantorial School.

The John Leopold and Martha Dellheim Fund Internship Program will pair students with mentors at JTS and in the field, and expand the school's opportunities to teach concert planning, enhance repertoire coaching, and present student performances. In addition to the John Leopold and Martha Dellheim Endowment Fund Senior Recitals at JTS, the program will allow for concerts at locations across the country. JTS hopes to bring the Dellheim concerts to communities in California, Florida, Illinois, Minneapolis, Ohio, Texas, and Canada over the coming years.

John Dellheim was a Holocaust survivor who became a pioneer computer programmer at IBM. He deeply loved cantorial music. Mr. Dellheim was a member of the Anti-Defamation League and B'nai B'rith, both of which he often represented in his days on the speaker circuit, working for peaceful relations between Jews and African-Americans and speaking in passionate defense of the Jewish people. He was also a devoted member of the Ritual Committee at Temple Beth-El in Poughkeepsie, New York. John Dellheim excelled at his chosen mitzvah (commandment) of dedication to the Jewish people. His love of music lives on as a great legacy.

The first two John Leopold and Martha Dellheim Endowment Fund Senior Recitals will take place at JTS on Monday, January 27, 2014, at 6:00 p.m.—featuring Hillary Chorny, Jonathan Angress, and Frani Goodman—and Monday, February 3, 2014, at 6:30 p.m.—featuring David Wallach, Jenna Daniels, and Randall Levin. The recitalists will be accompanied by pianist Joyce Rosenzweig, adjunct instructor of Music at JTS, and perform a repertoire including Hebrew songs, Yiddish and Ladino favorites, ensemble pieces, cantorial gems, and on January 27 only, excerpts from an Alan Mencken musical about King David.  

A reception in honor of the performers will follow each program, which will be held in JTS's Feinberg Auditorium at 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street) in New York City. Admission is free, but reservations are required. RSVP at www.jtsa.edu/recitals. Please arrive early, and have photo ID available.

The H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music is home to some of the most accomplished and creative faculty in Jewish and religious music and voice. Its educators are composers, cantors, and artists who prepare and guide new clergy to lead and perform, and to preserve and teach Jewish musical tradition and prayer to new generations of congregants. Students spend five years learning and integrating the skills that will allow them to serve the Jewish community as cantors and leaders. The training includes performance preparation, as well as studies in nusah, prayer, text skills, and general music.