Temple Beth Orr is excited to welcome Cantor Karen Braunstein. Cantor Braunstein, born and raised in the New York metropolitan area, has always been steeped in both Judaism and music. The granddaughter of a cantor, she was exposed to the sounds of traditional davening and Chazanut. She began studying music at age 8, attended the Usdan Centre for the Arts on Long Island for five summers, and went on to the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division.
Cantor Braunstein completed her undergraduate studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, earning a Bachelor of Music in Voice. During that time, the Klezmer renaissance was taking off in Boston and together with a few classmates, she formed the Shirim Klezmer Orchestra and began research on Yiddish song and traditional Cantorial music. In 1988, Cantor Braunstein received her Masters of Sacred Music, and Ordination as Cantor from the Hebrew Union College in New York. That summer, she toured Israel with a group of ten cantors, performing throughout the country. While serving as cantor in various synagogues in the Northeast, Cantor Braunstein continued concertizing, and performing with her band, KlezMechayeh!.
Since coming to Florida in 1997, she has continued performing and teaching, and has served both Reform and Conservative congregations in Palm Beach County. Many of her summers have been spent working in the northeast summer camps, including the Workmen’s Circle’s “Circle Lodge,” where she was program director/artist-in-residence. During her many years as the cantor of Temple Shaarei Shalom in Boynton Beach, Cantor Braunstein directed and produced many shows and reviews, including her own comedic parodies, working with casts of adults as well as children. She recently founded the Wellington Children’s Theatre, to bring theatrical and vocal training and performance to Wellington youth.
Cantor Braunstein is the very proud of mother of Alex, a professional magician, studying Theatre in college in New York, and Emily, talented singer/dancer, a Junior at Wellington High. In addition to her involvement in music and the arts, she loves to cook and bake healthy, vegetarian cuisine, go Israeli Folk Dancing, and is an advocate both for animals and the environment. Cantor Karen Braunstein is thrilled to be serving Temple Beth Orr and is greatly looking forward getting to know her new temple family and joining together in prayer and song!
“I already hit it off with Cantor Braunstein, in our initial planning for the upcoming program year, and anticipate engaging and uplifting worship celebrations with her on the bimah,” said Rabbi Mark Gross.