Freelance Cantor

Cantor Barbra's Jewish Celebrations

Ramsey, NJ

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About Cantor Barbra's Jewish Celebrations

I am a freelance cantor with over 12 years of pulpit experience. I tutor bar/bat mitzvah students in Bergen County, NJ and officiate at Jewish life cycle events, including bar/bat mitzvahs, weddings, and baby namings in the NJ/NY area. For bar/bat mitzvahs, I teach children to read Hebrew, master prayers and blessings, and chant Torah, as well as Haftarah. In addition, I help them write a speech about their Torah portion. Skype lessons may be supplemented with home lessons.

I make each wedding service unique by including something personable about the couple, and am open to any rituals they would like to include.

Jewish baby namings include a booklet that I put together with special readings suitable for the family, as well as any poems or words the family would like to include.

Location

Ramsey, NJ 07446

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Question and answer

Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.

A. Private Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutoring as well as officiant at these ceremonies; small group tutoring for 3rd-6th grades; baby namings; Jewish weddings, unveilings, and funerals. More families are interested in small group tutoring as it is almost semi-private and it saves on the cost of religious school education.

Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

A. Think about the type of Bar/Bat Mitzvah that you would like. If your child hasn't had any Hebrew training, lessons are weekly for 1 1/2-2 years. I am a cantor who doesn't just teach your child what he/she needs to know for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. I also teach Judaism, Torah, and Jewish history so that your child will have a foundation of their heritage to build upon.

Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?

A. I would like to know where this cantor studied and how many years. Also, what type of experience does this cantor have working with children with different aptitudes of Hebrew.

Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?

A. How much time is required to study for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah
How long are the lessons
Are the lessons weekly
What are your fees
If my child isn't ready for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, do you conduct group lessons
Do you travel to students' homes
How many Bar/Bat Mitzvahs have you done in the past few years
Would you be willing to come to our home for a free consult
Do you have any references we can call

Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?

A. They should think about what type of Bar/Bat Mitzvah they would like. If they are looking for short term lessons, less than a year, then they should seek someone else. I am not the cantor who will teach the child in a short amount of time just so they can have a party. I want them to know what being Jewish is about, learning about the holidays and Jewish culture as well as Torah and history.

Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?

A. I am passionate, sensitive, and accommodate my student's needs. When I am working with a student, I try to involve the family as well. I create a service that will make your child shine. If needed, I will take the time to meet with the caterer so that the service and set-up runs smoothly. I like to run a dress rehearsal prior to the event so that everyone feels comfortable. I am also reliable and organized.

Q. What do you like most about your job?

A. Working with a student who may have no background or knowledge of Hebrew and Judaism in the beginning of his/her studies. It gives me great satisfaction to watch a student progress and being able to chant Torah and prayers in Hebrew when it seemed almost overwhelming in the first few lessons. I also enjoy meeting families and getting to know about each student.

Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.

A. I worked with a student who is hearing impaired and wears hearing implants. He learned to read Hebrew in a relatively short amount of time. At his Bar Mitzvah, he chanted flawlessly from he Torah and delivered his speech eloquently. It was an emotional ceremony as he lost his father a few years ago. I know that he'll be successful as he never lets his hearing impairment stop him from accomplishing anything. He is a role model for all of us who face challenges.

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