Cantor Rita Glassman
Rita Glassman is the Cantor of Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco, a reform synagogue known for its aesthetic beauty, goldrush history and strong musical traditions. She grew up in an observant home in Brooklyn, New York where her parents, natives of Vilna and Prague, encouraged her to develop her talents as a pianist and singer. Rita began composing songs at an early age in Jewish Day School and summer camps, and had her professional debut at 21, singing with Theodore Bikel and Herschel Bernardi at a UJA Benefit in St. Louis, Mo.
In 2003, Rita presented a one woman show at the Marin JCC in San Rafael, CA with 16 original songs and stories about her journey from orthodox girl growing up in Brooklyn, to folksinger in the New York Village, to becoming a Cantor. Rita’s music of peace and hope which she has shared in concert throughout the bay area and in South America, continues to inspire tolerance and understanding in Jewish and interfaith communities. Her current project is an interfaith CD of Sacred Songs for Peace in English, Hebrew and Arabic. Her recordings include “Coming Into Light”, “Walk With Me”, “Love Songs”, “Journey to Shabbat” and “All The Way Home”. Her own composed “Shema” prayer can be heard on the interfaith CD “Sacred World Chants” (Soundings of the Planet) and her meditative version of Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run” is on “Best of the Vineyard Sounds” (Rhino Records).
Rita’s original Oseh Shalom/Song For Peace which she recently recorded with the producer Andrew Williams has been arranged for choir by the conductor/arranger Eleanor Epstein and will be presented at this summer’s 22nd Annual North American Jewish Choral Festival in upstate New York.
Rita is truly honored to be among the first cohort of the Max Helfman Institute fellows.