Academy for Jewish Religion, California - Clergy & Alumni Association


Cheri Weiss received her BA in English and Theater from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. She also holds Bachelor  and Master of Music degrees from CSU Northridge.  Cheri lived in Israel for six years, where she studied at Hebrew  University  in Jerusalem and was involved in the music business, performing and writing song lyrics for some of Israel’s most popular singers.

Cheri has worked as a cantorial  intern and soloist for several  synagogues in San Diego, Los Angeles and Palm Springs and has served as High Holy Days cantor at congregations  in Houston, Texas and Providence, Rhode Island.  Cheri founded the Shirenu  Chorus, which has performed at Shabbat  services  in Jewish retirement  communities  as well as the Jewish Community Center ip  La Jolla,  and an inter-cultural festival in San Diego’s Balboa  Park. She has produced and performed  in Jewish music concerts  at many venues  in San Diego, where she currently resides.

In 2016, Cheri raised $10,000 to professionally record, self-produce, and distribute the CD “HINENI:  Music for the High Holy Days.” Over 1,000 copies  of her “HINENI” CD have been provided free of charge to homebound seniors in hospitals, hospices, and retirement homes across the United States via chaplains, clergy, Jewish Family Services and Jewish Federations.

I am filled  with gratitude to my husband, Dan; my children Emma and Izzy; and all my family  and friends for their continued love and support on this spiritual, musical  and academic journey.  Special thanks to Eugene Newman for encouraging me five years ago to pursue my long-held  dream of becoming a cantor. My heartfelt appreciation to the staff and faculty at AJRCA for your wisdom, guidance  and kindness.

Upon ordination,  Cantor Weiss will pursue a  synagogue canto rial position.  She will continue to bring Jewish liturgical music to the homebound through the company she founded, Hazzanit, Inc.