Cantor Susan R.A. Bortnick joined Washington Hebrew Congregation as Cantor in 2001 and was appointed Senior Cantor in 2020. Her crystalline soprano endows the Congregation’s services and life cycle events with soaring majesty, and she is always eager to explore new enhancements to the worship experience.

The first cantor from Amarillo, Texas, she is a member of the American Conference of Cantors (Reform) and Cantors Assembly (Conservative). A graduate of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, as a student cantor, she served congregations in Arnold, Maryland, and Ft. Worth, Texas. Inspired by Cantor Robert Gerber, Cantor Sharon Kohn, and Rabbi Liza Stern, Cantor Bortnick pursued cantorial studies after receiving a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from the University of Texas, Austin.

She has recorded two albums with Cantor Manevich, now WHC’s Cantor Emeritus: “Together,” their favorite duets, and “Shirei Shabbat,” a recording of their innovative Shabbat service.