Cantor Howard Friedland

Howard Friedland has served as JRC’s cantor since 2001.

His caring and compassionate spirit, curiosity, and concern for people and his deep love for JRC inform all that he does for our community. Cantor Friedland has celebrated and mourned with most of our congregation in one way or another, and everyone feels a connection with him. He shares pastoral duties with Rabbi Weiss and patiently and lovingly tutors our B’nai Mitzvah students. Cantor Friedland also keeps our services fresh with new music. He shared, “Over the last decade, there’s been an explosion in the number of young composers of Jewish liturgical music, some having grown up in the Chicago area. We’re integrating this exciting new music with some old favorites into JRC worship.”

Cantor Friedland conducted undergraduate studies at Indiana University and received his B.F.A. in acting from the Goodman School of Drama at DePaul University. Cantor Howard studied hazzanut with Cantor Cory Winter. Before becoming JRC’s cantor, he worked for 20 years as an actor in theater, film, and television. Cantor Howard is the treasurer and a past president of the Cantors’ Hub, the association of cantors in the Chicago/Milwaukee area.

Cantor Friedland has two adult children, Hannah Mira and Ben, and loves to play Pickle Ball.

Contact Cantor Friedland at



Cantor Howard always greets us with a big smile, looking each person in the eye and asking about something I can never believe he remembers from our last conversation. Aside from being charming and talented in his song leading, he’s the very definition of haimish: kind and thoughtful and welcoming. We’re so lucky to have him!

JRC Member


One of the great rewards of working in one congregation over many years is having relationships with several generations of a family. I’ve officiated at the weddings of several of my first B’nai mitzvah students, who are now having children of their own and remain members of JRC.

Howard Friedland