Breaking Barriers: Jenni Asher’s Historic Journey to Ordination

Jenni Asher
Image courtesy: jpost


In a groundbreaking stride for inclusivity, Jenni Asher is poised to make history as the first ordained Black woman cantor in the United States. Currently immersed in her studies at the Academy for Jewish Religion California, Asher’s journey is one of perseverance, passion, and a deep-rooted connection to music and spirituality.

Spiritual Awakening:

Asher’s journey began amidst the grandeur of London’s Central Synagogue, where she found solace and inspiration amid her own spiritual unrest. Drawing from her experience as a violinist and her exposure to Hebrew, she embarked on a transformative path toward Judaism.

A Musical Odyssey:

Hailing from a family of devout musicians, Asher’s upbringing was steeped in melodies and rhythms that would later shape her musical identity. Despite facing physical setbacks due to tendonitis, her resilience led her to explore alternative therapies and establish her own practice, Musician Bodywork, catering to fellow musicians.

Embracing Judaism:

Raised in a household that revered Jewish customs and values, Asher’s journey to conversion was a multifaceted exploration of faith and tradition. Embracing both Conservative and Sephardic Orthodox traditions, she found resonance in the rich tapestry of Jewish heritage, culminating in her pursuit of cantorial studies.

Pioneering Cantorial Excellence:

As she delves into the intricacies of Jewish liturgy and music at AJRCA, Asher’s passion for innovation and inclusivity shines through. With a vision to expand the sonic landscape of the American cantorate, she seeks to infuse traditional melodies with contemporary vitality.

Musical Mastery:

Asher’s musical prowess extends beyond the sanctuary, with three albums showcasing her versatility and creativity. From the poignant reflections of “Yaladati” to the spirited melodies of “Freedom,” her compositions resonate with a profound sense of authenticity and emotion.

Shaping Community:

Currently serving as a cantorial soloist at Hamakom Synagogue in Los Angeles, Jenni Asher envisions a future where she can continue to uplift and inspire through music. With aspirations to further enrich congregational experiences, she embraces the duality of tradition and innovation.


Jenni Asher’s journey epitomizes the transformative power of music and faith. As she prepares to carve her place in history, her dedication to inclusivity and creativity promises to leave an indelible mark on the landscape of Jewish worship and leadership.

Re-reported from the article originally published in The jpost

Leave a Reply