Cantor Steven Sher was born and raised in the twin cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He holds graduate degrees in Communication, Television and Theater Production, Group Dynamics, Counseling and Group Process from the University of Minnesota and Temple University. Cantor Sher received his investiture (ordination) upon graduation from the Hebrew Union College-School of Sacred Music, as well as an honorary Doctor of Music degree.
Before studying for the cantorate, Cantor Sher worked as a counselor and therapist in various clinical residential treatment settings, specializing in adolescent crisis intervention and treatment. He also worked in group, family and music therapy with client populations in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and New York. He has served as Cantor in congregations in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
Cantor Sher has been a champion of creative Jewish music programming for the synagogue and community. His various liturgical compositions have enjoyed wide popularity in the Reform youth and camp movements, the synagogue, and are performed throughout the world and by performing groups such as Peter, Paul and Mary. His composition for the text of “Dodi Li” is the first and only Jewish liturgical setting performed and recorded by this group.
Cantor Sher holds the distinction of being the only project director ever to receive a grant-in-aid from the New York State Council on the Arts for a Jewish music series in a synagogue setting.
His interests include, collecting pencil sharpeners and miniature chess sets, American and international folk music, film noir and travel. He also takes great pleasure in visiting and writing about those less traveled and exotic Jewish communities throughout the world.