Contrary to popular belief, Cantor Claire Franco did not always know that she wanted to be a cantor. In fact, it happened quite by accident. Although she played piano, sang and performed in theater throughout her life, she studied finance and English literature at Florida State University and the University of South Florida. A chance encounter with a religious school educator, some music teaching and a Friday night service led her to her calling and more literally to the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) first in Jerusalem and then in New York. It was there that she realized that this profession would allow her to combine all of the things that she loved: music, teaching, Judaism and interacting with people.
While at HUC-JIR in New York, Cantor Franco served as the student cantor at Temple Shaaray Tefila in Manhattan. Upon her investiture in 1996, she went to Temple B’nai Shalom in East Brunswick, New Jersey where she served as the cantor for 7 years. Cantor Franco joined the clergy at The Community Synagogue in 2003.
Cantor Franco currently serves as the Vice President of Placement, Continuing Education and Conventions for the American Conference of Cantors-the professional organization for Cantors in North America. Additionally she is the immediate past president of the Alumni Association of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music; the institution from which she received her Masters in Sacred Music and her investiture as Cantor. She has authored articles for the Union for Reform Judaism on prayer and can be heard on many of their recordings. In November of 2010, Cantor Franco performed in concert at the Basilica Santa Maria degli Angeli dei Martiri in Rome. This concert is featured in the documentary “To God’s Ears."
But her proudest and most important accomplishments are her happy marriage to Alan and their three girls; Lael, Eden and Emory.
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