After six years as the spiritual leader of Congregation Emanu-El of Waukesha, Cantor Deborah Martin is to retire on June 30, 2021.
Martin grew up in New Jersey and began her musical training taking piano lessons, and then later, voice lessons. She trained classically and received a Bachelor of Music with honors from the New England Conservatory of Music, and a Master of Music from the Boston Conservatory of Music. She has performed opera throughout the United States. Her debut performance was as Rosina in “The Barber of Seville” with the Boston Symphony.
Martin served as cantor for 24 years at Temple Beth-El in Madison before joining Congregation Emanu-El of Waukesha as its first female Spiritual Leader.
“It has been very rewarding and fulfilling to be spiritual leader these past six years, and I will cherish the time I have had with this very special congregation,” Martin said. “It is the right moment for me to spend more time with my family and to be more available to them. It will be time for more travel and relaxation. I will likely continue teaching and doing lifecycle events, but I want it to be truly a parttime work schedule with more flexibility.”
Under Martin’s leadership, CEEW instituted a series of Summer outdoor worship services, began offering mid-week Hebrew classes for children and new adult educational experiences, and participated in many interreligious activities. Cantor Martin planned and celebrated the 80th anniversary of the founding of the synagogue with a gala concert at Carroll University. She was also invaluable in navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release.