IDA RAE CAHANA is acknowledged as one of the first female cantorial soloists in the United States, eventually becoming ordained as Cantor by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1993. Along the way, she completed advanced degrees in voice from Carnegie-Mellon University and New England Conservatory of Music. Ida Rae appeared on Broadway with Phyllis Newman in I Married an Angel and as a featured soloist at Alice Tully Hall with Leonard Nimoy, at Merkin Concert Hall with Zalmen Mlotek, and at the 92nd Street Y with Theodore Bikel. She was one of three cantors chosen for the acclaimed presentation of Vanished Voices at the Barbican Centre in London, and is featured soloist on the Milken Archive Recordings of Jewish Music on the Naxos label. She has served congregations throughout the U.S., including as Senior Cantor for Central Synagogue, NYC.
In 2012, Ida Rae was installed as Senior Cantor for Congregation Beth Israel in Portland, Oregon. She created the role of “Paulinka Bim Bam” for the Jewish Theater Collaborative in the 2008 premiere of Charlotte Salomon: Life? Or Theatre?, reprising the role in 2011. She is one of the original cast in Rabbi Alan Berg and Michael Allen Harrison’s Crossing Over, a multicultural retelling of the Exodus story, and looks forward to the spring 2017 performance.
December 2010 marked her Carnegie Hall debut, singing with the fabulous Thomas Lauderdale and Pink Martini. Ida Rae is probably the only cantor to be able to say that she “toured with the band” – on the East Coast with Pink Martini and Storm Large in December 2011.
“I am grateful to be back at Walt Disney Concert Hall, joining in the spirit of hope created by Pink Martini, living in Portland with my beloved husband, Rabbi Michael Cahana, and children David, Sarit, Liora, and Idit.”