ANSHE EMETH MEMORIAL Temple will honor Cantor Anna Ott with the Crown of Torah award on Sunday, May 21. The award is the highest honor the temple bestows to those with exemplary service to the community.
Cantor Ott is celebrating her 18th year at Anshe Emeth. She leads the synagogue music program and has a role in the community’s education and lifecycle events.
She began taking piano lessons at the age of 7 and studied for five years with Juilliard-trained jazz great Morris Nanton. After attending yeshivas through 12th grade and singing largely folk and traditional Israeli song, she had her first spiritual experience through music while singing in a non-denominational service with the Kirkpatrick Chapel Choir at Rutgers University. This piqued her curiosity to explore religious music in the synagogue. She found music in the Reform movement and joined the choir at Temple B’nai Shalom in East Brunswick. With three young children, she then went back to school in 1994 to pursue cantorial studies and joined Anshe Emeth in 1999.
Ott is most proud of her positive influence on the youth. “Kids will always let you know when they love a melody,” she said. “They embrace it with their whole being. I’ve been honored that they’ve chosen to love the music that I have taught them. It’s pure pleasure to teach kids to sing.”
For more information about Crown of Torah visit aemt.net.