The Jewish Theological Seminary awarded honorary doctorates to 20 cantors for their distinguished service to the Jewish community at a convocation on March 12. All are members of the Cantors Assembly. Through the degrees it conferred, JTS celebrated the cantors’ achievements and their contributions to Jewish life.

This is the first time that JTS has awarded honorary degrees to female cantors.

The ceremony was at Sutton Place Synagogue in Manhattan. Marc Gary, JTS’s executive vice chancellor and chief operating officer, presided, and its chancellor, Professor Arnold M. Eisen, conferred the degrees and delivered the convocation address. Rabbi Daniel S. Nevins, Pearl Resnick Dean of the Rabbinical School and the Division of Religious Leadership, and Cantor Nancy Abramson, director of the H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music, sponsored the honorees. There were musical performances throughout the program.

Cantor Carey Cohen, who is retired and lives in Hackensack, was among the honorees. He tutors Judaic studies and does bar and bat mitzvah training for Cantor Barbara Lieberstein and her students in Bergen and Rockland counties.

For 21 years, he served as cantor and educator at Congregation Beth Israel in Milwaukee, and he was on the board of the Cantors Assembly of America and Canada.