My Story

Cantor Susan Caro is proud to be the Cantor of the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation in Reston, Virginia.  A native New Yorker, Cantor Susan is the immediate past President on the Executive Board of the American Conference of Cantors (AAC), a professional organization which supports its members in their sacred calling as clergy committed to Judaism and for Jewish music.  She shares her time between congregational cantorial roles in Los Angeles and Singapore, and also as a Hospice Chaplain with Kaiser Permanente.  Prior to receiving her Masters in Sacred Music and Ordination form the School of Sacred Music at the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in New York (1993), she graduated with honors from New York University.


After living in Israel, Cantor Caro served congregations in New York, New Jersey, Tarzana and Singapore, devoting much of her energy to sacred journeys and spiritual experiences through the lens of music, exploring the confluence of music and wholeness in the totality of our lives.  Her roots in Jewish music began songleading for many years at Union for Reform Judaism summer camps, with experience spanning years of work with youth and adults in a variety of teaching liturgical and spiritual work.  Trained in Spiritual Direction, Cantor Caro is a current fellow of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, a participant in the first Cantorial cohort and periodically serves on faculty for the Lay Retreats.  She has served on the faculty of both the Hebrew Union College and the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles.


Cantor Caro strives for excellence and sincerity in the work of Jewish clergy as demonstrated by her long track record of work and commitment to the ideals and future of the Reform Cantorate.  As the immediate Past President of the ACC, she continues to serve on it's Executive Board of the URJ, and is a long-time member of its Joint Commission on Worship, Music and Religious Living, including as past Vice-Chair.  She has coordinated the breadth of ACC involvement for numerous URJ National and Regional Biennial Conventions; through the years, she chaired a variety of Task Forces for the ACC, has served on the faculty of the URL's Summer Adult Study Kallah, the URJ's Commission on Social Action, the National Camp Commission, the URJ-Pacific Southwest Council Executive Board, and is a past chair of the ACC-Pacific Southwest Region.  Drawing upon great support and insight from colleagues, Cantor Caro was the editor of Divrei Shir, the curriculum developed by the ACC in conjunction with the URJ for Adult Education in the area of Jewish music, and is an accomplished flutist having studied at the Juilliard School of Music.


When not working, you may find Susan with a book, on a hike, enjoying nature, yoga, travel, cooking or enjoying good wine, and feeling blessed to share her life with her Husband, John Lertzman and their adult children, families and their dog Mole'.