Merri Lovinger Arian

she/her

Merri Lovinger Arian serves as Professor of Practice in Liturgical Arts and Music Education in the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. She teaches both cantorial and rabbinic students, offering courses in Music Education, Conducting, Congregational Singing, Worship, and Contemporary Congregational Repertoire. Merri also supervises rabbinic and cantorial students in creating worship collaboratively at the College-Institute. Merri is frequently invited as an artist-in-residence in congregations across the country and has served as a music consultant to a number of congregations, exploring with the clergy team ways to enhance the worship in their congregation.


A long-standing faculty member for Hava Nashira, Merri served as the faculty director from 2005 – 2011. In addition, she served as the faculty director for Shabbat Shira, from its inception in 2010 – 2018. Merri also frequently serves on the faculty of the North American Jewish Choral Festival. She was invited to conduct the Biennial Choir for the URJ Biennial in 2013 and again, in 2015.


Merri holds an MA in Teaching, a BFA in Music Education, and a Certificate in Music Therapy. Merri edited R’fuah Sh’leimah: Songs of Healing. Her recordings include Nefesh: Songs for the Soul, a CD for Synagogue 2000, and NFTY in Harmony, an album with an accompanying songbook of original choral arrangements. She has written on “Music, Prayer and Sacred Community,” on the educational value of youth choirs, and was a contributing writer in Who By Fire, Who By Water: Un’taneh Tokef, edited by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman. Merri’s newest book, published by Transcontinental Music Publications, is entitled Leveling the Praying Field: Methods and Melodies to Elevate Congregational Worship.

Merri Lovinger Arian