The Jewish Community of Ojai (JCO) welcomes Mitzi Schwarz as its Cantorial Soloist and Certified Chaplain to its clergy staff. She has been leading services as a Cantorial Soloist and Service Leader since 2001. Her passion has always encompassed music, healing, teaching, and spirituality. She began this role to JCO in December, 2022 although she had already been on the pulpit during the previous two cycles of High Holy Day services.
The journey that led her to the Jewish Community of Ojai began decades ago in the world of musical theater, performing with the Kentwood Players (Los Angeles), the Conejo Valley Theater, and the Jewish Women’s Repertory Company (Los Angeles). For more than 25 years, Mitzi has given concerts for groups as diverse as the City of Hope, the Anti-Defamation League, The Holy Spirit Retreat Center, and the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. She has also sung for countless weddings, birthdays, and celebrations of every kind.
Mitzi earned her master’s degree in Jewish Studies from the Academy for Jewish Religion, California. She has worked for the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Spiritual Care Department under the leadership and guidance of Rabbi Dr. Jason Weiner, and for Skirball Hospice and Palliative Care as a Hospice Chaplain. Currently, as a Chaplain, Mitzi serves as Life Cycle Officiant and, as such, is called upon to officiate at weddings, baby namings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and, of course, funeral services.
Mitzi is an active member of the Women Cantors’ Network (WCN), an international organization dedicated to providing continuing education in areas related to the cantorate and Jewish music.
In 2014, Mitzi released her first CD, “Remember Who You Are: Songs of The Spirit”. All the songs on this CD were written by incredibly talented members of Makom Ohr Shalom in Woodland Hills. You can hear samples of her exceptional vocal talent at mitzismusic.com.
The Jewish Community of Ojai is honored to have Mitzi Schwarz join our clergy staff as our Cantorial Soloist.