Cantor Renata Kruzhkova Braun was born and raised in the Ukraine and began her music studies at the age of four, ultimately receiving a B.A. in Choral Conducting from The Music College of Uman, Ukraine. While studying for her B.A., she traveled to remote areas of the Ukraine, recording Ukranian folk music into musical notation to preserve that music for future generations. While studying for her Masters Degree in Choral Conducting from Donetzk State Conservatory, Renata participated in the Conservatory Chamber Choir, performed throughout the Ukraine and Soviet Union, and trained and conducted volunteer and professional adult and children’s choirs.
In 1999, six years after immigrating to the United States, Cantor Braun received a Master’s Degree in Sacred Music and was invested as a Cantor from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. While studying at HUC-JIR, she trained and conducted the student’s choir at Hebrew Union College and served as Cantor at Union Reform Temple of Freeport, New York. She also was selected that year as the only United States representative of synagogue music at The Annual Festival of Jewish Culture in Berlin, Germany, where she coordinated and performed a “solo” concert of Eastern European and American Cantorial music with “RIAS” Chamber Choir of Berlin.
Cantor Braun has served as Cantor at Temple Emanu- El, Livingston, New Jersey and at Temple Shalom of Newton, Massachusetts. In 2007, Cantor Braun became the Cantor at Temple Oheb Shalom, Baltimore Maryland. Cantor Braun is married to Dr. David Braun. They have two sons, Daniel and Jonathan.