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Welcome to the website of the European Cantors Association
Patrons: Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis; Cantor Naftali Herstik, Cantor Joseph Malovany, Cantor Asher Hainovitz

Edgware United Adult Education with the European Cantors Association presented
From Our Lips … to G-d’s Ears
What should we expect from the person leading our services?

Is there a standard that should be expected?
Who sets the standard?   
Who makes sure that the standard can be met?

Who makes sure that those employed to lead services are fit for the job?
And why would anyone train for this mission without expectation of employment as a clergy member ?

The recording of this event, which attracted a lot of people and views is here

A person wearing glasses  Description automatically generated with medium confidenceMichael Goldstein, President of the United Synagogue:‘It is very important to me that the person who leads the services, understands and appreciates t’filah and can interpret the prayers using our wonderful nusach and knows what they are doing’. 

A person wearing glasses  Description automatically generated with medium confidenceChief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis (right): ‘Nusach is so important that we have to guarantee that the traditional melodies and ways of leading a service will be preserved, please God, for generations to come.’

Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, 1991 – 2013 (Left): ‘How do we make Judaism live for a new generation – the answer is, we have to make it sing! … if there is no music – you can’t hand it on!’
Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum (Right): Dean of the London School of Jewish Studies.  ‘We need to sing in shul to reach God’

The recording can be viewed here

Announcing Our 15th Cantors Convention
Hannover, 6 - 11 November 2023

A gathering for all those who love the music of Jewish prayer
Theme: Togetherness

We are very excited to announce our next ECA Convention

It will take place in the beautiful Villa Seligmann in Hannover from the evening of Monday 6th November 2023 to late night on Motzei Shabbat 11th November, after the Gala concert. We have outstanding presenters and a full programme with very special and historical firsts. There will be opportunities to sing, entertain us all and to take an active part in the programme.

Enjoy sessions with leading international cantors, a Shabbat of choral and cantorial beauty, daily minyanim, a tour of Jewish Hannover and an optional visit to Bergen Belsen.

Convention is again at the historic and beautiful Villa Seligmann, (pictured) the House for Jewish music and at Hannover synagogue.

Further details, including the registration form and where to direct enquiries are here.

After our very successful Budapest Convention, which has been nominated for The Hungarian Tourist Event of the Year Award, we are looking forward to bringing you our next offering.

We would like to know as soon as possible if you will be attending in order to accommodate those who want to take part. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in Hannover in November.

A review of our 14th Convention, in Budapest in November 2022, is here

Remembering Rabbi Cantor Michael Plaskow MBE

We were saddened to learn shortly before Pesach of the passing in Israel of Rabbi Cantor Michael Plaskow MBE, Emeritus Chazan of London's Woodside Park Synagogue, London and City of London Freeman.

Michael was a great and distinguished chazan, mohel and leader in both the Jewish and wider communities, later taking Semicha. He was at Woodside Park Synagogue for an amazing 43 years and a practising Mohel for 33 years, initiating some 16,000 babies.

We wish Michael's daughters Angela and Rosalind and his brother Stuart, Chayim Arukim.

Michael Plaskow was one of our stars in November 2021 in our 'Voice of the Cantor' series when he was interviewed by ECA Director,
Alex Klein. You can see that interview here on our YouTube Channel and listen here to the podcast version.

Why Do We Mumble Our Prayers?

David Aaronovitch in his UK Jewish Chronicle article of 15 December 2022 asks
‘why do we mumble our prayers?’   

ECA Exec, Geraldine Auerbach, argues there has been no recognised or endorsed training for orthodox prayer leaders in the UK for decades; nor is there an agreed standard to attain. And even if there was a standard, she argues, there is virtually no hope of employment as a prayer-leader.

Read more of this here.
ECA's suggestion to UK United Synagogue to remedy the situation: "From Our Lips...".


Check out and subscribe to our YouTube Channel for a reprise on all our activity,
including the 21 programmes of 'Voice of the Cantor' published in 2020 - 2022.

Clips from our 14th Cantors Convention are also posted there.

Our Facebook; Twitter and Instagram pages are also regularly updated.



Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks' extolling value of Jewish Music

- reprised

We have republished a video featuring late Chief Rabbi of the UK and the Commonwealth, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks extolling the virtues of Jewish Music at the 25th Anniversary of the Jewish Music Institute in 2010.

The video is here.

"To me music is the most spiritual form of expression that exists Music was absolutely essential to Jewish spirituality" he says. "Words are the language of the mind – but music is the language of the soul".

He talks about nusach : "...you know exactly when and what kind of literature you are listening to, simply from listening to the music When we move from the secular to the spiritual – words take wings through music".

"How do we make Judaism live for a new generation – that answer is, we have to make it sing. If it has no music, no emotional contact, if there is no music – you can’t hand it on."

Additional Resources:


Links to other cantorial-related sites

Shuls With A Cantor In The United Kingdom
(please advise of any changes)

Layaning in English

To Download the Jolles Encyclopaedia of British Jewish Cantors, Chazanim, Ministers and Synagogue Musicians, their history and culture email DownloadJollesEncyclopaedia@cantors.eu and request the link for searchable pdf to be sent to you.

About ECA:

ECA is an independent organisation, based on orthodox tradition and convention but open to all who are interested in the music of the synagogue and the role and art of the cantor.

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* See the Aims of the European Cantors Association.

* See the people involved in the European Cantors Association.

ECA was officially launched on 2 July 2012 at the 7th Annual European Cantors' Convention Manchester UK 2 - 5 July 2012,
by Cantor Joseph Malovany of the 5th Avenue Synagogue New York.

Cantor Malovany is also Professor of Liturgical Music at Yeshiva University and co-Director of the Moscow Academy for Liturgical Music.

Last Updated 1st June 2023