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Welcome to the website of the European Cantors Association
Patrons: Cantor Naftali Herstik, Cantor Joseph Malovany, Cantor Asher Hainovitz

Our 15th Cantors Convention is this week!

reports from the Convention will appear after its conclusion

A review of our 14th Convention, in Budapest in November 2022, is here.
We continue to upload the sessions from the 14th Convention on our YouTube channel.

‘From Our Lips …’ celebrating synagogue music

Group Of Male CantorsFemale Cantors Group

What stirs congregants to prayer these days? To what modes and tunes does a community emotionally respond? What ‘boots people up’ for the Sabbath or the Festivals these days and draws them to shul? ECA and associates are providing the opportunity for synagogues to ‘show and tell’ what works for them.

All synagogues are invited to participate in From Our Lips …’ A Festival of Synagogue Music from 14 January to 14 April 2024, by putting their name down for a particular Shabbat, weekday or any other service (or a concert of synagogue music) between Sunday 14 January and Sunday 14 April 2024.

This nationwide festival is for all kinds and sizes of synagogues, whether tiny, small, medium or large, across the spectrum of Jewish worship. Jewish prayer is always sung – and this is the chance for communities to share their congregation’s particular tastes and preferences and their musical tradition.

It does not matter whether this is driven by a professional or a lay member, or if there is a choir, or simply by the members of the congregation singing together. We want to hear whatever moves your congregation for your chosen festival service.

Read more about this project. To participate in the festival email festival@cantors.eu

Chazanim Encylopaedia - New Edition Published

A new edition of the Jolles Encyclopaedia of British Jewish Cantors, Chazanim, Ministers and Synagogue Musicians, their history and culture was published on 30th July 2023.

This is an expanded version from the previous 2021 edition. To get a copy (there is no charge, but a donation to the European Cantors Association would always be welcome) please email DownloadJollesEncyclopaedia@cantors.eu and request the link for searchable pdf to be sent to you.


Composing Synagogue Music for the 21st Century :
The Music of Rabbi Geoffrey Shisler

The recording of this programme, broadcast live on 27th June 2023, is here

Remembering Rabbi Cantor Michael Plaskow MBE

Rabbi Cantor Michael Plaskow MBE was Emeritus Chazan of London's Woodside Park Synagogue, London and City of London Freeman.

He 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.

Michael 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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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 6th November 2023