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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


We wish everyone a tuneful and Kosher Pesach!

UKRAINIAN CANTORIAL SUPERSTARS
OF THE GOLDEN AGE

ECA teamed up with the North American Cantors Assembly, UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and the Jewish Music Institute to present a special programme featuring Ukrainian Cantorial Superstars such as Rosenblatt, Hershman and Joseph Schmidt.

If you missed it, the recording of this presentation is here.

Presented by ECA Director Alex Klein and Chazanut expert David Prager, we were also honoured to feature Ukrainian-born Cantor Svetlana Kundish.

The session included some rare, interesting photos as well as classic chazonus of hope represented by Pesach/Tal excerpts

You can donate to World Jewish Relief in recognition of the situation in Ukraine. For more info, go to https://worldjewishrelief.org/about-us.

Our joint event with Edgware Synagogue, UK, on Tuesday March 29th at 8pm saw EUS's Spencer Nathan interview world-famous Chazan, Joseph Malovany.

You can watch it back here.

Chazan Malovany served as Cantor for Edgware Synagogue from 1968 to 1973 before moving to New York's Fifth Avenue Synagogue where he continues to this day.

Distinguished Professor of Liturgical Music at the Philip and Sarah Belz School of Jewish Music, Yeshiva University, Cantor Malovany was elected to the Manhattan Jewish Hall of Fame just before the pandemic.

He is the only Chazan so far to have achieved this honour.

 

Our 14th European Cantors Convention Will Take Place from 2nd - 7th Nov 2022 at the Rumbach Synagogue, Budapest. Details After Pesach

 

Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks' extolling value of Jewish Music

- reprised

We have just 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."

Read our Autumn 2021 newsletter. In this latest edition:

  • A Message from our ECA Director Alex Klein – talking about the European Cantors Association and welcoming its warm collaborators in the UK, USA, Israel and Europe.                 

  • We announce the next ECA European Cantors Convention to take place (Covid permitting) in Budapest in November 2022

  • We report on the Launch of the exceptional Michael Jolles Encyclopaedia of Synagogue musicians in Britain from 1656 to the present - and show how you can download your copy. – and also how to contact the editors to submit further information.

  • We introduce The Voice of the Cantor (VOC)-2 – Alex Klein conducts a series of interviews with distinguished cantors around the world. This continues fortnightly on Wednesdays. Register at https://bit.ly/eca-voc2                                    

  • We share our ECA mission of Bringing together all who love Jewish liturgical music and the power it brings to prayer

You are also invited to share the Birthday Book of 70 messages compiled by ECA for our Director Alex Klein’s 70th birthday earlier this year. If you would like to add a personal message to Alex on this milestone, send it to geraldine@cantors.eu with a picture and we will add it.

Click here for the latest newsletter.

if you missed it.....

Voice of the Cantor Series 2 - Cantors Who Have Made Their Mark

Our second series of 'Voice of the Cantor - Cantors Who Have Made Their Mark' ran in the Autumn and Winter 2021-22.
In a series of one-on-one programmes, ECA Director Alex Klein talked with those luminaries in the cantorate whose legacy needs little introduction.

The series featured cantors Beny Maissner, Rabbi Michael Plaskow, Rabbi Lionel Rosenfeld, Alberto Mizrahi, Jacob Mendelson,
Faith Steinsnyder, Moshe Dubiner, Deborah Katchko-Gray and Gideon Zelermyer.

You can catch up on the programmes :

* In the first programme in this series Alex Klein talked with Cantor Beny Maissner. Go here on YouTube and go here for the podcast
* The second programme featured Cantor Jacob Mendelson. Go here on YouTube and here as a podcast
* The third programme, starred Cantor Moshe Dubiner. Go here on YouTube and here as a podcast
*The fourth programme featured Rabbi Cantor Michael Plaskow. Go here on YouTube and here as a podcast
*The fifth programme featured Alex Klein himself interviewed by Rabbi Yossi Binstock. Go here on YouTube and here as a podcast
*The sixth programme featured Cantor Faith Steinsnyder. Go here on YouTube and here as a podcast
*The seventh programme featured Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray. Go here on YouTube and here as a podcast
*The eighth programme featured Rabbi Cantor Lionel Rosenfeld. Go here on YouTube and here as a podcast
*The ninth programme featured Cantor Alberto Mizrahi. Go here on YouTube and here as a podcast
*The tenth programme featured Cantor Gideon Zelermyer. Go here on YouTube and here as a podcast

And you can catch our first series of Voice of the Cantor, staged in the first half of 2021, on this page.

Thank you to all the cantors who gave freely of their time to talk to us in both these ground-breaking series.

ECA and Edgware Synagogue presented three programmes
On Cantorial Music of the UK Provinces

In the first session, Rabbi Cantor Geoffrey Shisler, featured Star Chazanim Of The Provinces. The recording is here.

The second session saw David Prager Alex Klein play 5 Choral Cantorial Gems with choirs in Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. The recording is here.

Last in the series was presented by Cantor Yehuda Marx who took a look at the Manchester Cantorial Scene Today, featuring Chazanim from Britain's second most populous Jewish City. The recording is here.

Unsung Heroes - Composers for the Great Cantors.
Presented by David Prager and Alex Klein

Sunday February 27 at 1:00 PM US Eastern / 6:00 PM UK

For those interested in genealogy and chazanut, this joint presentation by Cantors Assembly and ECA was a unique opportunity to hear about "Sung Unsung Hero" Arele Bloom who composed Boruch Hashem Bayom for Mordechai Hershman and the Lekel Boruch sung so magnificently at the NY memorial concert for Moshe Koussevitzky.

The presentation included the 1921 soundtrack of Hershman and a number of films of Yanky Lemmer, Tibor Kelen, Moshe Geffen and David Bagley singing Arele Bloom's pieces. There was also be a rare photo of Bloom and a copy of a Va'anachnu Lo Neda manuscript in Bloom's own handwriting recently found in a house clearance plus a rare recording from the national library of Israel of an old 78 record with this piece.

All Bloom'scompositions are characterised by beautiful recitatives and masterful peirush hamilos. Lekel Boruch constitutes the particular composing challenge to breathe dramatic interest into a prayerful list like poel gvuros, oseh chadoshos, ba'al milchomos, zorea tzedokos, matzmiach yeshuos, boreh refuos, noroh sehilos etc., etc. and finish with a phenomenally emotionally built brochoh.

Somehow information on Bloom's birth, career and death has not been prominent so this presentation paid well-earned tribute to a genius whose trajectory through life has been painstakingly tracked down.

ECA together with the Cantors Assembly Listening Room brought you David Prager and Alex Klein in a second special international edition. The recording is not yet available but we hope to make it so soon.

See the making of a Professional Chazan - presented by ECA and Edgware United Synagogue on 7th December featuring
Cantor Yossi Schwarz, Chazan of Edgware United  

Jolles EncyclopaediaBook Launch 6th October 2021:
Encyclopaedia of British Jewish Cantors,
Chazanim, Ministers and Synagogue Musicians:
their history and culture

The European Cantors Association staged the International Launch of Michael Jolles’s
Encyclopaedia of British Jewish Cantors, Chazanim, Ministers and Synagogue Musicians: their history and culture
on October 6th. 

This book is a major contribution to the knowledge of cantors and ministers who have served British Jewish communities in a musical capacity over the centuries from 1656 to the present day. After ten years of dedicated research, Dr Michael Jolles has produced a remarkable volume of material never assembled in one place before. It includes much information that is not available in any other publication.

Notable quotes from the international launch are :

“Singing is so essential as part of our davening….Imagine someone reading a Beatles song without the music. 
When the Chazan begins to sing it transforms us.  There is no talking to G-d, only singing”. 

Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum; Dean London School of Jewish Studies.

“A publication of the this breadth and depth is so significant for Jewish Music.  We need to have one of these for US cantors”.  
Professor Mark Kligman, Professor of Musicology, and Director of the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience, UCLA

“Cantors are a crucial part of Jewish history and yet comprise the thinnest, glimmering thread of actual scholarship.
The Jolles book adds to a now-wonderful blossoming of scholarship on the cantorate.”  
Cantor Matt Austerklein, PhD Scholar, Halle-Wittenberg University, Germany.

To watch the recording of the event go here. To listen to a podcast of the event go here. To download the book (which is free of charge) go here.


FIVE DAZZLING UK CANTORS

A presentation by cantorial expert David Prager and ECA Director Alex Klein on '5 Dazzling UK Cantors' in junction with Edgware United Synagogue was a hit with an international audience and many engaged participants

If you missed the event, it's recorded here


Robert Brody's favourite Yamim Noraim Melodies

For those who may have missed it, here is the presentation by Robert Brody on August 31st of his favourite Yamim Noraim melodies in a presentation hosted by Edgware United Synagogue


VOC Screen ShotCatch Up With The Acclaimed First Series
of 'Voice Of The Cantor

ECA has received many plaudits for our first 'Voice of the Cantor' series, which ran from March to July 2021over 11 sessions and covered a number of contemporary issues for the cantorate today. You can catch up with the first series here.


First Night Selichos Live Recordings

If you didn't manage to attend a service online for First Night Selicos in 2021, here's a catch up of a diverse sample:

Hampton Synagogue, US - Cantor Netanel Herstik (Highlights): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAX7vSQBSQM
Edgware United Synagogue, UK - Cantor Yossi Schwartz : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pe_ZKHjNTQ
Shabbaton Choir,
UK - Rabbi Cantor Lionel Rosenfeld and Cantor Johnny Turgel : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfCysPDdJOU
Park East Synagogue, US - Chief Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb2PWdwj4wI
Central Synagogue NYC, US - Cantor Dan Mutlu & Student Cantor Shani Ben-Or : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9wNlt3N6kU
Temple Israel Charlotte,
US - Cantor Shira Lissek : https://youtu.be/UMh7MFmiU00
Western Marble Arch, UK - Cantor Yossi Muller : https://www.facebook.com/westernmarblearch/videos/535269790924562


From Shtibl to Pirchei Kodesh

Go here to hear the recording of 'From Shtibl to Pirchei Kodesh' with Cantor Benjamin Maissner
Cantor Emeritus of Holy Blossom Temple of Toronto and teacher and performer, talking to Alex Klein
Director of the European Cantors Association on his cantorial journey and philosophy

Recorded live on June 8th 2021.


Additional Resources:

JVocals is an innovative Israeli startup designed to boost the revival of Jewish music, with an emphasis on cantorial art.
For cantors who want to list and directly promote their services there are no registration fees:
http://www.jvocals.com/

Links to other cantorial-related sites

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

Layaning in English

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.

European Cantors on Facebook

European Cantors On Twitter

* 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 10th April 2022