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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

ECA Summer Newsletter Now Out

ECA's Summer Newsletter is now out. ECA Director Alex Klein reveiws the recent 'Voice of the Cantor' series; Daniel Tunkel asks "Do we need a synagogue choir?"; and Cantor Beny Maissner reflects on the European Cantors Conventions - across the spectrum of Jewish denominations.

Positions for High Holydays 5782

At this time of the year, the European Cantors Association receives a number of requests for placement for the High Holydays from Cantors and Baalei Tefillah who have not yet secured positions.  However, we don't have the resources yet to run a matching service between shuls and prospective officiants

So rather than contact us directly, our suggestion is to enquire publicly through the busy ECA Facebook site.  Although this is more 'revealing' than emailing us privately, that can cut both ways and it's more likely to secure something.  Due to the pandemic, many people have not been able to secure positions for High Holydays in the way they normally might. Hatzlacha for those who are seeing positions.

'Voice of the Cantor' series ends on a high note

Our 'Voice of the Cantor' series ended on Thursday 1st July with an optimistic note from the cantors on the panel "The Rise Of The Female Cantor" about what the next ten years could bring for cantors, congregations and kehillot if people with influence in the cantorate were able to apply effort to it.

The whole series has been a remarkable series of insights into the joys, fears and hopes of the cantor in today's world.
We thank the 40+ cantors, rabbis, prayer leaders and music directors who have taken part and everyone who has tuned in - this has been hundreds of you.

All eleven session recordings are now available via the links below to our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK2qAUlIsThTg9oe7mDilkA and our podcast channel https://anchor.fm/dashboard/episodes.
Over the coming weeks we will be revisiting this remarkable series and looking at the issues, challenge, ideas and opportunities for the cantorate today discussed and the next steps which could be taken to improve the cantorate and the promotion of synagogue music.

The detailed programme, which ran from 3rd March to 1st July is here. Previous episode recording links are below

Our eleventh and final session:

Cantorial Art, Into The Future II : The Rise Of The Female Cantor
Cantor Jaclyn Chernett European Academy for Jewish Liturgy
Cantor Zöe Jacobs Finchley Reform Synagogue, London
Cantor Tamara Wolfson Alyth Reform Synagogue, London
Shani Ben Or Jerusalem and New York
Cantor Daniel Singer Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, NYC
Moderator Russell Grossman


The video recording is here. The podcast is here.

Our tenth session:

Cantorial Art, Into The Future I : Renaissance In Europe 

Chief Cantor Shmuel Barzilai Viennese City Temple
Cantor Assaf Levitin Ex-Hanover Liberal Jewish Community
Cantor Nathan Goldman IRGW Stuttgart Synagogue
Cantor Daniel Rudas Dohany Synagogue Budapest
Cantor Bryan Wood Alt Neu Shul Prague
Moderator Hirsh Cashdan

The video recording is here. The podcast is here.

Our ninth session:

Who Needs A Shul Choir?

Benjamin Wolf Musical Director, Belsize Square Synagogue, UK
Alexander Tsaliuk Artistic Director, Moscow Male Jewish Choir, Russia
Ruti Worrall Choir Director, Menorah Synagogue, Cheshire, UK
Evelyn Green Musical Director, Johannesburg Jewish Male Choir, South Africa
Alan Freedman Musical Director, The London Cantorial Singers, UK
Moderator Daniel Tunkel

Thank you to all who took part. this event was held jointly with the Cantors Assembly

The video recording is here. The podcast is here.

Our eighth session:

Who Needs Nusach? Part II

Cantor Hinda Labovitz Ohr Kodesh Congregation, Chevy Chase, Maryland
Cantor Jacob Mendelson Eminent cantor and international performer
Cantor Gideon Zelermyer Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, Montreal
Charles Heller Writer and retired choirmaster Toronto

Moderator Hirsh Cashdan

Thank you to all who took part. this event was held jointly with the Cantors Assembly

The podcast is here and the video recording is here.

Our seventh session:

Who Needs Nusach? Part I

Cantor Asher Hainovitz Yeshurun Synagogue, Jerusalem
 Cantor Geoffrey Shisler Teacher and Rabbi/Cantor (retired)
Charles Heller Writer and retired choirmaster Toronto
 Benjy Rickman Holy Law Synagogue,Manchester

Moderator Hirsh Cashdan

Thank you to all who took part.

The podcast is here and the video is here

Our sixth session:

The Sephardi Cantor : How Similar, How Different? was on Wednesday 12th May

Cantor Eliot Alderman Freelance Synagogue Musician, UK
Cantor Aaron Bensoussan Toronto
Rabbi Jeff Berger Wembley Sephardi Community, London, UK
Hazzan Dr. Ramón Tasat Shirat HaNefesh Cong., Maryland, US

Moderator Daniel Tunkel

Thank you to all who took part. This session was run jointly with the Cantors Assembly

The podcast is here and the video is here

Our fifth session:

The Carlebach Conundrum was on Wednesday 28th April with

Cantor Asher Hainovitz Yeshurun Synagogue, Jerusalem
Rabbi Yossi Binstock St John’s Wood Synagogue, London
Rabbi Michael Wolk Temple Israel, Charlotte NC, USA
Yehuda Marx Heaton Park Synagogue, Manchester UK
Alex Klein Director, European Cantors Association

Moderator Russell Grossman Thank you to all who took part

The podcast is here and the video is here

Our fourth session:

The Challenge of Modern Orthodoxy for the Cantorate was on Wednesday 14th April with

Michael Goldstein President, United Synagogue UK
Cantor /Minister Alby Chait United Hebrew Congregation, Leeds
Cantor Steven Leas Central Synagogue, London
Rabbi Cantor Danny Bergson St Annes Hebrew Congregation, St Annes
Cantor Adam Caplan Prestwich Hebrew Congregation, Manchester

Moderator Hirsh Cashdan Thank you to all who took part

The podcast is here and the video is here

Our third session is now available to listen to and view.

"Passover In Pandemic" on March 31st was with Rabbi Meir Shindler Richmond Synagogue, Richmond, Surrey
Rabbi Cantor Natan Fagelman Allerton Synagogue, Liverpool
/Minister Alby Chait United Hebrew Congregation, Leeds
Moderated by ECA's Hirsh Cashdan

Thank you to all who took part

The podcast is here and the video is here

Our second session:

"Crossing the Pond" on March 17th was with Cantor Benny Rogosnitzky, Park East Synagogue,NYC;
Jason Green, Kehillat Beth Israel Congregation, Ottawa; and
Cantor Gershon Silins,West London Synagogue, London
Moderated by ECA's Russell Grossman.

Thank you to all who took part

The podcast is here and the video is here.

Did you miss our first curtain-raiser for this innovative programme,
held in conjunction with the Cantors Assembly?
On March 3rd we presented internationally renowned cantor and star of the musical theatre,
Dudu Fisher
in conversation with ECA Director Alex Klein

* read a report of the event here and
* listen to the podcast of this event here


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.

Conversations on Zoom - Every Tuuesday


also live streamed on the IFJMS YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXWueOMq-66z0vM2F5BxOug  

and on Facebook at https://fb.me/e/1vfujmwqe

Visit the Forum’s website  https://jewishmusic.hcommons.org/ and scroll down to see how to join Forum’s Jewish Music Group

And if you missed the 'Conversations On Zoom' on Tuesday March 2nd with a panel of faculty from the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, go here to hear Cantor Azi Schwartz, Merri Arian, Cantor Jonathan Comisar, and Joyce Rosenzweig in conversation with Dr Gordon Dale
In Social Distance to Spiritual Connection they cover how they have made socially distanced, but spiritually connected, Jewish music and worship during the Pandemic


Liturgy in Lockdown Competition

The Covid-19 Lockdown has affected all of us in many ways. Not least in our relationship with music. 

Our ECA members include many composers and arrangers.  We are inviting – or challenging – those to contribute compositions they have specifically created during this period of enforced separation from our synagogues and communal life. 

We won't suggest too many "ground rules" but there should be a few.

1.     ECA is about cantorial music and, more generally, shul music.  We think this should therefore be about music for the liturgy, rather than art music or folk music per se.  Music that you foresee may be used in your services when we are all able to meet and pray communally once again, and which will then remind us in a way of this difficult but thankfully unique experience in our lifetime. 

2.     Original compositions and arrangements of other material would be fine.  Even if all you have is a melody, that's fine too. 

3.     Submission should be by PDF in the first instance.  Kindly do not send recordings. If you prefer to compose longhand, just make a scan copy of the music.

This is not a competition.  There are no prizes. ECA aims to publish on its website, everything received, subject to editing into a consistent format.  We have asked one or two of our colleagues with experience with computer music software to oversee this operation and if/when you submit something, they will contact you to discuss.

We hope you will find this a stimulating suggestion.

Please respond directly to Daniel Tunkel daniel.tunkel@cantors.eu 

"Breathtaking, evocative, exhilarating"
13th European Cantors Convention : 23-27 January 2020

Over forty people took part in our 'Bar Mitzvah' convention in Hannover, Germany, timed to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day and the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Hosted at the magnificent Villa Seligmann, the House of Jewish Music, the Hannover Orthodox Synagogue and by the Jewish Communities of Lower Saxony, the five day event featured participation from a glitterati of international cantors, the Moscow Male Jewish Choir and talks from local Rabbonim. An additional day took in visit to Bergen Belsen.

The convention showcased the diversity of cantorial art practised today - of Leib Glanz and Israel Alter to contemporary Chazzanim in Europe and the US. It took in special memorial events with the Hannover Jewish Community including the 'Night' Holocaust Oratorio on Holocaust Memorial Day, attended by 3500 people, and a moving visit to the site of the Bergen Belsen concentration camp, now a place of memorial and reflection.

Thank you to everyone who came, and to their partners and synagogues for supporting them coming. And a special thank you to our distinguished lead Chazan, Cantor Asher Hainovitz of Jerusalem's Yeshurun Synagogue.

Full report from Warren Bank is here. Watch the 6 minute wrap video on Facebook

Check out the retrospective from our 12th Convention in Prague, November 2018


Victor Tunkel 1933-2019 – A towering figure in Jewish music  

An appreciation from the European Cantors Association



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:

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.

Our Magnified and Sanctified: The Music of Jewish Prayer II, the 2nd International Conference on Jewish Liturgical Music took place in September 2019 at
Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media, Germany.

A summary report of the first Academic Conference, in 2015, is here
The full report from the 2015 Academic Conference is here

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 25th July 2021