Welcome to the website of the European Cantors Association
Patrons: Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis; Cantor Naftali Herstik, Cantor Joseph Malovany, Cantor Asher Hainovitz
Announcing European Cantors Association's 14th Cantors Convention
Budapest, Hungary, 2nd - 7th November 2022
Back after the pandemic, European Cantors is staging its 14th Convention, returning in 2022 to Budapest - a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this time based at the beautifully restored Rumbach Street Synagogue (pictured)
Our theme this year is 'Invigorating Nusach for the 21st Century'
Join with like-minded people to share knowledge and experience, gain new insights and material, build personal networks, make new friends and sing together.
We have invited renowned cantors, choirs and Jewish music experts from the UK, Europe, Israel and the US, across the spectrum of Jewish worship, to lead sessions and entertain us with their music.
Enjoy five days of choral and cantorial beauty, and an inspirational Shabbat and a Gala Concert plus a optional tour of Jewish Budapest and visit to a famous spa.
Details of the programme will be available in due course but you can be assured that, like our previous thirteen conventions, it will be a memorable and wholly delightful experience.
The registration form is here
Alex Klein, ECA Director, writes:
With all the doom and gloom going on in the world, for which we pray for peace, let us share with you a little light – the next European Cantors Convention.
Called: ‘Invigorating Nusach for the 21st Century’, this is planned for Wednesday 2 to Monday 7 November 2022 at the magnificent and recently refurbished Rumbach Synagogue, Budapest Hungary, at the invitation of the Hungarian Jewish Community.
There will be study sessions, masterclasses, and joyous singing and praying together in harmony with open mike opportunities. There will be a Gala concert on the evening of Sunday 6 November.
Convention ends on Monday morning with an optional tour of Jewish Budapest and visit to a famous spa.
Over the last few years, we have all seen huge changes taking place in how we look at life surrounding our synagogues. Online services, concerts and programmes have uplifted, inspired and connected people wherever they live as never before. With the popularity of Zoom we have more choices available and the ability to visit congregations around the world virtually.
What we have witnessed, week in and week out, is that the public want and need tradition and music in their prayers. Cantors have been the heroes, coming up with innovative ideas to keep services fresh, sustain interest and keep communities together.
We at ECA have made many new friends across the ether, widening our horizons. Zoom has given everyone from the many branches of Judaism the opportunity to join together to look at Jewish worship and the best way it can be expressed.
ECA values working with wonderful partners and associates: the Cantors Assembly, Cantors World, Milken Centre UCLA, International Forum for Jewish Music Studies, Edgware Synagogue, our Facebook friends and all those wonderful people who have agreed to take part in our conversations and conventions, and all those who have supported us.
The Convention is open to everyone, and we encourage not only cantors, but rabbis and synagogue lay leaders and congregants also to participate and to taste the joy of the atmosphere for which ECA is renowned. We hope you will all join us in Budapest.
Save the dates. More information will be forthcoming in due course.
The registration form is here
We have moved our archive of material from 2020 and 2021, including our two series of Voice of the Cantor and the many other programmes we ran over Zoom during the pandemic.
They will be linked to view shortly.
Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks' extolling value of Jewish Music
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."
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 12th June 2022