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Cantors, Rabbis, and all Torah Readers are invited to sing the words of the Lord in English

Exploring the Power of Bible Cantillation in the Vernacular

In the Beginning... were the words of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh)... then came a chant for musically transmitting those words...

Cantors, Rabbis and suitably experienced lay readers are invited to submit a Torah passage of their choosing, with trop applied in an appropriate way to an English translation to bring out its drama, syntax and meaning. This project aims to open up people's greater understanding and appreciation of our ancient music and how it relates to - and interprets the text.  

In Talmudic times... the Hebrew chant was interspersed with commentary in Aramaic, the lingua franca of Jewry at that time, in its main population centres of Israel and Babylonia.

After the King James's Bible version appeared in 1611... only sporadic attempts were made to chant the weekly Torah and Haftarah in English...

But now, when English has become the universal language of communication, it may be time to hear the power of Tanakh with cantillation in English 

Selected submissions will go on the ECA website; be published in the Journal of Synagogue Music; and be made into a CD. (There is no implication that this should interfere with or replace expected synagogue practice.)
For further information and guidance contact

Here are two sample submissions from Hirsh Cashdan for Parashot Vayiggash and Beshallach. The latter is accompanied by this sample sheet.

This project is organised by Geraldine Auerbach and Hirsh Cashdan under the auspices of the Academic Wing of the European Cantors Association and is supported by a distinguished international Advisory Board including:

Professor Rabbi Jeffrey Summit
(Researcher and writer on ‘The meaning and experience of biblical chant for the contemporary Jewish community in North America’).

Cantor Joseph Levine
Editor of the Journal of Synagogue Music

Guidelines for contributors
Any regional system of trop that the contributor is familiar with may be used – but it should be applied consistently throughout.

Contributors may choose any of the accepted Jewish English translations e.g. the Art Scroll, Hertz, Routledge, Sacks translations, or may endeavour to make their own translation, which should adhere closely to the literal meaning of the text.

A commentary on the process undertaken will be welcome and the translation with the trop will be appreciated
To participate
To express your interest and make further enquiries contact Hirsh Cashdan and Geraldine Auerbach at

Then when you are ready, please fill in the
Application form and send with audio file to:

I am herewith submitting a musical transcription / audio file of myself chanting in English a portion of Scripture that I have worked out with the appropriate trop.






Scripture reading experience:

Parashah selected: 

Section selected:

Corresponding to Book:                        Verses:

Beginning words and end words in Hebrew transliteration:

I have based this on the following translation: 

I am using this traditional version of Trop: 

Any other comments: