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European Cantors Association presents

The Voice of the Cantor (VOC)

Leading cantors, and those they work closely with, from the UK, Europe and North America tackle some of the bigger issues of our times.

11.00am Pacific / 2.00pm Eastern USA / 7.00pm UK / 8.00pm Europe & South Africa / 9.00pm Israel

Topic

Panellists include


VOC 1:
Wednesday 3 March

Never on a Friday

As a curtain-raiser for this innovative programme, we presented internationally renowned cantor and star of the musical theatre, Dudu Fisher, in conversation with the ECA’s Director Alex Klein, exploring his amazing trajectory and how he has managed to balance a career on the bimah and the stage. You can listen to the podcast of this event here

 

Dudu Fisher
Moderator Alex Klein

This was held in conjunction with the
Cantors Assembly

You can listen to the podcast of this event here

VOC 2:
Wednesday 17 March,

Crossing the Pond

The nusach is the same and the music similar. So, what is different in working on either side of the Atlantic?

Three long-serving cantors who have practised both in the UK and in North America discuss their experiences.

 

Cantor Benny Rogosnitzky
ParkEast Synagogue,NYC
Cantor
Jason Green
KehillatBethIsrael Congregation, Ottawa
Rabbi Cantor Gershon Sillins
West London Synagogue, London

Moderator Russell Grossman

The podcast of this is here and the video is here

VOC 3:
Wednesday 31 March, 7.00pm UK time
Passover In Pandemic


How have we adapted after a year of the modern plague?

Three experienced ministers from UK orthodox communities talk with ECA's Hirsh Cashdan about the special challenges of the pandemic for their communities and how they have negotiated a second 'Passover in Pandemic'.

 

Rabbi Meir Shindler
Richmond Synagogue, Richmond, Surrey
Rabbi Cantor Natan Fagelman
Allerton Synagogue, Liverpool
Cantor /Minister Alby Chait
United Hebrew Congregation, Leeds

Moderator Hirsh Cashdan

The podcast of this is here and the video is here

VOC 4:
Wednesday 14 April, 7.00pm UK time
The Challenge of Modern Orthodoxy for the Cantorate

Does the Modern Orthodox agenda leave room for a traditional cantor?

What else should the Chazan be there for in addition to simply developing, leading and interpreting the prayer services?

What are the essential, but complementary roles
of the Rabbi and the Chazan?

And where is all this heading in the significant challenges for the future of the synagogue, and prayer, in shifted circumstances after the Pandemic? 

 

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

The podcast of this is here and the video is here

VOC 5
Wednesday 28 April, 7.00pm UK time
The Carlebach Conundrum

This session looks at 'easy singing music' introduced into services. This is regarded as progressive and popular with short melodies and catchy tunes which are easy to learn; but in many cases have supplanted traditional Nusach.   

What does this sort of music bring to a service? What does it take away?

Which are the Cantors embracing his music, and which prefer bring in tunes from elsewhere, or which just don't like that style?

And do today's congregants still want to listen to a 'shlepping' Cantor anyway, however good he or she is?

 

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

Moderator Russell Grossman

The podcast is here and the video is here

VOC 6

Wednesday 12 May, 7.00pm UK time
The Sephardi Cantor : How Similar, How Different?


Join a panel of cantors, some of whom have worked in both traditions to see how the Sephardi use of the Chazan differs from the Ashkenazi approach and what can they learn from each other.

This event is held in conjunction with the
Cantors Assembly

 

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

The podcast is here and the video is here

VOC 7 Part I

Wednesday 26 May, 7.00pm UK time
Who needs Nusach? Part I

What do we mean by Nusach and wherein lies its importance? Is this centuries-old tradition, the immutable structure for the music of prayer?

Or is the melody of the synagogue more changeable and less constant than we think? Is it OK to use modern Israeli or Yeshivah tunes instead?
Or even secular songs ?

In Nusach Part I, join a panel of Cantors and Rabbis from around the world inured in the British Commonwealth tradition (Minhag Anglia) to discuss

 

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

Moderator Hirsh Cashdan

The podcast is here and the video is here

VOC 7 Part II

Wednesday 2 June, 7.00pm UK time
Who needs Nusach? Part II

What do we mean by Nusach and wherein lies its importance? Is this centuries-old tradition, the immutable structure for the music of prayer?

Or is the melody of the synagogue more changeable and less constant than we think? Is it OK to use modern Israeli or Yeshivah tunes instead?
Or even secular songs ?

Nusach Part II examines these issues from a North American perspective with a wholly North American panel. Is this any different from that of the Minhag Anglia communities? Are North American synagogues more or less demanding of change and are the influences and infiltrations at all different?

Should we fight against these influences or accept them as inevitable and welcome them?

 

Cantor Hinda Eisen Labovitz
Ohr Kodesh Congregation, Chevy Chase, Maryland

Charles Heller
Writer and retired choirmaster Toronto

Cantor Jacob Mendelson
Eminent cantor and international performer

Cantor Gideon Zelermyer
Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, Montreal

Moderator Hirsh Cashdan

Register at http://bit.ly/voiceofthecantor

this event was held jointly with the
Cantors Assembly

The podcast is here and the video recording is here

VOC 8

Wednesday 9 June, 7.00pm UK time
Who needs a Shul Choir?


European Jewry has had a choral tradition for 200 years.   But has the conventional choir outlived its usefulness?  

Do we need a new agreed model for congregational singing?   If we keep our choirs, should they be community assets or staffed by professionals (or a mix)?  

What role has the choir in keeping old traditions going and teaching new music?   Or should we just experience Jewish choral music on the concert stage?  

In this international session, Choir directors from around the world offer their views.

 

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

Register at http://bit.ly/eca-voc

This event was held jointly with the
Cantors Assembly. The recording will be published on Sunday June 20th.

Next Up : VOC 8 Part II

Wednesday 23 June, 7.00pm UK time
New Cantors for a New Europe


After the devastation of the Holocaust and the sterility of communism across so much of Europe, Jewish communities started to rebuild 30 years ago.

What challenges have their cantors faced and how have they dealt with them – and what challenges remain? Our panel will include cantors from several “new” communities across Europe.

 

 

Cantor Shmuel Barzilai
Chief Cantor of Vienna
Cantor Nathan Goldman
Stuttgart Synagogue, Stuttgart
Cantor Assaf Levitin
Liberal Jewish Community, Hannover
Cantor Daniel Rudas
Dohany Street Synagogue, Budapest
Cantor Brian Wood
Altneuschul,Prague

Moderator Hirsh Cashdan

Register at http://bit.ly/eca-voc

VOC 10:

Thursday 1 July, 7.00pm UK time
Kol Isha – The Voice of a Woman


Progressive institutions in America and their counterparts in Europe and Israel have been training women to become cantors with outstanding results for some time.

How are things changing in the UK?
The panel share their experiences, challenges and highlights

 

Cantor Zoe Jacobs
Finchley Reform Synagogue, London
Cantor Tamara Wolfson
Alyth Synagogue, London
Cantor Jaclyn Chernett
European Academy for Jewish Liturgy

Session under development. Others to be announced


Register at http://bit.ly/eca-voc


Page updated 16th May 2021