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?
Our panel was:
Cantor Hinda Eisen Labovitz
Ohr Kodesh Congregation, Chevy Chase, Maryland
Writer and retired choirmaster, Toronto
Cantor Jacob Mendelson
Eminent cantor and international performer
Cantor Gideon Zelermyer
Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, Montreal
Moderator Hirsh Cashdan
This event was held jointly with the Cantors Assembly
Recorded live on 2nd June 2021, 22nd Sivvan 5781
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, we join a panel of Cantors and Rabbis from around the world inured in the British Commonwealth tradition (Minhag Anglia) to discuss this.
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, Holy Law Synagogue, Manchester UK
Moderator Hirsh Cashdan
Recorded Live on 26th May 2021; Sivvan 15th 5781
In 'Voice of the Cantor' the series to date has primarily considered the cantor as the chief singer of the Ashkenazi synagogue.
But Sephardi and Oriental communities have their cantors and leaders too. Their roles and styles are sometimes quite similar to those of the traditional Ashkenazi cantor, but often very different as well.
What are the core similarities and differences? What can cantors (and rabbis and communities) in the two wings of Judaism learn from each other. More specifically, what are Sephardi communities doing to preserve and communicate their heritage?
Our panel included Ashkenazim who serve Sephardi communities and Sephardim who serve Ashkenazi communities, for what was a colourful cross-cultural discussion. This session featured:
Cantor Eliot Alderman : Freelance Synagogue Musician, UK
Cantor Aaron Bensoussan : Freelance Hazzan, Toronto
Rabbi Jeff Berger : Wembley Sephardi Community, London, UK
Hazzan Dr. Ramón Tasat : Shirat HaNefesh Cong., Maryland, US
Moderator Daniel Tunkel
Recorded Live on 12th May 2021, 1st Sivvan 5781
In “The Carlebach Conundrum” we examine the issues presented by the type of music used in services in the genre of the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, focusing on the phenomenon of the music, which might be described as neo-Hasidic or 'easy singing music'.
Leaving aside any view as to the subjective musical merits of Carlebach’s own compositions, we simply note that the man started something, which others have continued and developed upon. Why did this happen? We wanted to explore the degree to which music like Carlebach’s has become the ‘new tradition’, and what this sort of music brings to a service (or what it takes away).
with Cantor Asher Hainovitz, Yeshurun 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
Recorded live on 28 April 2021, 16 Iyyar 5781
Does the Modern Orthodox agenda leave room for the conventional cantor?
A discussion with
Michael Goldstein, President, United Synagogue UK
Cantor / Minister Alby Chait, United Hebrew Congregation, Leeds UK
Cantor Steven Leas, Central Synagogue, London UK
Rabbi Cantor Danny Bergson, St Annes Hebrew Congregation, St Annes UK
Cantor Adam Caplan, Prestwich Hebrew Congregation, Manchester UK
Moderator Hirsh Cashdan
Recorded live on 14th April 2021, 2nd Iyyar 5781
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'.
Recorded live on 31st March 2021.
Three experienced cantors Cantor Benny Rogosnitzky (Orthodox, NYC); Cantor Jason Green (Conservative, Ottawa); and Rabbi Cantor Gershon Silins (London), who've practised in UK and North America discuss, if the nusach's the same and the music's similar, what's different for them and their congregations working either side of the Atlantic? In conversation with ECA's Russell Grossman
As a curtain-raiser for European Cantors Association's innovative programme Voice of the Cantor, 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. This event was held in conjunction with the Cantors Assembly and recorded live on Wednesday March 3rd 2021.