Sunday, January 24, 2021



Feeling Our Way with Cantor Emma Lutz

Shabbat Shalom. As we have all been #SafeAtHome during COVID-19, the clergy of Stephen Wise Temple have been sharing a daily dose of wisdom....

IKAR’s Rock ’n’ Roll Cantor Has A New Album

When IKAR Cantor Hillel Tigay was first approached to join the progressive Los Angeles congregation 13 years ago, he wasn’t sure he wanted the...

This Year, Will We Answer the Call?

Next week, we begin again to read the Torah from Page One. In the opening chapters, we will be confronted, as we are every...

Philadelphia cantor’s former house guest charged in his murder

A former house guest was charged in the fatal stabbing of Ronald Fischman, an ordained cantor, in Fischman’s Philadelphia home.\n

From Broadway to cantor, Mike Stein competes on NBC’s ‘The Voice’

Chazzan Mike Stein never really considered himself a singer, but rather, he said, an instrumentalist who sings.

Keith Miller: From cantor to wine shop owner

A longtime practicing cantor, Keith Miller never expected to become a businessman.

Joel Pressman, cantor and performing arts teacher, dies at 63

Joel Pressman, a cantor and longtime performing arts teacher at Beverly Hills High School, died on Nov. 18. He was 63.

The value of voice

As we prepare for the High Holy Days, we often do not consider one aspect of ourselves, our voice. I’m taking about our actual vocal cords; our means of producing sound.

Sinai Temple welcomes new cantor

Congregants of all ages came to Sinai Temple’s main sanctuary on June 10 to welcome the newest member of the clergy, Cantor Marcus Feldman,...

What’s in a word? For ‘ordained’ rather than ‘invested’ cantors, a lot

What’s the difference between investiture and ordination? Plenty, say officials at the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, which has announced that for the first time since establishing its cantorial school in 1948, it will ordain rather than invest its graduating class of cantors.

Pasadena temple gets Argentina’s first woman cantor

Cantor Ruth Berman Harris has been earning paychecks for leading services since she was 15, years before a cantorial school even existed in her native Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Cantor advises Weiner to ‘come clean’ in Twitter flap

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the Republican majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, called on Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) to \"come clean\" about a controversy over a lewd photo. Cantor made his comments in a television interview on Thursday, as Weiner endured a fourth day on the receiving end of questions about a photo of a man in his underwear that was sent from his Twitter account. The photo was sent to a 21-year-old female college student who is a Twitter follower of Weiner\'s.

Man who threatened Cantor gets 2 years

A man who threatened to kill Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), speaking of his \"final Yom Kippur,\" was sentenced to two years in prison. The Washington Post on Friday quoted prosecutors as saying Norman LeBoon, 33, of Philadelphia, must also complete three years of supervision after his sentence is complete, including no Internet access.

Reform cantorial school named after Debbie Friedman

The Reform movement’s cantorial school has been named after the late Debbie Friedman.

Obama remark misinterpreted, Cantor spokesman says

U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor\'s promise that the new GOP majority will \"serve as a check\" on the Obama administration was \"not in relation to U.S.-Israel relations,\" his spokesman said.

Giffords ekes out victory, Altschuler in play

Two Jewish congressional hopefuls -- a Democratic incumbent and a Republican seeking his first term -- may have won seats by narrow margins.

Feminist cantor retires from long-term post

If words don\'t come easily to Rosenbloom, it\'s because she has spent most of her life singing. As early as age 4, she jumped up on a coffee table at home and sang an Israeli folk song for her mother and father

Gole to lead Cantor’s Assembly

Cantor Joseph Gole of Sinai Temple will be installed as president of the international Cantors Assembly during the organization\'s convention in Los Angeles, at a time when the profession is facing changes and challenges.

B’nai Mitzvah: Exactly how kosher was Christy’s bat mitzvah?

Christy\'s bat mitzvah was a monumental event for her entire family. The synagogue was full, featuring out-of-towners from New York, San Francisco and Raleigh, N.C. It was the first time that many of them had been in a synagogue.I spend countless hours preparing for these days with students and their parents.

Skateboard Creator Builds Business on Performance

Skateboarding runs in the Tashman family, although not on the paternal side. His mother, who also grew up religious, skateboarded when she was a kid. She was sponsored by a local Velcro company. \"She took her old roller skates and nailed them to a two-by-four for her first skateboards,\" Tashman said. Since he was 3 years old, \"she would attach me to my skateboard and pull me down hills and our neighbor\'s empty swimming pool,\" he said. \"She always wanted me to be a cantor, though.\"

Jazz and Classical in Perfect Harmony

Caine credits his successes today to a willingness to stick with his musical vision through lean times. \"Follow that instinct,\" he urges young musicians. \"It\'ll happen, if you work hard, and you can keep moving somehow.\"

Cantor Glickman Returns to Israel

\"Everybody loves this guy,\" said Cantor Nathan Lam of Bel Air\'s Reform synagogue, Stephen S. Wise Temple, and dean of the Jewish academy\'s cantorial school. \"He\'s a special human being. He makes a room feel good. If you\'re sick, he\'s the guy you want to come and cheer you up.\"

Cantor Carries on Tennis Tradition

Located at Beverly and Crescent Heights boulevards, Beth Israel was founded in 1899 as the first Orthodox congregation in Los Angeles, and was also known as the Olive Street Shul.

Four Ways to Hear the Days of Awe

The Days of Awe evoke many feelings, but my first thoughts invariably turn to the special music of these days. From the solemn, almost brooding melody of Kol Nidre to the lilting \"High Holiday\" tune that unifies the music of both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, there is much in which to delight. Perhaps because this is the only synagogue music that many Jews hear all year, there are fewer alternative versions of the High Holiday liturgy than of, say, \"Lecha Dodi\" or \"Adon Olam.\" Still, these albums should help put you in a proper frame of mind.

Tale of Two Schools

Miss Smith, my third-grade teacher at Vollentine Grammar School, stood facing the class with her arm around my shoulders. She was a large woman the size of two or three of today\'s fashion models, with gray hair pulled back from a ruddy, round face. All I knew of her personal life was that she was unwed, but mothered 25 third-grade kids. She lived in a small, neighboring town famous for its horse farms. She looked out to her students, her eyes focused above them. I looked down. I had just finished reciting a poem to the class and before I could return to my desk, Miss Smith was at my side. \"Children, Teddy is Jewish. And I like Jewish kids. Teddy\'s people have made some major contributions to the South. How many of you know of Dr. Joseph Goldberger who cured pellagra? How many of you know about pellagra?\"

A Mitzvah Is Its Own Reward

"Be not like servants who serve their master for the sake of receiving a reward; instead be like servants who serve their master not for the sake of receiving a reward. And let the awe of Heaven be upon you." -- Pirkei Avot (Ethics of Our Fathers)

Cantors Plan Charity Concerts

With religious school winding down this month at many synagogues, some cantors will regularly seize the opportunity to produce a brief season of secular concerts with guest artists and visiting cantors.

C’mon, a Bat Mitzvah Is, Like, So Uncool

\"I don\'t want a bat mitzvah,\" she told her parents. \"It\'s just for you and your relatives. You don\'t even need me there. So why don\'t you just throw your own party?\"

Off the Bimah: A Concerted Effort

With her slender figure, long, shining strawberry-blonde hair and big hazel eyes, Alison Wissot looks more like a stage ingénue than most people\'s conceptions of a cantor -- not surprising, since that\'s what she was 10 years ago. Wissot\'s cantorial career is off to a brilliant start: Less than three years after graduating from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion\'s School of Sacred Music in New York, she is filling the largest Reform cantorial pulpit in the San Fernando Valley, the 1,300-household Temple Judea in Tarzana and West Hills.

Dean’s Judaism Ties Span Decades

In the middle of a rowdy rendition of \"I Have a Little Dreidel\" at the Sobelson family Chanukah party in Concord, N.H., Howard Dean walked in and declared himself the cantor. The Democratic presidential candidate recited the blessings over the candles in near-perfect Hebrew in a dining room crowded with campaign staffers. \"It\'s another Jewish miracle,\" Carol Sobelson exclaimed

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