This past week I was part of the Cantors Assembly’s (CA) 2017 Convention. This year the CA celebrates its 70th anniversary and its members are steadfastly committed to keeping the Art of the Cantorate alive and even stronger than ever. We had hundreds of Cantors in attendance.
I was so pleased to see so many newly ordained Cantors from across the U.S. and Canada who are new members of the CA, as well as many Cantors-To-Be who are still in school…all committed to preserving the art and legacy of the Cantorate by leading services in their congregations with the traditional Cantorial sounds and motifs. These young Cantors gave me the peace of mind and confidence that through their leadership and roles as Cantors, they will ensure the survival of not only the Cantorate but our Jewish tradition.
I was also impressed and so proud by so many of the newer Cantors who expressed to me that they have been concentrating on bringing participatory music to their synagogues and are receiving so much positive feedback from their congregants about how much they love and appreciate singing-along. They thanked me for sharing my music with them, which really all started here in Hollis Hills with all of you as the first to hear and sing my compositions. In fact, my music books are part of the Cantorial text/curriculum at schools today and have become a part of many Cantors’ repertoires. One of the highlights of this convention was a beautiful YOM YERUSHALAYIM CONCERT as Yom Yerushalayim was celebrated the week of the convention.
By the way, last week I was home relaxing after some dental work and I had the opportunity to watch a very moving film on one of the Jewish networks. It is called “Left Luggage”. It stars many well-known actors; Chaim Topol, Maximilian Schell, Isabella Rossellini, Jeroen Krabbe and others. It is about a Jewish man in Antwerp, Belgium who buried 2 suitcases in the ground filled with family possessions and memorabilia, while escaping the Nazis. He survives the Holocaust, as did his wife, and the movie is about his struggles with his memories and trying to find the “left luggage” as well as his daughter’s story. I must warn you that there is a tragic side to this movie but one of the things I learned from the film was how different people deal with their memories and experiences of the holocaust in different ways and no way is the ‘right’ way, it is up to each human being to deal with tragedy, loss and fear in whatever way they can manage. I do recommend you try to see this film, maybe on one of the Jewish networks or some movie rental option.
I want to take this opportunity to wish you all Chag Sameach and I look forward to seeing you in shul to celebrate Shavuot together. Please join us on the first night, Tuesday night, May 30th for Tikkun Shavuot when we will all learn together.
See you in shul.
Cantor Sol Zim