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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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< Q18.6.3 TOC Q18.6.5 >

Question 18.6.4:
The Rabbinate: What is the course of study for cantors?


The course of study is four years. The first year is in Jerusalem, and involves 18 hours per week of Hebrew instruction. There are also classes that introduce classical texts. Students also study cantillation, the Jewish Choral literature, and the liturgical modes on which traditional Nusach is based.

In years two through four, there is indepth study of the year and life cycle musical liturgy, as well as the history, structure, and theology of the liturgy. The Reform musical heritage is studied, as well as study of art music in Ladino, Yiddish, and Hebrew; the art and content of Jewish concert programming; music for all ages in the religious school. There is also study of Judaica: the traditional Jewish texts in light of the scientific investigation of modern times. There is study of theology: Buber, Kaplan, Heschel, Rosenzweig, and others. There is study of history: talmudic, medieval, or modernity. There are also coures in professional development: working in a professional setting, education principles and techniques, teaching and integration of music, organizing and directing volunteer choirs, the principles of counseling, making hospital calls, helping people with crisis. In the second and third years, students also have fieldwork opportunities.

For more information, write:

HUC-JIR Brookdale Center
School of Sacred Music
Office of the Director
One West 4th Street
New York NY 10012

Information on the program may be found on the web at

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

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