Posts Tagged ‘Hebrew Union College Cantors’


“Investing” or “Ordaining” Cantors: What Does it Really Mean?

Posted on: May 6th, 2012 by Hayim Herring

A few days ago, the JTA carried an article about Hebrew Union College’s decision to change the title of cantors from “invested” to “ordained.” Based on some interviews that it conducted with rabbis and cantors, HUC explained that one of the reasons for the change was to reflect the reality that cantors and rabbis studied for the same length of time and that cantors had multi-faceted roles and were not just “singers.”

Having just spent some time learning with a group of Conservative cantors, the article peaked my interest because of what it didn’t say. What I heard from the group of cantors I was with was a desire to re-conceptualize their roles so that congregations would understand the true value that they added. Their concern seemed to stem as much from a need to appropriately acknowledge a lengthy course of study as it did from anxiety over a profession that is contracting.