Rainy Day Pic from Jen Cohen – 5/19/13


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Lunchtime Treat from Stereo Sinai


Another awesome photo by Jen Cohen

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Opening Night Concert at Rose Hall with HaZamir Choir Honoring Moti Lazar

Rose Hall Pic

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Avodah ba-Kol: Spirituality Intensive

This track will explore spiritual practice and what it can offer cantors as shlichei tzibur, embodied clergy and communal leaders. Over the four sessions we will offer a mix of mindfulness practices, text study and opportunities for reflection, structured around the topics of the purposes of practice as avodah, revitalizing prayer, singing as an embodied experience and mindful leadership. The sessions will be led by Rabbis Lisa Goldstein and Jonathan Slater from the Institute for Jewish Spirituality.

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21st Century Programming Track

It’s not the same cantorate that we entered.  Our bima time comprises a small percentage of what we can and should do.  Cantors who expand the range of offerings in their personal toolbox have a greater likelihood of being more intimately involved in the life of the congregation.  Join us for these engaging sessions as we provide you with resources that you can take home and incorporate:

Monday.  Storahtelling. What’s it about and how can I bring them and/or the programming concepts to my own congregation?  Sarah Sokolic from Storahtelling will show us how.

Tuesday.  Engendering Judaism: The Moving Traditions Approach.  How does gender continue to be a factor in supposedly “egalitarian” synagogue life? What are our youth learning about gender roles? How do we create communities where both girls and boys see women and men engaged in spiritual and intellectual growth? We’ll sample some of the award-winning curriculum models of Moving Traditions and explore the current state of gender politics in Jewish life.

Wednesday.   If you are creative and love theater, performing, and Judaism then why not discover a way to bring theater into the synagogue in ways that can enrich your cantorate and your congregation’s total experience. As an actor and cantor for many years I have discovered ways to involve adults and children by tapping into their creativity and their love for performing on multiple levels. The artistic worlds and the spiritual worlds are, as we all know, indelibly linked. Come to my workshop on Wed. May 22nd at the convention and discover how using theater and acting techniques can contribute to a more vibrant and participatory synagogue community.   Cantor Mark Perman   FVJC-Emek Shalom, Simsbury, CT

Thursday.  Let’s Get Spiritual.  Calling upon the vast stores of material and the personal creativity of Amy Dorsch, Education Coordinator of USCJ Department of Teen Learning, we will learn new and exciting ways to engage families and youth through spirited, creative tefillah.

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Late Night Line-up

Didn’t get asked to sing in a major convention concert? Nobody thinks you’re good enough for prime time? The CA stopped taking your calls?

Fear not! We have the venue for you. I’m still taking names of people who would like to sing at any of the Convention Late Nights. While I can’t guarantee you the fame and adoration of a 5-hour-long cantorial concert, you can have the opportunity to sing in front of about 8 people (plus about 13 more who fell asleep and 3 who drank too much and passed out). If you have previously contacted me, no need to pester me, I mean contact me again.

Our evening themes are as follows:

Sunday evening: Zina Goldrich, composer of amazing Broadway and Cabaret material, will be the host. If you would like to sing any Broadway type material, this is the night for you.

Monday evening: The infamous and irreverent Matt & Larry Show (and not the Larry & Matt Show no matter how much he whines). This is the best evening for parody/satire/comedy type pieces. If you have something serious to sing, that’s fine, but we WILL make fun of you.

Tuesday evening: Comedian Joel Chasnoff. Pfft. Look who else thinks he’s a comedian. Those of us who are secure don’t need to put the word Comedian in front of our names.

Wednesday evening: Marcey Wagner will be hosting an evening of improv! YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS. Marcey will also be inviting and encouraging audience participation, so please make sure to drink a lot before you show up.

Looking forward to hearing from everyone!

Matt Axelrod

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Kashrut at the Konvention

Our assurance on kashrut at our convention: All food will be strictly kosher under rabbinic supervision. With the exception of Wednesday night’s [fleishig] dinner, served at Park Avenue Synagogue, all meals will be prepared for us at the hotel kitchen with in-house supervision, under the auspices of Gabriel Seed and Nina Kretzmer, both of whom received their training in hashgachah from Rabbi Joel Roth of the Jewish Theological Seminary.  Mr. Seed is employed full time by the Rabbinical Assembly.  Following the leads of our fellow movement organizations FJMC, USY, USCJ, Women’s League and the Rabbinical Assembly, our Mashgiach staff will be kashering the hotel kitchen whose full use will be devoted to feeding us.  As such, our hotel meals will be dairy only, and include plenty of fish, dairy, and other vegetable protein. Our commitment to kashrut is tantamount, and hotel staff will be professionally supervised during all preparation, cooking and service.  We will do our utmost to provide for all special dietary requests, as well as offer delicious, healthy (and not-so-healthy) options for all.  Any further questions should be directed to our colleague Eric Snyder. caofficesnyder@aol.com.

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