I am writing this on New Year’s Eve having just finished reading the last print edition of Newsweek (future editions will only be available online). EMI, one of the largest recording companies of recent decades today went out of business because the music world has gone digital. A recent book “Who Moved My Cheese” tells in a cute way the dilemma faced by many these days whose business model no longer is successful and workers must seek new ways of surviving.
Often on Jan. first we resolve to lose weight, exercise more or change some aspect of our lives. I would like to encourage all cantors to be part of the changes that are happening in our congregations and profession. I hope we can each commit to learning new skills and ideas that will best serve us individually and all of us collectively into the future.
This year’s Cantors Assembly Convention, May 19-23, 2013, plans to help you do that in many ways. We will have a professional marketing expert, Steve Cony, who will speak at the Annual Meeting about how the Cantors Assembly can address the challenges of today. He will speak on Thursday morning about how each of us can “rebrand ourselves” to meet the needs of 21st century congregations.
We will have “intensives” which will meet each day for 90 minutes so that at the end of this conference you will have learned new skills, techniques, programs or ideas that will help your career. While most of us are comfortable with things we already know, I would hope you will try to stretch yourself and select an area in which you are not already an expert to study. The intensives include Chaplaincy, Homiletics, Spirituality, Song Leading, Tech & Social Media, and 21st Century Programs including Theater, Informal Education, new prayer teaching games and much more.
In the next few weeks you can see the complete schedule of workshops, guest speakers, concerts, performances, films, trips, meetings and fun. Important programs will take place on Sunday afternoon and Thursday morning (the Executive Committee will be on Monday at the same time as some guest speakers). Please try to join us for the entire convention. Our Convention chairs, Nancy Abramson, Joanna Dulkin and myself, believe we can learn much more in multi-day workshops than from one shot individual lectures. We know there will be many concurrent sessions and choices may be difficult but CDs will be available to purchase and “hand-outs” will be online for sessions you missed.
Friend our Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/CAConvention2013?fref=ts
and check our webpage frequently https://caconvention.wordpress.com/
for updates to the program and more information. Please invite cantors of all movements and interested lay people as well.
The registration form will soon be available and the brochure will be finished shortly. The brochure includes contact info for people who would like to volunteer to leyn, daven, and give divrei Torah and for those who would like free vocal or cantorial coaching or free guitar lessons at any level.
We call this Convention “LEILA” because we truly wish to raise ourselves higher as individuals and as a profession. With your help this will be an amazing opportunity to grow, learn and shape our future.
Happy New Year,
Hazzan Sheldon Levin