ACC-GTM 2009 Chicago Convention a resounding success

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ACC-GTM 2009 Chicago Convention a resounding success

Over 250 members and guests attended the Annual American Conference of Cantors/Guild of Temple Musicians convention in Chicago the week of June 28, 2009.  The theme of the convention, “Ruach Chayyim:  Origins and Innovations in the Spirit of Reform,” sought to highlight the treasures of the past, the beauty of our present Reform Judaism, and the innovations in textual interpretation, music composition, clergy skills, and technology that will help the ACC lead the Reform movement in the future.

Scholars-in-Residence included Rabbi Daniel Freelander, Senior Vice President of the URJ; Amichai Lau-Lavie, founder and creative director of Storahtelling; Margaret  “Peggy” Treadwell, LICSW,  a teacher of congregational leadership through family systems concepts;  and Joyce Rosenzweig, Artist-in-Residence at HUC-JIR in New York.

Highlights of the week-long program included a concert at Temple Sholom of Chicago featuring over 200 cantors and musicians, along with Walt Whitman and the Soul Children of Chicago. Over 500 Chicagoland residents attended this ground-breaking event at which the cantors and Soul Children sang several gospel-style numbers together. The evening also featured the compositions and arrangements of several Chicago area musicians.  Harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy accompanied Cantors Nancy Kassel, Jodi Schechtman and Judy Seplowin in a rousing rendition of “Bei Mir Bist Du Shein.”

In addition to the study sessions and wonderful music the convention offered, a great deal of important ACC business was transacted, including a final update of the ACC Constitution and By-Laws, a report on the URJ restructure from Rabbi Dan Freelander, and amendments to the Endowment Documents. ACC members attending the convention also voted in favor of endorsing a resolution to be submitted to the Biennial Resolutions Committee concerning the importance of copyright laws.  These reports, updates and resolutions better equip the ACC to serve and to lead both its membership and the larger Reform Jewish community.