ACC Responds to JTA Article “As congregations shrink, cantors become rabbis-and work as both.”
Dear Mr. Silow-Carroll:
When reading the article “As congregations shrink, cantors become rabbis-and work as both,” published April 14, 2016, we found ourselves wondering why Ms. Weinstein and JTA chose not to contact the American Conference of Cantors (ACC), the largest organization of ordained and certified cantors in the world, for comment. This is not the first time JTA has published an article regarding the Reform cantorate without comment from the ACC, and we want to assure you our leadership is available to you.
The ACC is not experiencing a shortage of congregations in our placement system. Quite the opposite. The cantorate remains strong and vibrant in our movement. The ACC provides congregations well-rounded members of a congregational or organizational professional team capable of serving a variety of roles. Our members are clergy who are involved and committed to the pastoral, lifecycle, and educational needs of their community. ACC cantors inspire by example and lead beautiful and engaging worship. Members of the ACC work in collaboration with our rabbinic partners to provide thoughtful and spiritual meaning to the members of our community whom we serve.
Over the years, a handful of our members have expressed an interest in becoming rabbis for a variety of reasons. We encourage those cantors to seek rabbinic ordination that is recognized by our partner organization the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR).
The American Conference of Cantors maintains the highest professional and ethical standards for ordained and certified cantors, and we take pride in the extraordinary service our members provide to their communities.
Cantor Mark Goldman, ACC President
Cantor Steven Weiss, ACC President-Elect
Rachel Roth, ACC Chief Operating Officer
Cantor Jodi Schechtman, ACC Director of Organizational Partnerships