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Now is the Time for Action

Early this summer, I represented the ACC as part of a URJ delegation of clergy, protesting and bearing witness in McAllen, Texas to the atrocity of child detention centers. Alongside distinguished interfaith clergy from around the country, our intention was to shed a light onto the shame that is occurring and articulate our clear opposition to this misguided and immoral policy. 

We can be proud that The Union for Reform Judaism, as well as numerous other religious institutions of diverse faiths from around the country, came out strongly against this policy. 

Expanding our Reach: The Songs of Social Justice and Tikkun Olam at NFTY

Aldous Huxley taught, “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” The most significant moments of our lives have a soundtrack; they have a musical framework that our families, our people, and our society build. During the civil rights movement in America, African American spirituals like Oh Freedom and We Shall Overcome inspired, led, and exclaimed the charge of our fellow citizens looking for justice, for equality.

Bringing Home the Beach

Every year, my family and I head “down the shore” (as we say around here) to spend a week relaxing at the beach. As we cross the bridge separating Ocean City from the rest of New Jersey I can feel the tension leave my shoulders, my heart rate slows, and a stupid grin spreads across my face. Maybe it’s the beach kid in me. The tang of salty air just makes me feel like I’m a kid again in San Diego.

Highlight on the ARZA Committee

Did you know that the ACC has a committee focused on Israel engagement through ARZA, the Association of Reform Zionists of America? The goal of this committee is to increase the visibility of cantors in the important discussions surrounding Israel, to show our support for the State of Israel, to assist cantors and their congregations in fostering the continued growth of Progressive Judaism in Israel, and to offer cantors additional tools to create more Israel-centered programming in our congregations.

American Conference of Cantor Cantors Establishes Friends of Transcontinental Music

In 2015, the American Conference of Cantors (ACC) announced the acquisition of Transcontinental Music Publications (TMP) from the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). Our goal since making TMP part of the ACC has been to make it a home for the music of our movement and for musical achievement among the Jewish people as a whole. TMP continues to serve as an essential presence in Jewish musical life worldwide.

LOST AND FOUND

Prayer for Peace, by Gershon Kingsley

In cantorial school, when we learned the classic settings of Max Helfman and Herbert Fromm of Grant Us Peace we studied how those two masters had seamlessly blended cantorial-esque chant with solidly mid-20th century American harmonies. They were (and are!) textbook examples of Union Prayer Book-style English language settings that are rooted in traditional, ethnically-charged Ashkenazic prayer modes.

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