Why Hire an ACC Cantor?
Welcome to the Cantorial Placement Process, overseen by the Joint Cantorial Placement Commission and administered by the American Conference of Cantors. The ACC is the professional organization of cantors associated with the Reform Movement and with the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Our members serve communities throughout North America and beyond. An ACC cantor is:
- A member of the Jewish clergy who has chosen the cantorate as a life's work and has studied towards that goal for at least four years of post-graduate study, developing an ability to support and build congregational communities founded on Torah, Avodah and G'milut Chassadim
- A Jewish professional ordained or certified by the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, or other accredited seminary approved by the ACC --committed to the values, traditions, and ethics of Reform Judaism
- "Sing a New Song" document provides important information for assistance with your cantorial search.
Below is an excerpt from a 1996 URJ Resolution:
"RESOLUTION PRESERVING THE INTEGRITY OF THE CANTORATE"
"No longer is the cantor simply the sweet singer of Israel. The College-Institute prepares today’s cantors to be members of the clergy who serve as leaders of worship, educators, administrators, counselors, creative programmers, and role models to our congregants to all ages – especially to our children. The unique constellation of rabbis, professional educators and administrators, and today’s cantors working together, provides our synagogues with an indispensable, dynamic team to guide and nurture the spiritual life of our congregants in an unprecedented manner.
Unfortunately, many URJ affiliated congregations have unilaterally bestowed the title of cantor on soloists who lack proper credentials. It is interesting to note that the rabbinate faced this very same problem nearly a century ago when it was a fairly common practice for smaller congregations to arbitrarily designate a Judaically knowledgeable lay person as its "rabbi". Just as we have come to expect only our seminary to confer the title of rabbi on those few individuals who have arduously prepared to assume the mantle of Jewish leadership, so too should we expect no less or accept no other course for the creation of cantors."
Thank you for your interest in the members of the American Conference of Cantors. We hope that your experience in our Placement process will be fruitful and rewarding.