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cantorcan-tor [kan-ter, -tawr] —nounDefinition: In Judaism a cantor, also known as a chazzan or hazzan, is the person who leads the congregation in prayer. Cantors play an important role in Jewish religious life because music is an important part of Jewish prayer services.
A variety of cantorial schools offer degrees for people preparing for a career in the cantorate. Professional cantors are ordained clergy.
These cantors work together with synagogue rabbis to lead and educate members of the congregation. The primary role of these cantors is to lead prayer services. If the synagogue has a choir, the cantor will work with them. In addition, professional cantors are generally charged with teaching members of the congregation how to participate in prayer services and read from the Torah. In this role, they often prepare children for their bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies and teach adult education classes. Furthermore, professional cantors will often perform pastoral duties such as conducting weddings, baby namings, funerals and unveilings.
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