Online Course:  Finding Meaning in the Book of Psalms

Rabbis, Cantors, and those with advanced text skills, are welcome to participate in an online class being offered by the Jewish Theological Seminary about Psalms in the liturgy.  (Text will be studied in the original Hebrew.)  The class will be taught by Dr. Benjamin Sommer on three Thursdays, April 12, 19, and 26.  Click on the image below for more details or to register.

Cantors Assembly - Audio

Creating a Pastoral Toolbox with Sheri Allen and David Propis

Practical suggestions and resources based on PARDES and Using the new "Spirit of Hope and Healing" in your pastoral work
This podcast is only available to members please click here for more information and to listen

Results of the USCJ surveys on music and Torah reading with Rabbi Paul Drazen

Rabbi Paul Drazen holds a portfolio of assignments which span the United Synagogue.
Rabbi Drazen directs publishing Torah Sparks, Perek Yomi [chapter a day of Bible] and the Luah. He provides consulting services to USCJ member congregations. He is staff director of the Committee on Public Policy. Through his work as staff director of the Committee on Congregational Standards he directs the Conservative Movement’s alternative dispute resolution
services. He has served as the United Synagogue representative on the CA placement committee for over 8 years.

A noted authority on kashrut, Rabbi Drazen wrote the chapter on keeping kosher in The Observant Life, a Rabbinical Assembly publication as well as the manuals for supervising kashrut in synagogue kitchens, available on the Rabbinical Assembly’s web site.
Rabbi Drazen served as spiritual leader of Beth El Synagogue, Omaha, Nebraska for 20 years following three years as Assistant Rabbi at Beth El Synagogue in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After leaving pulpit work, he came to the United Synagogue and served as Executive Director of the Mid-Continent Region of USCJ and Director of the Department of Congregational service.

Rabbi Drazen has been active in areas including: religious broadcasting, hospital ethics and domestic violence prevention. He has served on the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards and the staff of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin.

Click to listen:


Instrumental Music Use in Detail
Torah Reading Survey Summary
USCJ Instrument Use Survey Results

"Relational Judaism" with Dr. Ron Wolfson

Dr. Ron Wolfson, the author of Relational Judaism. is a major force in changing the way synagogues and other institutions are looking at reaching our 21st Century audiences. His ideas may be very different than the way you have done things in the past but can be truly inspirational and useful for how you may want to adapt for the future.

Click to listen: "Relational Judaism" 

Creative or Alternative Services

Wendi Fried shares how to create a successful creative or alternative services

Click to listen: Creative and Alternative services

Creative CA Service Packing Your Spiritual Luggage
Drum Circle Service
Meditiation Shabbat Mishpatim
Program for Shabbat Shira
Resource Sheet for Creative Services
Shabbat Shira

Halacha Class Given By Hazzan Richard Wolberg

The five session Halacha class that Richard Wolberg lead in January and February of 2013.
Halacha class info sheet; 100 Blessings A Day
Halacha Class 1-13-13

Halacha Class 1-20-13

Halacha Class 2-3-13

Halacha Class 2-10-13

Halacha Class 2-17-13

Hazzan Mike Stein and Craig Taubman share some "Out of the Box" Programming including...

November, 12 2013

"Man Seder"
"Kolot Tikvah-Creating and Rejoicing with a Special Needs Choir"
Craig with also share a little about his newest Interfaith "Pico Union Project"

M Stein and Craig Taubman (mp3) 1:01:00 27 Mb

Understanding Demographic Change:

Developing Relationships with Intermarrieds
January 10, 2012

Rabbi Charles Simon, FJMC

Our talented colleague, Rabbi Charles Simon, shared some of the exciting and innovative work he has done towards including intermarried couples in our communities.
Rabbi Chuck Simon 1/10/12 (mp3)

Post B'nai Mitzvah Retention - What People Are Doing

February 1, 2011
Presented by Hazzan Carol Chesler

Carol Chesler discusses B'nai Mitzvah retention, including programs and ideas for keeping teens connected to congregations.
Post B'nai Mitzvah Teleconference mp3 Unavailable

Relationships of Rabbis and Cantors

January 4, 2011
Hosted by Hazzan Robert Scherr and Rabbi Daniel Liben

It's not easy for colleagues of great personal passion and strong leadership intentions to serve together in close quarters. Is this why Deuteronomy cautions us not to be dissimilar animals together in the same yoke? What principles of Jewish values can guide us through difficult times, and help colleagues support one another in careers that can be supportive, but sometimes collide.

Kadima pdf
BMGenerations pdf
Post B'nai Mitzvah Programming doc
Post B'nai Mitzvah Resources
Relationshps of Rabbis and Cantors -> File Unavailable

Tot Shabbat Workshop

The five session Halacha class that Richard Wolberg lead in January and February of 2013.

December 7, 2010
Hosted by Hazzanim Arlyne Unger and Carol Chesler

Enjoy this recording of a wonderfully informative session which is a how-to for a Tot Shabbat complete with many valuable resources.

Tot Shabbat Workshop 12-7-10 mp3 file

B'nai Mitzvah Tools Workshop

The five session Halacha class that Richard Wolberg lead in January and February of 2013.

November 2, 2010
Innovative Ideas in Teaching B'nai Mitzvah: New materials, New Technology
Hosted by Hazzan Sheldon Levin

See the accompanying pdf for resources from this exciting Nosh-n-Drash brought to you by the Cantors Assembly Education Committee.
BarBatMitzvahMaterialsPDF - Unavailable
Sheldon Levin B'nai Mitzvah Tools Workshop 11-2-10 mp3


June 1st, 2010
A new forum for discussion of professional issues - this first Nosh-n-Shmooze explores retirement, a topic proposed by Hazzan Abe Lubin as he prepares for retirement.

Listen to Abe, recent retirees and colleagues preparing for retirement speak with a representative of the Joint Retirement Board and Executive Vice President Hazzan Stephen Stein. Issues of financial planning, parsonage, and personal goals are discussed.

Moderator: Hazzan Rebecca Carmi.This Nosh-n-Drash is part of the 2010 series Hazzan/Plus- Career Combos.
Conference Call - mp3


April 29, 2010
Aliza Becker, Director of Special Projects for J Street was the very well-spoken presenter who told us about J Street in an April 2010 podcast. Aliza spent nearly 8 years with Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the nationwide grassroots Israeli-Palestinian peace organization, where she served as Executive Director until it joined forces with J Street in January 2010. Aliza's portfolio includes developing a pro-Israel pro-peace network of rabbis and cantors and she has been especially interested in including and respecting cantors. For twenty years prior to founding Brit Tzedek, Aliza worked in the area of immigrant and refugee advocacy and education. She is the author of seven books and numerous articles. Her grandfather was a founding member of the Israeli trade union Histadrut in 1920. She lives in Chicago.

Facilitators: Hazzanim Jack Chomsky and Rebecca Carmi
Conference Call

Guest Speaker: Mark Waldman of Aipac

April 21, 2010
Since 2005, Mark Waldman has been the Director of Synagogue Initiative for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). As the director of this initiative, Mark is responsible for outreach to the synagogue community, and its clergy, with the goal of greater participation in pro-Israel activism by synagogue members.

Facilitators: Hazzanim Alan Sokoloff and Rebecca Carmi
Conference Call

Hazzan as Cantor/Educator

January 27, 2010
Hazzanim Sheldon Levin, Jeffrey Myers, and Marcey Wagner.


  1. Brief introduction of each of us
  2. Advantages of being a Cantor/Educator
  3. Challenges of being a Cantor/Educator
  4. How do we solve some of these challenges
  5. What resources are available to help some prepare to become an Educational Director?
  6. Contracts and salary: Combined versus separate.
  7. Questions.

Below are the resources shared by the speakers on this topic: Resources and References for Cantor/Educators Mentoring with another Cantor/Educational Director or Educational Director

Membership in professional organizations, such as JEA, ASCD, local principals' council, New CAJE, etc., which leads to building relationships with other professionals and finding new resources.

Connecting with public school educators in your congregation and community

Master's degree programs

On-line universities

Applying to funded programs, such as Leadership Initiative for Congregational Schools Books/Studies: The Jewish Educational Leader's Handbook, Robert Tornberg (ed.), A.R.E.

N. Skolnik Moskowitz (Editor), The Ultimate Jewish Teacher's Handbook, ARE

Transmission and Transformation: A jewish Perspective on Moral Educat by Carol K. Ingall Melton research Center for Jewish Education

L. Bloomberg, R.L. Goodman and P. Flexner, What We Now Know about Jewish Education. 2009.

P. Senge, Schools That Learn: A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Educators, Parents, and Everyone Who Cares About Education. New York: Doubleday/Currency, 2000

R. Kessler, The Soul of Education

L. G. Bolman and T. E. Deal, Reframing the Path to School Leadership: A Guide for Teachers and Principals. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc., 2002.

M. Fullan, Leading in a Culture of Change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2007 (revised edition)

G. Wiggins and J. McTighe, Understanding by Design

I. Aron, The Self-Renewing Congregation: Organizational Strategies for Revitalizing Congregational Life

I. Aron, Becoming a Congregation of Learners: Learning As a Key to Revitalizing Congregational Life

J. Wertheimer, Learning and Community

There is a comprehensive list for those preparing to be day school leaders which could be viewed more broadly as a list for Jewish Educational Leaders: DSLTI Reading/Reference List at

Jesna's Sosland Open Resource for online resources that are updated regularly

File Download - (59:50 mins / 28.2 MB) BROKEN LINK

Nosh-n-Drash October 20, 2009 with Andrzej Folwarczny

December 21st, 2009
Nosh-n-Drash October 20, 2009 with Andrzej Folwarczny, former member of Poland's Parliament (Sejm), grandson of a Lutheran minister imprisoned at Dachau, and Founder and President of the Forum for Dialogue Among the Nations.

Many of us had the opportunity last summer to hear Andrzej Folwarczny speak about his work in building bridges between Poles and Jews. During his tenure in the Sejm, Folwarczny, became concerned with both anti-Semitism in Poland and anti-Polish sentiments among Jews in Israel and elsewhere. His work with Polish youth groups visiting Israel and with Polish-born Holocaust survivors in that nation convinced him that reconnection and bridge building are essential for the future of two peoples that shared a homeland for many centuries before the Holocaust.

This Nosh-n-Drash is an opportunity to continue our dialogue with Andrzej Folwarczny and receive an update on the work of the Forum

File Download - (55:51 mins / 25.2 MB) BROKEN LINK

Teaching B’nai Mitzvah with Learning Challenges Nosh ‘n Drash January 26, 2009

February 28th, 2009
Hazzan Marcia Lane along with Educator and Special Ed expert Howard
Blas reprised their workshop on B’nai Mitzvah tutoring for children
with learning challenges. Many of us missed their session at last
year’s national convention, so here’s another opportunity to benefit
from their expertise.

CA Learning Challenges - handouts (PDF file)
Torah (PDF file)
Haftarah Translit Workkshop (PDF file)
conference-call-1-26-09 - File Download - (53:48 mins / 3.1 MB) BROKEN LINK

“Nosh-n-Drash” recorded on 11-13-08

November 13th, 2008
The Cantors Assembly U brings you a “Nosh-n-Drash” recorded on 11-13-08 with Dr. Ron Wolfson, Fingerhut Professor of Jewish Education at the American Jewish University (formerly the University of Judaism), and President of Synagogue 3000.

Dr. Wolfson spoke about his book, The Spirituality of Welcoming which deals with a vision of the congregation as a “kehillah kedoshah.”

As Director of the Education Department, Dr. Wolfson pioneered programs in Jewish education, creating the Educational Resource Center (ERC), and co-founding the first Summer Institute for Jewish Educators. In 1989, he helped create the Whizin Center for the Jewish Future, a think tank dedicated to envisioning the future of Jewish life. The first institute of the Whizin Center focused on Jewish family life. The second institute evolved into Synagogue 2000 (now Synagogue 3000), headed by Dr. Wolfson, to advance the synagogue in 21st century America.Dr. Wolfson's series of books on the Art of Jewish Living have sold over 100,000 copies. Beginning with The Shabbat Seder in 1985, he has authored eight books, most recently The Spirituality of Welcoming: How to Transform Your Congregation into a Sacred Community and God's To- Do List (Jewish Lights Publishing.)

For a complete Bio of Dr. Ron Wolfson go to the Synagogue 3000 website

File Download - (56:48 mins / 3.3 MB)

3-11-08 Chancellor Eisen Teleconference

March 20th, 2008
March 11, 2008 Teleconference by Chancellor Arnold Eisen

File Download (58:16 min / 0 MB)

"The Cantor and Meaning Making" Teleconference 3-3-08

March 5th, 2008
“The Cantor and Meaning Making” with Rabbi Irwin Kula
Interactive Teleconference Lecture
Chair: Hazzan Rebecca Carmi, Director of Continued Education and Development

Rabbi Irwin Kula is the President of CLAL – The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, a leadership training institute, think tank and resource center. Rabbi Kula is an author, teacher and also, son and brother of our own Hazzanim Mort and Mark Kula. His latest book, “Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life,” is one of the sources of this March 3rd talk.

1st Lecture of 3 in the Cantors Assembly U Spring Scholar Series NO LINK

"Nosh and Drash" Teleconference 5-21-07

May 21st, 2007
“Nosh and Drash” study session on 5/21/07 moderated by Liz Berke with Rabbi Michael Balinsky, Director of Faculty Development, Florence Melton Adult Mini-School. The topic of discussion was “Helping Students Find Their Jewish Voice: Interactive Teaching in Theory and Practice.” We studied a Zohar passage and selected writings of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchick, Stephen Brookfield and Parker Palmer. Rabbi Balinsky also addressed the potential stumbling blocks teachers may face

File Download (63:50 min / 29 MB)

"Learning and Praying At the Same Time" Teleconference 3-13-07

March 16th, 2007
Cantors Assembly Teleconference
Presented by the CA Education Committee
Chair: Hazzan Mimi Haselkorn
March 13, 2007
Rabbi Steven Brown speaks on “Learning and Praying at the same time. Hands-on ideas for Student Minyanim.”

Dr. Brown is the Dean of the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education, Director of the Melton Research Center for Jewish Education, Assistant Professor of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Rabbi Steven Brown bio :: Rabbi Steven Brown's biography on JTS web site
File Download (55:32 min / 25 MB)

HazzanCast Chanukah PodCast 2006

December 14th, 2006
Chanukah 2006 PodCast

A Project of the Education Committee of the Cantors Assembly of America

Cover Art by Amnon Carmi

  • Die Stimme der Synagoge :: “Halleluyah by Lewandowski” sung by Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi
  • Jon Simon :: “S'vivon” played by pianist Jon Simon
  • Debbie Friedman :: “The Dreidle Song” sung by Debbie Friedman
  • USCJ The Spirit Series Chanukah :: Take the Shamash, Chanukah Blessings, I Have a Little Dreydl, Hanukkah Hip-Hop, Ocho Kandelikas, Lo Amut, Al HaNisim from The Spirit of Hanukkah: Voices of the Conservative Movement
  • Beny Maissner :: “Mi Yemallel” sung by Hazzan Beny Maissner
  • David Propis :: “The Spirit Series” produced by Hazzan David Propis
  • Cantors Assembly Home Page :: Click Here to return to the Cantors Assembly Home Page

File Download (37:20 min / 18 MB)