The Cantorial Intern Program of the Cantors Assembly

The Cantors Assembly recognizes the need of reaching out to shlihei tzibur who do not qualify for membership in our organization when such individuals demonstrate that they are sincerely committed to this sacred calling. We elevate the Cantorate by increasing their knowledge and skills. The purpose of this initiative is to train and prepare such individuals so they can acquire the knowledge needed to pass our examinations for membership. At the same time, we will strengthen our organization with the infusion of additional new members. For these reasons, the Cantors Assembly has established the Cantorial Intern of the Cantors Assembly (CICA) program.

Who is Qualified to Apply?

Participation in the CICA program is meant for candidates who do not meet the qualifications for membership in the Cantors Assembly, such as:
1. One who did not graduate from a Cantorial school recognized by the Cantors Assembly; and
2. A person who took the test, but did not pass

Requirements for Entrance into the CICA program 

  1. Graduation, with a four year degree, from a recognized college or university
  2. Applicant must be at least 26 years of age
  3. A practicing Jew, who is shomer mitzvot, according to the standards of the Conservative movement. (If a convert, the conversion must meet such standards of the Conservative movement. If married, the spouse must be Jewish by the same standards.)
  4. Hebrew language reading fluency
  5. Background in music
  6. Minimum of two years in a full-time Cantorial position
  7. Inability to attend a recognized Cantorial school
  8. Recommendations by three individuals

Application Process

Each CICA candidate shall submit an application that includes years of study, job experience, religious background and future goals, for review by the Membership Committee. In addition, an application fee is required along with three letters of recommendation. The Membership Committee shall review the applicants packet and determine eligibility. If eligible, the Membership Committee shall interview the applicant. The candidate will be tested at this interview to determine the basic level of proficiency in the following areas: Music Theory; Hebrew; Cantillation; Nusach and Davening Skills; Jewish Music

Determination of Admittance into the CICA program
Approval of a candidate for the CICA program shall be made by the Executive Council after a recommendation from the Membership Committee. The Code of Professional Conduct of the Cantors Assembly shall be applicable to participants in the CICA program.

Mentoring
To ensure a proper course of study and successful completion of the CICA program, each candidate must have a mentor. This mentor must be a member of the Cantors Assembly. If the candidate does not have a mentor, the Membership Committee will recommend suitable instructors. The mentor will meet with the candidate prior to acceptance into the CICA program in order to create a framework for study. That proposal shall be submitted in writing to the Membership Committee. A mentor must sponsor the candidate.

Study Requirements
The intern, in consultation with the mentor, shall review the exam syllabus and prepare a five-year course of study. The outline of study shall be submitted to the Membership Committee for approval. Each participant in the CICA program will be given six years in which to pass all components of the Cantors Assembly Membership Exam. The testing portion is divided between Written and Oral Exams. There are a total of 10 exams. Program participants shall be required to take at least one exam per year to retain their status as a CICA member. However, to pass all the exams in a timely manner, the CICA member, in consultation with their mentor, should plan on taking at least two exams per year. Failure to take at least one exam per year may result in that individual being removed from the CICA program. The Membership Committee or another individual approved by the Memberhip Committee shall administer the examinations. If the intern does not pass a section, he/she will have an opportunity to retake the exam within one year. This shall not cause a delay in taking the next exam. The intern must pass all components of the Membership Exam by the end of the sixth year.

CICA Program Participants Rights and Privileges
CICA program participants shall enjoy all of the rights, privileges and advantages of membership in the Cantors Assembly with the following modifications and/or exceptions:

  1. They shall not receive Hazzan status and commissioning.
  2. They shall be subject to dues and other assessments at the current rate.
  3. They are prohibited from directly, or by inference, representing themselves as full members of the Cantors Assembly. They may indicate that they are enrolled in the CICA program.
  4. If an intern does not ultimately fulfill the requirements for membership, it shall be up to the Membership Committee to notify the Executive Council, and the participant shall, without prejudice, be recommended for dismissal from the program.
  5. An intern shall not have voting privileges at the Annual Meeting, but may attend.

With whom do I speak about CICA?
You may contact Hazzan Bruce Braun at 330-864-8533 ext. 202 or brucebraun@cantors.org

To access the syllabus for each of the exams click:   Written Exam or Oral Exam