January 9, 2019
The Senior Cantor search committee, assembled in November, as announced in Life@Holy Blossom, (see link below) will be providing periodic progress reports to the congregation. Below is our first update, outlining the committee’s activities completed so far, and our ongoing plans.
The first phase of our search is the Listening Campaign. Throughout the winter and spring of 2019, our main objective is to obtain input and ideas from the congregation on the future of music and chazanut at Holy Blossom. This phase involves a series of meetings with groups of Temple members, plus several Open Forum sessions, to which all members are invited. There will also be an online survey for all Temple members so we can gather input from as many congregants as possible.
In two Open Forum sessions held on November 18 (following the AGM) and December 6, we heard from congregants who shared their ideas with us. The participation of all who attended provided valuable input to the process and is very much appreciated. We will be holding more Open Forums in the coming months and encourage you to attend to share your thoughts, to listen to others, and to learn more about the process. Further, Open Forum dates will be published in a future issue of Life@Holy Blossom.
At present, the committee is visiting other synagogues in Toronto and beyond, to observe different styles and approaches to chazanut, and the use of music in prayer. This is an educational undertaking of the committee members in advance of evaluating specific candidates.
We also continue to meet with and take guidance from the American Conference of Cantors (ACC), the professional association that manages the process of placing cantors in Reform congregations. With the input from our Listening Campaign and the ACC, we will define our priorities and prepare the job description for the Senior Cantor role at Holy Blossom Temple.
The summer/fall of 2019 will be the appropriate time to post a job description for the position of Senior Cantor which will start in the summer of 2020. Meanwhile, we will continue to publicize the position through word of mouth, professional associations, and the community at large.
We strongly encourage you to share your ideas and aspirations for music at Holy Blossom through the upcoming online survey, by attending one of the advertised meetings, or by personal contact with committee members.
Cantor Maissner will transition to the next phase of his illustrious career, as our Cantor Emeritus, in July 2020. While we know we can’t replace him (nor will we try to), we will, with your help, find a worthy successor for the position of Senior Cantor at Holy Blossom Temple for the next period of our congregation’s history.
Senior Cantor Search Committee
Dr. Barry Borden
Jeff Denaburg (Co-Chair)
Rachel Malach (Co-Chair)
Joanne Roher (Vice-Chair)
Rabbi Yael Splansky (ex-officio)