Sem­grad­u­ate­is­first­for can­tor role at Re­form

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community -

NEW FINCH­LEY Re­form ap­point­ment Zöe Ja­cobs is the first grad­u­ate of a sem­i­nary pro­gramme to work as a can­tor in a UK Re­form con­gre­ga­tion.

Can­tor Ja­cobs grad­u­ated re­cently from He­brew Union Col­lege Jewish In­sti­tute of Re­li­gion, in New York. She led High Holy-Day ser­vices at Finch­ley and will also be co-or­di­nat­ing Jewish mu­sic projects for the Re­form move­ment.

Raised in Muswell Hill, north Lon­don, the 29-year-old stud­ied Jewish his­tory at Southamp­ton Uni­ver­sity, where she chaired the Jewish so­ci­ety. She then spent a year work­ing for the Move­ment for Re­form Ju­daism as a stu­dent field­worker, as well as teach­ing at the Finch­ley and South­gate Re­form syn­a­gogues. Dur­ing her train­ing in Amer­ica, she had can­to­rial in­tern­ships in New York and New Jer­sey.

At Finch­ley, her aim “is to help cre­ate a tra­di­tion where each piece of mu­sic helps us un­der­stand our story, in­vesti- gate our text, and deepen our prayer”.

The shul’s Rabbi Miriam Berger said: “Can­tor Ja­cobs is in­tro­duc­ing us to tra­di­tions we were los­ing. The jour­ney through the Jewish year is al­ready be­ing made more ac­ces­si­ble by us­ing mu­sic as our guide.”

Can­tor Ja­cobs is also con­tribut­ing to a book of Jewish mu­sic be­ing pro­duced by the move­ment.

A mu­si­cal guide: Can­tor Zöe Ja­cobs

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