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August 30, 2014 | 4th Elul 5774

The 50th Anniversary Of The American Conference Of Cantors (ACC)

67th General Assembly
November 2003
Minneapolis, Minnesota

RESOLUTION ON THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE AMERICAN CONFERENCE OF CANTORS (ACC)

Then you shall make proclamation with the blast of the horn throughout your land, unto all the inhabitants thereof. And you shall hallow the fiftieth year; a jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you. (Leviticus 25:9-10)

BACKGROUND

"For decades, cantors and synagogue musicians have worked in tandem with rabbis to infuse our worship services with joyful and meaningful music. Equally important is the role that each of you--clergy and professionals alike--plays in building and sustaining the vibrant congregations that are vital and precious links in our Union. Through your sacred work, you not only provide caring and compassionate service to members and their families but also ensure that our spiritual homes are exemplary houses of worship, houses of study, and houses of assembly" (Rabbi Eric Yoffie, on the occasion of the ACC/GTM Jubilee Conference in New York, July 2, 2003).

The American Conference of Cantors was founded in 1953 by a small and dedicated group of "sweet singers in Israel" who were called to serve the Jewish people in Reform congregational settings. Over the last fifty years, the ACC has evolved into a thriving professional organization that currently represents over 450 cantors in Australia, Austria, Canada, England, Hong Kong, Israel, Sweden, and the United States of America as k'lei kodesh, serving the multifarious needs of K'lal Yisrael.

The ACC exists to support its members in their sacred calling as emissaries for Judaism and for Jewish music. Each individual cantor offers spiritual, pastoral, musical, educational, and organizational leadership to the congregations and communities of the Reform Movement. The American Conference of Cantors draws upon the energies and aspirations of its members through a shared and dynamic vision of programs and initiatives that respond to the needs of the greater Reform community.

Members of the ACC contribute greatly to the vitality of our Jewish culture and heritage. Rooted in the past yet envisioning new growth toward the future, cantors invested and certified by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion are thoroughly schooled in Jewish music and its history, as well as the history of our people through its liturgy, its philosophy, and the study of its sacred texts. Members of the ACC strive to maintain the highest standards of excellence and aesthetic authenticity while seeking to provide our communities with a compelling experience of text, music, and learning in relationship to one another and connectedness to God.

THEREFORE, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations resolves to:

  1. Congratulate the American Conference of Cantors (ACC) on the occasion of its 50th (Jubilee) Anniversary;
  2. Recognize the integral role that the ACC plays to ensure a vibrant and secure future for Reform Judaism by serving in leadership positions on numerous commissions of the UAHC and most notably the Joint Commission on Synagogue Music and the Commission on Religious Living;
  3. Acknowledge and applaud the significant contribution to the Reform community made by members of the ACC through their commitment to maintaining a sacred covenant (b'rit kodesh) with the CCAR, HUC-JIR, and the UAHC and its affiliates and their devotion to acting in partnership to benefit K'lal Yisrael; and
  4. Affirm the sacred calling of the cantor and the centrality of Jewish music, cantillation, and nusach, in transmitting Torah and the rich and variegated heritage and values of the Jewish people to present and future generations through the many voices and faces of the American Conference of Cantors.

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