Students of All Stripes Find Their Voice at YU’s Belz School of Jewish Music

Once a week for the past seven years, New York State Supreme Court Justice Martin Schulman has made the trip from his courthouse chambers in Jamaica, Queens to Yeshiva University’s Philip and Sarah Belz School of Jewish Music on YU’s Washington Heights Wilf Campus.

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Cantor Joseph Malovaney provides instruction to Judge Martin Schulman. (Photo: David Khabinsky)

Joined in a classroom by students who run the gamut from undergraduates and aspiring rabbis to doctors, lawyers, security guards and bus drivers, Schulman studies nusach ha-tefillah [prayer chants] and the theories, music and techniques of chazanut [cantorial singing], a critical Jewish skill which is fast being forgotten. But it’s not just about singing: at its core, chazanut is about channeling the voice of a community.

That skill is the main emphasis at Belz, a division of YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. Read the rest of this entry…

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