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Yeshiva University’s Philip and Sarah Belz School of Jewish Music Publishes Journal, Releases Double Album

The 32nd edition of the annual Journal of Jewish Music and Liturgy, edited by Cantor Bernard Beer, director of Yeshiva University’s Philip and Sarah Belz School of Jewish Music, has recently been published, and the school has also released its first album in the Nusah Legacy Recordings Project.

Now in its 32nd year, The Journal of Jewish Music and Liturgy has achieved national recognition as a model of scholarship that fills a critical need in the Jewish community. Offering essays on all aspects of Jewish music and prayer, its articles are written by distinguished rabbis, cantors, musicologists, physicians, professors, psychologists and educators. Thousands subscribe to the journal and numerous lecturers, writers and laymen use its pages as a source of reference.

This year’s issue, published by the Cantorial Council of America in conjunction with Belz, features five scholarly articles and a book review. The articles include “Nusah Hallel and Tal,” by Cantor Leib Glantz; “Contemporary Sephardic Hazzanut,” by Rabbi Moshe Tessone, a faculty member at Belz and director of YU’s Sephardic Studies Program; “The Poetry, Variants and Evolution of Hashkiveinu,” by Dr. John H. Planer, a faculty member in the music department at Manchester University; “The Power of Prayer” by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the Kressel and Ephrat Family University Professor of Jewish Though at YU; and “Joseph Rosenblatt – The Man and His Music,” by Beer. The journal also features a review of Rabbi Dr. Walter Orenstein’s A Window to the Siddur (Urim Publications 2009) by Cantor Eric Freeman, assistant director of Belz.

In addition, Belz announced its first recording in the Nusah Legacy Recordings Project, which captures the yearly Jewish prayer cycle as it is taught in academic coursework at Belz. The first album, a 2-CD set featuring Beer accompanied by Freeman, presents all of the liturgy for the Musaf service of Rosh Hashana and is an excellent resource for aspiring chazzanim and laymen alike as they learn to lead prayer services.

“These chants, having been transmitted to us from generation to generation, are sacred and may be considered as part of our rich musical mesorah [heritage],” said Beer. “In order to conform to the climate of today’s synagogues and adhere to halachic teachings, we have eliminated word repetitions and excessive embellishment. In addition, every effort has been made for the words of the text to be rendered according to the rules of Hebrew grammar.”

To subscribe to The Journal of Jewish Music and Liturgy, purchase the Nusah Legacy Recordings Project album or for more information about Belz, contact Cantor Eric Freeman at 212.960.5353 or efreeman@yu.edu.