Lipp to promote residencies to match Cantors, congregations during term

Cantor David Lipp

David Lipp hopes to raise the profile of the Conservative cantorate during his two-year term as president of the Cantors Assembly (CA).
“I can’t tell you how many times in this city people say, ‘I just don’t know what a cantor is,” Lipp lamented. “Usually, if I perform anywhere where I haven’t been before I usually almost always have to explain what I am and what I do.”
Lipp, who will be installed in May during the CA Convention in Louisville, plans to address the problem with two projects:
First, he wants to create a hazzan-in-residence program, enabling cantors to visit synagogues that don’t have one. The CA would partially subsidize the residencies; Lipp has already established a restricted fund that would pay perhaps $500 per visit.
Second, he will “exhort” cantors to “invest in themselves” by taking up a new instrument, more voice lessons – something that would enhance their work.
He hopes to recruit colleagues to help raise money for the residency fund and establish guidelines for its use.
Of the 600 members in the CA, he said about 315 are fully employed. The rest are either retired, underemployed, unemployed, working in another field or still in the process of becoming full CA members.
“There are too many large synagogues that could afford a cantor that don’t have one, and that bothers me,” Lipp said. “I want my colleagues to be well employed, to have a chance to actually share that which they have to share, the gifts they have to share.”

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