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Faculty Biographies
9th Annual European Cantors Convention

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Budapest Hungary, 10 – 14 July 2014  
This year's subject is "The High Holydays: Inspire and be inspired"

Guest Chazanim:
Asher Hainovitz (Jerusalem)
Yaakov Motzen (Miami).

Cantor Asher Hainovitz, Guest Tutor, was born in Jerusalem and studied Chazanut from an early age with the renowned Rav Zalman Rivlin. He also studied music at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. 

He served as Chazan in South Africa and in the Edgware Yeshurun and St John’s Wood Congregations in London.

Since 1977, Cantor Hanovitz has served as Chazan at the Yeshurun Central synagogue in Jerusalem.

Cantor Yaakov Motzen, Guest Tutor, of The Shul of Bal Harbour, Florida is a native of Tel Aviv and the fifth generation of a family of Cantors. 

He attended well known Yeshivot in Israel and studied music and vocal technique with the late Yosef Goland, the principal baritone in the Berlin opera in the 1920s. Yaakov studied liturgy with the renowned Cantor Yitzchak Eshel.

He has served as vice president of the Nachala organization from 1973-1978, which was dedicated to entertaining wounded soldiers and held the position of Chief Cantor in Givatayim, Haifa, and Ramat Gan, as well as singing on Kol Yisrael radio and television. 

In 1978, Motzen went to Montreal to take the position of Cantor of Congregation Shomrim Laboker-Beth Yehuda-Shaarei Tefillah for nine years, and then became the Cantor of the Adath Israel Poalei Zedek Congregation for the next ten years until July, 1997.

From 1997 to 2005 he served as the Cantor of Shaarei Shomayim Congregation in Toronto, Canada. In November of 1987 and 1988, he joined several other outstanding cantors in a historical tour behind the Iron Curtain, organized by the American Society for the Advancement of Cantorial Arts and the Gila and Haim Wiener Foundation.

Yaakov Motzen has performed in concert in many parts of the world, including Australia, South Africa, England, Israel, and many cities in North America. He has released over a dozen recordings of liturgical and Chassidic music. 

Cantor Eric Moses, convention committee member, studied piano and voice at the Royal Conservatory of music in Toronto and is a graduate of the Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute (TACI) under the direction of Naftali Herstik, Chazzan Emeritus of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue Jerusalem. He also has a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from York University in Toronto. 

He began his cantorial career at 25 at the Shaare Zion Congregation in Montreal (1996 -2000.)  Since 2001, he has been the Cantor at Beth Sholom Synagogue in Toronto and is a past president of the Toronto Council of Hazzanim. He has appeared at concert halls across Europe, Israel, the United States and Canada in concerts with orchestras and choirs.

Eric has released two CDs : Moses Sings and Moses Live. He is also an exceptional organizer and promoter of major events including to honouring Cantor David Bagley at the Toronto Centre for the Arts in 2005 and a Tribute to Cantor Louis Danto in 2006. His most recent project was the “World’s Greatest Cantors in Concert” in 2012.

He is a past president of the Toronto Council of Chazanim – a position which recognises his contribution to the significant Toronto community.

 Cantor Laszlo Fekete, convention joint host, has been the first cantor of the Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest since 1989.

He had earler sung in the Synagogue as a member of the choir, and has performed in a number of Italian operas in Népszínház. He points to the works of Emil Ádám, Chief Rabbi Dr. Adolf Schöner and Sári Ráday as examples. He also took part in the master courses of cantor Yitzchak Eshel.

He often participates in concerts, radio and television broadcasts, recording sessions and films; is an ex-member of the Odessa Klezmer Band and now teaches at the Department of Jewish Theology at the University of Jewish Studies in Budapest.

He is the founding member and leader of the first Jewish Musical Conference in Hungary. During his artistic career, he has travelled throughout Europe and also visited Israel and Japan.

Rabbi Cantor David Schwezoff, convention joint host and head of the Central European branch of the ECA, was born in Budapest and has been involved in music from the age of 6, playing the piano and singing. His cantorial studies began in 1998 at Yeshiva University's Belz School of Jewish Music, with Cantors Joseph Malovany, Bernard Beer, and Sherwood Goffin.

He was been honoured to sing as guest Cantor in Germany, UK, Ukraine, France, Switzerland, USA and Israel. Since 2001 he has held a pulpit as cantor in Hungary, presently of the largest Status-Quo Ante Synagogue in Budapest, Hungary.

David is a PhD candidate in Business and is also completing his MEd in Music studies. Experienced in banking management and management consultancy for over 12 years, he teaches Economics, Business Studies, Business Communication, and Marketing in High Schools.

He recieved his Semicha in 2013 and gives shiurim at Yeshivas Pirchei Shoshanim in Jewish Prayer and in Business Ethics. David is the head of the Central and Eastern European Branch ECA, and is active in the placement of Cantors, Rabbis and Synagogues. He is fluent in English and Russian as well as Hungarian.

Hirsh Cashdan, moderator, was born and brought up in Liverpool, in a family well known for its scholastic achievement. 
As the youngest of six children he had a particularly close relationship with his father who was a shochet, teacher at the Liverpool yeshiva and Jewish school, and ba'al t'fila and ba'al kore at Grove Street shul which he ran as both minister and secretary. 
Hirsh participated closely with his father at shul and from that and Shabbat z'mirot began a deep emotional attachment to traditional Jewish music. After nearly 40 years in industry as a manager and project manager working for IBM, Hirsh took early retirement to pursue chosen interests and immediately took up a volunteer role with the Jewish Music Institute (JMI). 

He has played a key role in organising six previous Cantors Conventions under the aegis of JMI and Tephilharmonic, and now fulfils his personal musical passion by attempting to breathe life into a clarinet and into the kriat hatorah at his local shul in Richmond.

Alex Klein, Convenor, European Cantors Association, has a passion for chazanut and has worked effectively over the last 40 years in his home city of Manchester to bring it to the attention of as many people as possible through concerts, lectures and radio programmes.  

He was appointed Convenor of the Cantorial Branch of the JMI Synagogue Music Section in 2011 and organised the JMI European Cantors Convention in Manchester, Gala concert and musical Shabbat featuring guest cantors Yaakov Motzen and Sol Zim.

He established the Julian Klein Memorial Scholarship for training cantors at the Tel Aviv Cantors Institute (TACI) and several have already taken part in courses there.

Alex hopes the European Cantors' Association will continue to build on the fruitful foundations created by the Jewish Music Institute Synagogue Music Section under its consultant Stephen Glass and previous convention convenor Hirsh Cashdan.

Updated 9th March 2014