Hello Sinai community. And hello, wider Leeds Jewish community.
I am Cantor Rachel Weston and I'm delighted to be the new cantor and religious leader of Sinai Synagogue in Leeds. I'd like to thank you for the warmth and the welcome that you've already shown me. I've just arrived in Leeds, having completed a five year training at Hebrew Uni and college in Jerusalem and then in New York.
What's the difference between a rabbi and a cantor?
Well, rabbis and cantors receive much of the same training. Cantors are qualified to do everything that rabbis do,but at a certain point in the five years, the rabbinical students go off and do a lot more text and homiletics and the Cantorial students take a really deep dive into the history and development of Jewish liturgy and Jewish music, contemporary and traditional, and how to really use that music and liturgy in ritual, in education, and in pastoral settings.
And I'm so excited to be a part of creating a vibrant Jewish community that's based around learning artful music, ritual and scholarship.
This is a period of deep renewal for me, and as we go into the High Holy Days, I'm so looking forward to sharing that renewal with Sinai and with the wider Leeds Jewish community.
Thank you so much.