Mifgash Musicale is the Guild of Temple Musician’s primary learning opportunity each year. It began with our Guild’s first president, who determined along with the American Conference of Cantors, that congregations could benefit greatly from access to the best qualified teachers of Torah, Jewish worship and music. The learning takes place in a retreat format at the Cincinnati campus of Hebrew Union College, a place steeped in the history of the Reform movement with access to the American Jewish Archives at the same location. For the five days of this retreat, participants become a community, praying together daily and studying liturgy and more with scholars. It is as close as you can get to a taste of Rabbinic or Cantorial school, with enrolling full time and it is designed for professionals and lay leaders of all sorts working in congregations today. Participants who are dedicated synagogue members with a passion to learn more, choir members who want to be rooted in Jewish knowledge, Temple educators, Cantorial soloists, music and choir directors, and composers all come together to deepen their knowledge and skills so they can return to their home congregations ready to apply their learning right away.

This year we were sad to postpone Mifgash Musicale due to lack of registrants. We had 15 people registered and this was not enough to break even financially. We realize that the cost of coming to this learning retreat may be challenging for many of our members. We are in discussions about how to structure the retreat so that more people can take advantage of it and how to promote it to Rabbis and Cantors in congregations to sponsor a worthy candidate using their discretionary funds. Ideas like, shortening the length of the retreat to 3 days from the current 5 days, would also help to lower the cost.

This week we are asking for your feedback! Have you been to Mifgash Musicale? What is your experience and how did it help you? What price point would be reasonable for you to manage? Do you prefer a Sunday to Thursday format…or would Monday to Wednesday work for you, if the price were less?

Currently we focus on teaching liturgy for High Holydays, Festivals, Shabbat and we are now including Life Cycle events, recognizing that many of you play a role in facilitating at Funerals, Weddings, Brises and B’nai Mitzvot. We tend to rotate the focus on these aspects each year. What areas of learning are you most interested in?

We would love to hear from you. Please email Aryell Cohen with your responses. Let him know what you want to see at Mifgash Musicale and how we can help you get there!  [email protected]

Together, our goal is to enhance the knowledge and expertise of synagogue musicians through continuing education.

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Bimonthly articles and news about the practice of creating music in Jewish settings.
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