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Date Location Tickets
6:00 PM - SUN 1/12 MIAMI THEATER CENTER Buy

North American Premiere

A Cantor's Head

Directed by Erik Greenberg Anjou

USA | 86 minutes | 2019

A wise Jew once opined — “You don’t leave synagogue humming the sermon.” It is a sacred song that lifts and inspires, transporting the soul and carrying on the beating heart of tradition. Cantor Jacob Mendelson — or just “Jackie” — has been in the vanguard and at the epicenter of that evolving tradition since graduating from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in 1970 and serving as cantor at Miami’s Beth Torah Congregation. As a teacher and a performing artist with a beautiful operatic voice, his Brooklyn-born chops, dynamism and humor have inculcated and inspired legions of hazzanim — cantors — across the U.S and the world. It is said that there isn’t a cantor on the East Coast of the United States that he hasn’t impacted! But Jackie is no longer the cantor at his long-time home of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, NY. His absence on the bimah (where services are conducted) reveals a great deal about both the current state and future of Jewish sacred music. Looking back at his long career, Jackie and his many admirers and protégés explain the magic of this centuries-long art form, which so well combines spiritual exploration, communal bonding, and dazzling showmanship. A Cantor’s Head also includes Jewish musical luminaries Netanel Hershtik, Daniel Mutlu, Alberto Mizrahi, Angela Buchdahl-Warnick, Mati Lazar, Jeff Warschauer, and star international tenor, Neil Shicoff.

Director Erik Greenberg Anjou and film subject Cantor Jacob Mendelson will be in attendance to introduce the film and participate in an extended conversation with the audience afterward. The event will also feature a performance of traditional cantorial songs by Cantor Jacob Mendelson.

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Erik Greenberg Anjou is a graduate of the American Film Institute’s Center for Advanced Film Studies. His previous feature documentaries — A Cantor’s Tale (MJFF 2006) and The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground (MJFF 2011) — are about sacred music and klezmer music.
Director Erik Greenberg Anjou
Countries of Production USA
Year of Presentation 2019
Language(s)
Premiere Status North American Premiere
Runtime 86 minutes
Principal Cast Jacob Ben-Zion Mendelson, Neil Shicoff, Netanel Hershtik, Alberto Mizrahi
Sponsor(s)

The Foundation at GMJF

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