Convention Survey

Greetings! First of all, we want to thank each and every one of you for attending the ACC/GTM Convention this year in Philadelphia. We hope it was as enjoyable and fulfilling an experience for you as it was for us. We have completed an incredible journey in the last few days, studying ourselves, our cantorial profession, and the place of both in the wider world of Jewish and non-Jewish religious and cultural institutions. As ACC/GTM leaders committed to the excellence of our organizations, we rely on your feedback to maintain a product that is worthy of your time and resources. Please take some time to fill out this post-Convention survey with evaluations, comments and suggestions. The more information you give us, the better chance we all have of moving in the right direction with Conventions in years to come!

David, Erin, Beth and Michelle

Getting to the National Museum of American Jewish History and other Tour info

Our schedule today includes the opportunity for everyone to visit some of the many historical sites in Philadelphia. You are encouraged to walk and grab lunch on your way to the National Museum of American Jewish History which is located on the corner of 5th and Walnut. It is a short 10 minute walk along which you will find many places for lunch. Exit the hotel, follow Dock Street (right out of the hotel) to Walnut St. and turn left. The museum will be a few blocks ahead at 5th. (Of course, you can also take 2nd and walk up Chestnut and then turn right on 5th to the museum too!) If you’d like to explore the National Museum of American Jewish History before our speaker because you have a 2 p.m. tour elsewhere, you are welcome to arrive a little early.

If you prefer to catch a ride, a bus will be leaving the hotel at 12:30 p.m.

Please remember your badges or guest tickets and a photo ID. Leave yourself enough time to get through security so our speaker can begin at 1 p.m.

If you have already had the opportunity to visit the National Museum of American Jewish History and are going directly to the National Constitution Center or Independence Hall, please be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before your tour time. Ticket for the NCC and Independence Hall will be available for pick up after 10 a.m. near registration.

Learning Opportunities from Mechon Hadar

Thank you for singing and learning with us yesterday at the ACC-GTM conference! Here’s a link to the niggun we sang together during the morning plenary session:

Nishmat Kol Chai – Joey Weisenberg and the Hadar Ensemble (Feat. Deborah Sacks and Mattisyahu Brown).

We want to offer a few opportunities for you to continue learning with us and for you to stay involved with Mechon Hadar. Please consider bringing a “prayer team” to our week-long Singing Communities Intensive!

Spiritual Sounds Laboratory in NY: Dec. 19-22 2016!
Mechon Hadar has a number of ongoing opportunities to continue learning. Hadar’s Center for Jewish Communal Music hosts an annual Singing Communities Intensive in December, lead by me and a stellar faculty. The four-day seminar offers an opportunity to explore the intersection of music, spirituality, and prayer. To learn more about Mechon Hadar’s other week-long seminars please click here.

Learn With A Havruta
Project Zug: Connecting through Global Jewish Learning, powered by Mechon Hadar, is an online learning tool that pairs Jews from across the globe to learn courses together. Among the courses offered, R. Elie Kaunfer teaches “The Prayerbook: New Interpretive Methods”. To learn more about Project Zug, please click here or contact Avi Killip at

Online Resources for Cantors and Ba’alei Tfilah
We have hundreds of online classes, lectures and musical resources, all available for no cost. No need to leave the comfort of your house! To browse our tefillah & music resources, please click here.

R. Ethan Tucker’s Weekly Essays
Our colleague, R. Ethan Tucker, has started sharing a weekly essay exploring core themes in Jewish law and values. Taking the weekly Torah reading as a starting point, these essays tackle a range of issues including gender, sexuality, Jewish identity, food practices, and Shabbat in the modern world. To receive these emails directly to your inbox, please click here.

Thank you again and we look forward to learning with you soon!

Mechon Hadar Logo

“Dinner on your own” sign ups available until Noon

If you would like to join a group of colleagues at a local restaurant for dinner after tonight’s concert, please sign up at the bulletin board outside the Exhibitor hall. Of course, you are welcome to “dine on your own” with friends and colleagues at any of the dozens of restaurants around town. Here is a list of some that our local foodies have compiled.

While you are checking out the dinner options, please be sure to shop our exhibitors!

ACC Celebrates Cantor Sheila Cline’s 40 Years in the Cantorate

Cantor Sheila Cline is celebrating her 40th year in the Cantorate and holds the distinction of being one of the first two women in Jewish history to be ordained as a Cantor. Awarded a full cantorial scholarship at Hebrew Union College – School of Sacred Music in New York City, she was the first Hazzanit (female Cantor) invited to sing in Israel and Europe.

As founder of Lifesongs, Cantor Cline has pioneered in using music and message as a healing, empowering, intergenerational, and inspirational force for nurturing and renewal in support of our daily experiences and significant milestones. She has been recognized on radio, television, and in the print media, including the Boston Globe, the Jewish Advocate, and Boston Woman Magazine. Cantor Cline has served in both congregational and chaplaincy settings.

Boston-born, and recipient of the Massachusetts Award in Voice, she was a leading soprano with the Music – Drama Theatre of New York, a Jewish opera repertory company. Cantor Cline was designated a National Scholar in the Creative Arts at Brandeis University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree while attending the New England Conservatory of Music in Voice. She also holds certification in Gerontology from Boston College School of Social Work.

Cantor Cline is an Advisory Board Member of the Synagogue Council and a member of the Jewish Community Relations Council. She is the community liaison for the New England Board of Cantors and is a member of the American Conference of Cantors.

Visit our Exhibitors

Our exhibitors travel from far and wide to be with us at #ACCGTM2016. Please visit them in “Bromley/Claypoole” and shop! CCAR Press, Cantors Assembly Press, Talma Jewelry, Woven Gems, various artists, etc. Help make this conference successful for all of them. More details about our exhibitors can be found here:

Planning for the Wednesday afternoon tours

Wednesday afternoon, participants and pre-registered guests will have the opportunity to visit several Philadelphia landmarks both as a group and individually.

We have secured tour tickets for participants for Independence Hall and the Constitution Center beginning at 2:00 p.m. Sign up sheets will be available on the bulletin board near registration. Please be sure to sign up for the tour times you are interested in attending. Constitution Center and Independence Hall tickets will be available at the Ayelet Desk from at 10:00 AM-11:30 AM on Wednesday morning then at the Museum beginning at 12:30 PM.

We will begin our afternoon at the National Museum of American Jewish History with a 1 p.m. presentation by CEO, Ivy Barskey. Please arrive at the museum by 12:45 p.m. to go through security screening. You will need your Convention Badge or guest ticket and a Photo ID for entrance. Proceed to the lower level theater for the presentation.

After our presentation, you have the choice to take a self-guided tour or a docent guided tour. There will be four docents who will take groups of about 15 people each. We will have meeting places for each docent in the theater lobby. You are welcome to spend as much time as you’d like at the museum exploring the exhibits

As we know some participants have had the opportunity to tour the NMAJH, we secured tickets to other attractions to begin once our introduction ends. Please make your way to your tour about 15 minutes before the “start time” on your ticket.

Your visit to the National Constitution Center includes the museum’s main exhibit includes three signature attractions:

  • Freedom Rising: This multimedia theater-in-the-round performance connects visitors-in an inspiring, unforgettable way-with the story of the United States Constitution and its ongoing role in our lives.
  • The Story of We the People: This hands-on exhibit illuminates America’s constitutional history through innovative exhibits, films, photographs, rare artifacts, and engaging activities led by our education staff.
  • Signers’ Hall: Sign the Constitution alongside 42 life-size, bronze statues of the Founding Fathers.
  • The Constitution Center self-guided tour takes about 90 minutes to complete.

Independence Hall is located on Chestnut Street, between 5th and 6th Streets. Entrance is through a security screening area on Chestnut Street, just west of 5th Street. After passing through security, visitors line up behind the East Wing of Independence Hall for their timed tour. The GPS address for Independence Hall is 520 Chestnut Street. Tours last 30-40 minutes.

Please be sure to sign up on the bulletin board for your desired time as the timed tickets will be first come first serve.