Hazzan Jack Kessler
Hazzan Jack Kessler has been described as a one-man force of nature in Jewish music . He was ordained as a Cantor at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and went on to have a twenty-year career serving Conservative congregations. During that time he received a Master's degree in voice from Boston Conservatory and pursued studies in composition in the graduate department of Brandeis University, where he worked with Arthur Berger and Harold Shapero, and Bethany Beardslee at Harvard. A lyric baritone, he has performed opera, oratorio, and premiered new works, in addition to his ongoing career as a singer of Hazzanut, the sacred cantorial art. Originally trained as an Ashkenazi Hazzan, his performance style and original compositions also embrace Sephardi and Mizrachi styles.
Hazzan Kessler has lectured and taught master classes in Jewish music at New England Conservatory in Boston, the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York, and presented many concerts in an educational format. He is the director of the ALEPH Cantorial Ordination Program, and teaces voice and hazzanut. His current performance projects are directing, composing for, and being the vocal lead of the two touring ensembles ATZILUT--CONCERTS FOR PEACE, a duet format of arab and Jewish musicians performing together, and KLINGON KLEZMER, which does Jewish music from other planets.
The ALEPH Cantorial Program
Hazzan Jack Kessler directs the ALEPH Cantorial Program, one of the three ALEPH Ordination Programs which train rabbis, cantors and rabbinic rastors to serve Jewish congregations, havurot, and to serve in educational and pastoral roles. The ALEPH Cantorial Program is a non-denominational, decentralized program of learning which offers structured guidance and mentorship in pursuing the rigorous studies and practica which can culminate in ordination as a hazzan.
The Cantorial Program Curriculum Includes:
• Advanced skills in Liturgy and the Leadership of Prayer
• Pastoral Skills
• Life-cycle Officiation
• Jewish Literacy
• Personal Spiritual/Emotional Development