Issue # 66 – January 2013 / Shevat 5773

 Lashir BeNefesh 2013

Judaism and music
are good for the soul

Lashir Be Nefesh Seminar (Singing with the Soul)
is in its seventh edition, on March 10, 11 and 12 at the ARI-Rio de Janeiro

The presence of musicians and the melody of the prayers are some of the most important aspects that differentiate the liberal communities throughout the world. And it was actually while thinking of improving aspects related to music in the religious services that the Lashir Be Nefesh (Singing with the Soul) arose with the support of the WUPJ-LA.

The Lashir Be Nefesh is a seminar for practical and theoretical studies with the objective of training Chazanim, cantors, Shaliah Tzibur (person leading the prayers), members of liturgical choirs, professionals and volunteers in the musical area within the communities that are affiliated to the WUPJ-LA.

The program, held for the first time in 2008, is in its seventh edition on March 10, 11 and 12 at the ARI – in Rio de Janeiro. The Lashir Be Nefesh is open for participation by all those people who are acquainted with the songs sung in the synagogues and who have knowledge of how to conduct religious services or who show an interest in the subject.

More information on the event which will be held at the ARI-RJ can be obtained by telephone at +55-21-2156-0444 with Ana Elena or by e-mail at:

Special Participation

The Lashir BeNefesh seminar of 2013 will have the special attendance of the Argentinean chazzan Isidoro Abramowicz, music teacher and choir conductor. Presently, Abramowicz works as guest chazzan at the Mishkenot Beit Ruth-Daniel Synagogue and the Reform Synagogue Kiriyat Ono, both in Israel.

Besides his experience in Israeli communities, the cantor also actively participated in the reconstruction of Reform Judaism in Germany, where he worked in various institutions between 2005 and 2009. His artistic side is also appreciated at recitals in various music genres in Israel, the United States and Europe.

A story of success

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1st Lashir BeNefesh – 2008 – ARI-RJ

This will be the third time that the ARI-RJ hosts the Lashir BeNefesh. Idealized by the shaliah tzibur Philippe Manuard, from the Congregação Israelita Mineira (CIM), in Belo Horizonte, the seminar was conducted for the first time in July of 2008, preceding the 3rd Conference of the Jewish Communities in Latin America which was held in Rio de Janeiro.

2nd Lahsir BeNefesh – 2009 – CIP-SP

The following year, the second meeting was held in São Paulo, at the headquarters of the Congregação Israelita Paulista (CIP), with two days of intensive activities and lectures which included topics such as history of the chazzanut, the role of the chazzan as educator, nusach for Yamim Noraim, as well as practical lessons on repertoire and corporal preparation.

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3rd Lahsir BeNefesh – 2009 – ARI-RJ

The third edition, also in 2009, returned to the ARI-RJ, and also brought together people from all over Brazil in a two-day program.

4th Lahsir BeNefesh – 2010 – SIBRA-Porto Alegre

It was at the fourth edition, held in 2010, at the Sociedade Israelita Brasileira de Cultura e Beneficência (SIBRA/Porto Alegre), that the Lashir Be Nefesh received its first international guest with the presence of the chazzan Andrew Bernard, from the Beth El Temple in Charlotte, North Carolina (USA). At the time, the participants of the seminar also held a recital for an audience of approximately 400 people, at the Sheraton Hotel in Porto Alegre, in honor of the 75th anniversary of the SIBRA.

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5th Lahsir BeNefesh – 2011 – CIP-SP

The fifth Lashir Be Nefesh was held once more at the CIP, in São Paulo, with representatives from 12 entities in 6 states within Brazil. The event counted on the special participation of the Argentinean maestro and composer Prof. Dr. Zeev Malbergier and, as part of the program the Lashir Beiachad was held. This was an open event that offered the opportunity for people from the local community to sing and play instruments together with the musicians that participated in the seminar.

6th Lahsir BeNefesh – 2012 – CIM-BH

The creator of the Lashir Be Nefesh worked hard to prepare the last edition of the seminar, last year at the CIM-BH. Philippe Manuard organized lectures and practical activities that discussed topics related to repertoire, scores, liturgy, rhythm, the transformation of the written text to the spoken language, techniques related to voice and the rest of the body, group work and the study of Chazanim who were important in the past.

Topics to be discussed

In this seventh edition, the topics to be discussed will be:

• Body and voice: how to prepare your instrument
• Body and Voice II - practice
• Nusach Ashkenazi – from East to West
• Master Class
• Piyyutim – poetry – and melodies for the Yamim Noraim
• Practical Workshop. My life as a chazzan on the road
• Commented repertoire Workshop
• Life and experiences of the Jewish community in London
• Melodies for the kadishim and its context


World Union for Progressive Judaism - Latin America