A Celebration of Italian Cantorial Music

On February 14, 2016 Centro Primo Levi presented its new project dedicated to the Italian chazanut established in memory of Erna Finci Viterbi z”l. The event took place at the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue in New York.

The program inaugurated with a limmud in music and a publication curated by Enrico Fink who performed with Frank London (trumpet), Patrick Farrell (accordion), and Satoshi Takeishi (percussion).

Each year, Centro Primo Levi will invite a guest cantor to lead a ceremony of music and singing from the Italian and Mediterranean Jewish traditions. Publications, recordings and essays produced for this program will be available through a website designed to provide tools to those interested in learning, practicing or simply enjoying this art, including scholars, musicians, cantors and bar/bat-mitzvah students wishing to include some of this beautiful music in their liturgical repertoire.

Sharing and participating were among Erna’s most cherished values and she regarded them as indispensable foundation of human relations and endeavors. This project, made of books and music and conceived as a “portable school,” is dedicated to Erna’s life and the long journey through countries and cultures that enriched her vision and strengthened her identity. May her memory be of guidance to future generations.

The online resource will be structured as a virtual siddur and machazor in which the essential daily and festive liturgy is organized in chapters, each featuring regional variations of piyyutim, cantillation and melodies as well as extra-liturgical repertoires.

The Erna Finci Viterbi Chazanut Roundtable was established through the generous support of Sarah Hallac, Toby Wolf, Danielle Pinet and Jeff Keil.

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