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PRESS RELEASE - November 13, 2006

American Cantors visit interrupted by Qassam rocket attack in Israel
Thursday afternoon, October 19, 2006 at approximately 3:30 PM Israel time
For immediate dissemination

Cantors Kepecs, Montefiore and Rossler examine a still warm Qassam 10/19/06

In a stark revelation of the facts on the ground in Israel, Cantor David Montefiore revealed, in his President’s Report 10/25/06 to the Jewish Ministers Cantors Association of America & Canada [JMCA] regarding their Mission: Mivtzah Emunah - Operation Faith [October 13 -19, 2006], that while having discussions at Sderot with Mayor Eli Moyal, that they had come under rocket attack.

“The Qassams used to land occasionally, but the situation has become intolerable. The ritual repeats itself. Every summer, government representatives come to see us and increase the budget so we will not complain. As if it is possible to sell our suffering for money. This will not continue - we will not be bought for money. We demand military action to restore the sense of peace and serenity to this city to give the people and the Negev a chance to continue to develop. They don’t want to hear this in Jerusalem but we don’t care – we want to live in peace. "Two things are flying now in Israel - Prime Minister Olmert and the Qassams. We asked Olmert to come down from the Olympus and look at what is happening here.”

“….in the middle of our meeting with Moyal, a prophetic thing happened: two Qassam rockets landed right near where we were talking in the village. Moyal called his son on his cell immediately and Cantors Kepecs, Rossler and Montefiore darted from Moyal’s office with their driver Yishay Avital and cameraman and went to where the bomb squad had just arrived to disarm the Qassams. With a camera rolling and our guide and hosts in tow, we recorded the truth of what Israelis have been telling the world – land for peace is a very bad deal. The reality of possibly not returning home to our loved ones, slammed into our faces as we looked at each other in disbelief.”

The Cantors traveled from four continents to their spiritual home – Jerusalem. Their journey of faith and music culminated with a Concert of Thanksgiving at Yeshurun Central Synagogue in Jerusalem, Wednesday evening, October 18, 2006 and was sponsored by the Jerusalem Municipality. In a show of overwhelming support for the State of Israel and those who have suffered the winds of war this past summer – the Jewish Ministers Cantors Association of America & Canada [established 1897] [JMCA] in New York City in partnership with The Cantors Conservatory, Inc of Tucson, Arizona and the Government of Israel - Ministry of Tourism, World Zionist Organization, American Zionist Movement and the Israel Center of Tucson traveled to Israel. They also met with the wounded IDF soldiers in Tel HaShomer Hospital, former residents and refugees from Gush Katif and Moshav Yad Binyamin. Some of the renowned cantors participating are: Elie Kepecs, Alex Stein, Michael Trachtenberg, Moshe Schulhof, Asher Hainowitz, Israel Rand and David Montefiore.

For further details please go to our websites and click on Events or Support.

UNITED STATES CONTACT: Cantor David Montefiore

520.444.5795 520.887.3587 800.977.JMCA [5622]

CANADA CONTACT: Cantor Alex Stein

Calgary, Alberta Canada 403-252-7444 / 403-255-8688 /Fax: 403-252-8319

Jewish Ministers Cantors Association of America & Canada
A New York State 501 (c) 3 corporation

244 Fifth Avenue Suite G 274 New York, New York 10001
Tel: 800.977.JMCA [5622] 520.444.5795 520.887.3587

The Cantors’ Conservatory, Inc. – an Arizona not-for-profit corporation

P. O. Box 64981 Tucson, Arizona 85728

Cantors go to Haifa to show support after the Lebanon War

Cantor: Montefiore, Kepecs, Rossler and Trachtenberg
receive gifts from Rabbi Edgar Nof at Or Hadash - Haifa 10/17/06

Rabbi Nof and Cantors Montefiore, Kepecs and Rossler [The Three Stooges] 10/17/06

Concert of Thanksgiving - Yeshurun Central Synagogue - Jerusalem October 18, 2006
Right to left: Cantors: Asher Haimowitz, Israel Rand, Michael Trachtenberg, Alex Stein, Raymond Goldstein [accompanist center]
Yehuda Rossler, Moshe Schulhof, Eli Kepecs and David Montefiore, President. JMCA/Cantors Conservatory


Click here to view recent video of November 13, 2006 address by Prime Minister Bibi Natanyahu


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Psalm 27: 1-7
“Though a host of men were laid against me,
Yet, shall not my heart be afraid.
And though there rose up war against me,
Yet, will I put my trust in Him.”


August 20, 2006                                                                                               26 Av 5766 

Dear Friends: 

The Israeli soldier is much like a King David in battle: courageous – yet weary and wounded and in some cases he or she has embarked on their final journey. Some will never see the orchards of their beloved kibbutzim nor their nets in the Galilee. They are Israel’s children thrown into a war not of their choosing. As in the time of King David, it is a time for Tefilah, for prayer; for song and to take from beneath the armour, the lyre – the Kinor and give thanks to God - a time to ask the Almighty for guidance and mercy.  

Sh’lichei Tzibur - Messengers of Prayer – Cantors, in the Davidic tradition, have filled their prayers with Tehilim – Psalms for millennia. It is in this spirit that we look to Jerusalem to support Israeli soldiers and mothers and fathers of these Children of Israel as we engage in our mission: Mivtzah Emunah – Operation Faith. 

In response to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s call to prayer and after much thought given to becoming a part of this prayer vigil – it has been decided that there is the greater need and that is at the center of the heart and soul of the Jewish People – Eretz Yisrael - the Land of Israel. Therefore, The Cantors’ Conservatory in partnership with the Jewish Ministers Cantors Association of America & Canada [JMCA] have decided that for the Yamim Noraim 5767, that we have accepted an invitation from the Ministry of Tourism to participate in Mivtzah Emunah. This project has the support of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona. I have the distinct honor of leading this mission, personally – God willing.  

Hazzanim of The Conservatory and the JMCA will travel to Israel to perform services for the IDF at various locations during the months of Elul and Tishrei [commencing Monday, September 18th]. Also, a concert of Thanksgiving is planned directly following the Yamim Noraim – the High Holy Days. Those Hazzanim and lay persons wishing to participate in our mission: Mivtzah Emunah are urged to contact:
Cantor Alex Stein of Beth Tzedec Congregation, Calgary, Alberta, Canada   403-252-7444 / 403-255-8688 Fax: 403-252-7444  

Israel needs our help now. Your gift will enable a Cantor to bring tefiloth - prayers of hope to our young soldiers of the IDF. $1,800 will help to defray a plane fare or accommodations while in Israel. Of course any amount is welcome and appreciated. Please go directly to the our websites: or  and click on Support: Here you will be able to make a secure donation. Or send your check to the addresses listed below. 

Please join with us in our urgent mission – Mivtzah Emunah – Operation Faith.  

Wishing all of our friends a Happy and a Healthy New Year 5767 – a year of Peace and Prosperity for Israel and the entire World – Shanah Tovah!  

I am most sincerely yours,

Cantor David Montefiore, Director
JMCA, President 

Jewish Ministers Cantors Association of America & Canada
A New York State 501 (c) 3 corporation
244 Fifth Avenue Suite G 274   New York, New York 10001
Tel: 800.977.JMCA [5622] 520.444.5795  520.887.3587

 The Cantors’ Conservatory, Inc.
Arizona not-for-profit corporation
P. O. Box   64981   Tucson, Arizona 85728





The JMCA and thirteen Cantors of the association were invited to a special private audience with His Holiness Pope John Paul II in Vatican City on Tuesday, January 18, 2005. Pave The Way Foundation , a non-profit corporation, took this initiative by choosing the JMCA to represent the Jewish Community amongst some 160 Jewish clergy and lay leaders.

The Jewish dignitaries traveled to Rome specifically to recognize and to thank

Pope John Paul II for his efforts during his 26-year pontificate in bringing down the walls of hate, as well as his contribution towards religious reconciliation with the Jewish People and the State of Israel. The Rabbis in attendance recited a special prayer and the Cantors sang a special blessing, the Shehecheyahu, to commemorate this event at the Vatican in Clementine Hall.

The group attending this special audience with the Pope was headed by

Mr. Gary Krupp, President of Pave The Way Foundation along with Oded Ben-Hur, Israeli Ambassador to the Holy See; Amire Ofek, Israeli Consul for Media in New York; Rabbi Adam Mintz, President of the New York Board of Rabbis; Rabbi Shmuel Rene Sirot, Past Chief Rabbi of Europe and France; Rabbi David Lincoln, Chief Rabbi of the Park Avenue Synagogue, New York; Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Jerusalem; Rabbi Joseph Arbib of the Great Synagogue in Rome and Gadi Golan, former Director of Religious Affairs for the Israel Foreign Ministry.

One of the scheduled and exciting items on the agenda was a rare visit to the Vatican’s Jewish archives. The Cantors, all of whom are members of the Jewish Ministers Cantors Association of America presented a concert at the Great Synagogue of Rome on Monday, January 17 at 8:00 PM for the delegation and representatives of the Vatican and the Roman Jewish Community. Participants in this concert were Cantors: Avraham Amar, Eliezer Kepecs, Josh Rubenstein, Leslie Rimer, Motti Fuchs, Victor I. Beck, Yehuda Rossler, Michael Trachtenberg, David Montefiore, Steve Shor, Ofer Barnoy, Gadi Elon and Sol Zim.

The JMCA, once known as the Chazzanim Farband is the oldest and most prestigious cantorial association in America. The JMCA has a glorious history and a membership that included some of the greatest talents of the past century. It is interesting to note that on December 9, 1947 the Jewish Ministers Cantors Association of America held its 50th Anniversary Concert at the Metropolitan Opera House with such luminaries as: Cantors Berele Chagy, Moshe Ganchoff, Samuel Vigoda, Leib Glantz, Eliezer Zaslavsky, Moshe Koussevitsky and Benzion Kapov-Kagan.

The JMCA leadership has been a proponent of dialogue and rapprochement and is delighted with the events in Rome. Pope John Paul II will be remembered as an extraordinary human being, a credit to the Creator who made him and a source of everlasting hope to all humankind.

JMCA Cantors as they await audience with with John Paul II IN Clementine Hall - January 18, 2005

Cantor David Montefiore, JMCA President being greeted by Pope John Paul II

The Pope's Gift to the Cantors

Young John Paul II

Cantors on Bimah of the Tempio Maggiore at concert for the Roman Community January 17, 2005

Program of Concert at Tempio Maggiore at concert for the Roman Community January 17, 2005