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Women’s Voices Tuned Out on PBS

Just before the onset of it High Holidays in September, Channel Thirteen, New York’s local PBS station, ran a special program featuring cantorial music that had been recorded in the Portuguese synagogue in Amsterdam. Cantors: A Faith in Song featured three chazanim, Naftali Herstifc, BenZion Miller, and Alberto MIzrahl—all men. One might argue that women cantor; were not included because the concert was recorded in an Orthodox synagogue. Still, the program included discussions with the performers and relevant luminaries during several intermissions, where somebody should have explained why no women’s voices were heard. It was an egregious omission, at a time when the cantorate is increasingly becoming a women’s profession.