New London Synagogue chazan Jason Green makes his High Holy Day debut for the Masorti congregation this week.
The 37-year-old cantor, who previously served the Rodeph Sholom Synagogue in Bridgeport, Connecticut, will combine his singing duties with the role of community director.
Many synagogues today opt for youth directors or associate rabbis rather than employing chazans. But New London has a strong musical heritage. “We wanted the liturgy well looked after,” said its rabbi, Jeremy Gordon. “It is important that, when people come to shul, it sounds right. There is a lot of technical skill involved.”
Cantor Green said that “since I was 15, I have had British mentors. So when the opportunity came up, it was an obvious fit.”
Growing up in Montreal, he sang as a teenager in the choir of the Shaar Hashomayim, which was directed by composer and former Londoner Stephen Glass.
He underwent his cantorial training with Stephen Robins — who retired last year as chazan of Woodside Park Synagogue — gaining his diploma from the London School of Jewish Studies. “I learned by webcam,” the cantor revealed.
Membership has grown over the past five years at the St John’s Wood congregation and its cheder numbers have risen five-fold from 17 to 85.