Cantor/Hazzan Michael Weis

Director, Sacred Music NY

Michael Weis joined the Brotherhood Synagogue in Manhattan after having served as cantor for the Highland Park Conservative Temple – Congregation Anshe Emet, in Highland Park, NJ, as well as Ritual Director and Bar/Bat Mitzvah coordinator at The Jewish Center in Princeton, NJ. Brotherhood Synagogue is a kehillah kedoshah (holy community) in which inclusiveness and diversity are living ideals that are woven into the very fabric of its mission and essence.

Hazzan Weis received cantorial investiture from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2010, along with dual Masters degrees in Sacred Music and Jewish Education. A native of Chicago, Hazzan Weis is a graduate of Stanford University (BA, Economics) and has resided in Los Angeles, London, and Jerusalem. He is well-known for his presentations on the role of the cantor in Jewish life, as well as for his organizing of interfaith sacred music festivals.

At Chautauqua, Hazzan Michael Weis discussed how the birth of the recording industry coupled with massive waves of Jewish immigration in the late 1800s and early 1900s to create a uniquely American institution: the cantor as superstar. His lecture featured authentic archival recordings and traced the development of the cantorate from its humble beginnings as a random assortment of itinerant leaders of Jewish prayer in Eastern Europe to American-born crossover artists whose cantorial brilliance catapulted them to international fame.