1.       Design of the training


The training takes place during eight weekends during two years`(four per year) 
Each weekend consists of six daily units of three hours (Friday evening - Sunday afternoon). These units generally consist of a combination of 4 lectures and 6 workshops.  
Each weekend services are held during the traditional prayer times. During the first two weekends these services were evaluated as part of the teaching content.
During the last 6 weekends, the services (against our principal stance) will be those of the festivals that form the focus of the respective weekend.  
Students are given assignments between the weekends (voice lessons, learning repertoire, Hebrew etc.). A regular contact with their individual tutors is also an absolute requirement.

Division of the themes over the weekends:
(To see the full program, click on the link in the name of the weekend.)  
Weekend 1   24-26 August 2007

The Role of the Sheliach Tzibbur                           
Nusachim (also in relation to Yom Chol (weekdagen))
What is prayer? The Siddur.
Introduction of theme 2: Shabbat

Weekend 2  30 Nov. - 2 Dec. 2007
Special Modes of Jewish Music,
Development of the Liturgy 

Weekend 3  29 Febr. - 2 March 2008
Introduction to Shalosh Regalim (3 Pilgrim Festivals)
The machzor

Weekend 4  30 May - 1 June 2008
Shalosh Regalim
Introduction to Yamim Noraim (High Holidays)

Weekend 5  29 - 31 August 2008
Rosh Hashana
The High Holiday machzor
Introduction to Yom Kippur

Weekend 6  28 - 30 November 2008
Yamim Noraim (High Holidays) II
Introduction to the Minor Festivals

Weekend 7  27 February - 1 March 2009
The Minor Festivals: Chanukkah, Purim, Yom Ha’Atsmaut
The Major Days of Mourning: Tisha B’Av, Yom HaShoah

Weekend 8 29-31- May 2009
Yom Chol (weekdays)
Closing Ceremony with Certification of the students who have completed the course.

The theme of Life Cycle events will be covered in the in-service-training that will follow the series of weekends.

2.       Global overview of content
During each weekend the subjects mentioned below were - as far as relevant - applied to the theme of the weekend. The lectures and some of the workshops were held with all students together, other workshops were divided into two groups, dependent on the various degrees of knowledge and experience of the students. Their background was also taken into account in the planning of the assignments.


1. Structure of the (synagogue) services

2. Siddur (Yahadut)
    a. development of the liturgy;
    b. content and meaning of the texts;
    c. the world of concepts behind the prayers and texts;
    d. the structure of the texts;
    e. associations in the language and images to other texts;
    f.  theological problems in the texts.

3. Capabilities of the Shatz
    a. singing techniques;
    b. the singing itself;
    c. solfège - singing straight from the sheet music
       (minimum: ability to read music);
    d. Torah, haftara, megillot layning;
    e. music (knowing the repertoire, tradition, balance in
        keeping the services recognizable and introducing
        and using new melodies.

4. Hebrew
    a. Hebrew reading with some basic understanding;   
    b. basic Hebrew grammar.

5. The Attitude
    a. knowing what you sing and to express this in the music;
    b. the role of the shatz (knowing what it means to be the
        representative of the congregation in prayer);
    c. kavanah, spirituality.

3.       Further details

Responsibility for the training
rests with the Board and Academic Committee of the Levisson Institute.
Coordinator of the program is Bram Lagendijk who works under the direction of the Dean of the Institute Rabbi David Lilienthal.
Chief Lecturer and responsible for the main part of the content is Prof. dr. Elyahu Shleifer of the Hebrew Union College te Jeruzalem.
Consultant to the planning team is Chaim van Unen
Responsible for the voice training is chazzan Gilad Nezer

The Admissions Committee
(a subcommittee of the Academic Committee) consists of Gilad Nezer, Chaim van Unen, Carolyn Levisson and David Lilienthal.

The costs
The costs per the weekend for the participants are € 75.-, for students or those not working € 25.-.
Furthermore: travel costs in connection with the weekends and some materials.
All other costs will be covered by the Institute, with thanks to the Friends and the foundations supporting our work.
There are some subsidies possible for those who are not able to cover all costs themselves.