Cantor George Mordecai returns to Emanuel Synagogue

August 22, 2018 by Community newsdesk
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After serving as the cantor at congregations throughout the USA, Cantor George Mordecai is returning to Sydney’s Emanuel Synagogue. 

George Mordechai

George weaves his rich cultural heritage into his work as both a cantor and performer. He is well known to many in our community. Born in Sydney, Australia to Iraqi Jews from India and Singapore, he was immersed in the musical and liturgical traditions of his family. Prior to receiving Cantorial investiture from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, George worked for many years in our community where he was lovingly mentored by Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins, Cantor Michael Deutsch and Rabbi Brian Fox. He was instrumental in the establishment of Emanuel’s Masorti minyan serving as the Cantor of that service at its inception.

George also sang with the Renaissance Players, a Sydney-based, renowned and innovative early music ensemble. He has performed Sephardic and Judeo-Iraqi liturgical repertoire in concert halls and synagogues around the world. In 2007 he met Patrick Quigley, artistic director of the world renowned choral ensemble Seraphic Fire, and together they developed a performance project, Shalom/Pax, which drew from the rich, melodic textures of the Gregorian and Iraqi Jewish musical traditions.

In addition to his work as a cantor and performer, George is working toward rabbinical ordination with Aleph; a trans-denominational alliance for Jewish Renewal. Jewish Renewal has been at the forefront of some of the most creative approaches to Jewish spirituality and community over the last four decades. George is projected to be ordained in January of 2021.

George has over 20 years’ experience in building community. In addition to his musical and liturgical expertise he is an engaging educator. George infuses his teaching with a deep sense of spirituality and historical perspective, always mindful of the needs and aspirations of his students.
He is excited to be working with the talented Emanuel Synagogue team. “Rabbis Kamins, Ninio, Kaiserblueth, Triguboff and Reverend Zwarenstein are all amazing human beings and inspiring spiritual leaders”. He is also very impressed by the musical talent at the synagogue. “There is tremendous potential at Emanuel, mentoring the young and emerging talent would make me very happy at this stage of my life.” He is overjoyed to be returning to Emanuel. “It was here at Emanuel that I found my calling and I am truly blessed to be able to return to serve this phenomenal community.”

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