MEET CANTOR BEN ROSNER
As the Cantor at Mosaic Law Congregation in Sacramento, Cantor Ben Rosner (known as Cantor Ben) brings a dynamic approach to Jewish music and synagogue life.
Cantor Ben utilizes multiple styles of voice and many instruments including his main instrument, the classical guitar, as well as mandolin, banjo, ukulele, harmonica and recorder to introduce new melodies, as well as traditional melodies, to the synagogue service on Friday nights. Saturdays at Mosaic Law Congregation, he leads Shabbat services without instruments. In addition, he teaches and empowers people of all ages to joyfully learn and participate in all services.
Cantor Ben writes music for the synagogue. Some of his compositions are “Hashkiveinu for choir, which premiered at a community-wide Yom Hashoah commemoration, “ Oseh Shalom” for guitar at voice and “Shavuot Piyyut” for choir, both of which premiered at the Shalshelet Jewish Composers Festival in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and “Shviti”.
Cantor Ben has produced many concerts and services with guests and cantors. He also has a special interest in the Jews from many cultures and produced and participated in Yemenite, Persian, Ethiopian, and Hebrew services. He is now planning a concert with the director of Indian Music School which will include songs of devotion and love in Indian and Jewish traditions. The Jewish element will include many songs set to Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs).
Cantor Ben strongly believes in including people of all ages in Jewish life. He has reintroducted Tot Shabbat for the youngest children to Mosaic Law, engages young families with monthly Friday night services, , and has facilitated the development of MLC2030, a synagogue group that engages and empowers Jews in their 20s and 30s, an age group which is typically unaffiliated. Many people have been attracted to services at Mosaic Law Congregation as a result of the Friday Night Live/Shabbat Under the Stars, services that have also attracted many musicians.
Cantor Ben holds degrees from the H.L. Miller Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary, where his thesis was “The Birth and Rebirth of Guitar in the Synagogue and A Theory and Practical Application of Jewish Liturgical Music.” He has been interviewed as an expert and did editorial work on an upcoming article for Acoustic Guitar Magazine on the guitar in places of worship, and he has also collaborated with the editor of Journal of Synagogue Music on an upcoming article that includes his recording and arrangement of the traditional prayer “Shiviti” for classical guitar and voice. Cantor Ben also published an article on “Selective Use of the Guitar as Accompanying Instrument” in the Journal of Synagogue Music.
Cantor Ben has given many lectures and solo concerts, which include “ “The Practice of Torah Cantillation and its Jewish Law and Grammar”,” Sephardic History and Music”,” Persian Instruments Used in the Movie “Ballad of the weeping Spring”, and “History, Halacha and the Art of Hebrew Calligraphy” as well as others.He has also been Scholar in Residence and Guest Cantor at other congregations.
Cantor Ben grew up attending service at KAM Isaiah Israel in Hyde Park, Chicago, where he was exposed to the music of Max Janowski, the synagogue’s famed music director. He began playing classical guitar at age 13, earning a scholarship to the University of Miami’s conservatory program just a few years later. While at UM, he started leading music Shabbat services at Hillel, an experience that inspired him to dedicate his life to Jewish learning and teaching.
Please refer to Cantor Ben Rosner’s attached CV and Resume for more information.