Cantor Raphael Cohen

After more than twenty year career, Raphael Cohen is a true passion for ‘hazanout and helped with its long experience in the discovery and the formation of many talents.

He is the founder and president of APAC (Association for the Advancement of Cantorial art), through which he was instrumental in the popularization of Jewish liturgical chant (‘hazanout), with many concerts in Europe in the USA and Israel.

APAC is also part of the city and has set the advocacy of general interest, the fight against all forms of intolerance: the music and voice as unifying elements of all shades.

In 2007 he founded in partnership with the Consistory of Paris (Ile de France), the Chorale Juive de France CJF.

A hazzan or chazzan is a Jewish cantor, a musician trained in the vocal arts who helps lead the congregation in songful prayer.
There are many rules relating to how a cantor should lead services, but the idea of a cantor as a paid professional does not exist in classical rabbinic sources. The Jewish prayer services have their own entry; the prayers in these services are collected in a prayerbook known as the siddur.

The person leading the congregation in public prayers is called the cantor.
Today, a hazzan, is likely to have academic credentials, most often a degree in Music or in Sacred Music, sometimes a degree in Music Education or in Jewish Religious Education or a related discipline. The Doctor of Music degree is sometimes awarded to honour a hazzan.

The period between the two World Wars is often referred to as the “golden age” of hazzanut (cantorial performance). It spawned a host of eminent hazanim which Yossele Rosenblatt (1882-1933), acclaimed as the greatest singer of all time.

Almost muzzled by the flames of Nazi hatred, the voice of ‘hazanout blossomed around the world and especially in Israel.