Cantor David Bentley M.Sac.Mus.
Cantor Bentley is available to conduct weddings (including same-sex ceremonies), baby namings, funerals and bar/bat mizvah ceremonies. He also meets with prospective converts. Please contact us to be put in touch with him to discuss your needs.
David Bentley was ordained (called to serve the Jewish people) as a cantor in New York in May, 2000 before an invited congregation of 2,000 witnesses. The first Australian to receive such Ordination, which followed five years of intense religious training, he is one of only two such Ordained Cantors working in the Australasian Region. He is registered to conduct weddings and also performs other life-cycle events and provides spiritual leadership to our congregation.
Whereas a rabbi’s spiritual leadership can be said to stem from his or her thorough knowledge of Torah, Talmud and other sacred texts, the core of a cantor’s connection with Jewish spirituality arises more from his/her extensive grounding in our sacred music and the interplay between a prayer and its accompanying chant.
David’s studies were undertaken in Jerusalem and New York at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Being the flagship training institute for rabbis, cantors, educators and others wishing to serve the community in professional capacities, David shared many classes with rabbinic students. His comprehensive training as a Spiritual Leader included courses in:
- Jewish History & Philosophy
- Biblical History and Critcism
- Pastoral counseling
- Hospital chaplaincy/sick visiting
- Congregational Management
- Classroom Methods
After serving as both Cantor and Religious School Director in a 300-family congregation near San Francisco for more than three years, David returned to Australia in early 2004.