Talk of the exploited and the oppressed of the earth, the writer discovered the other day at the annual conference of the Jewish Ministers Cantors’ Association that among the greatest sufferers from and victims of this economic system are the Hazonim.
And as one listened to the eloquent plea on the cantorate’s behalf, made by Louis J. Gribetz, their counsel, one felt that this ancient profession, trade, or “industry,” as the speaker put it, should have marched in the ranks of the downtrodden on May Day last.
Among the things that the cantor’s public demands of him are pleasing appearance, artistic delivery, fine dress and too many others for enumeration here. That’s what Mr. Gribetz said and his audience enthusiastically stuck sions will be carried out is another story.
Nor were the assembled cantors backward about taking drastic measures to remedy their economic plight, which was vividly described by many who took the floor that day. The unfair practices of a number of synagogues and others who deal with the Hazonim were brought out.
Consequently there was surprising unanimity on the numerous resolutions brought forth on the floor and designed to introduce a New Deal into their ranks. The set of resolutions as a whole bears a strong resemblance to an industrial code under the NRA, and may be termed a New Charter for the American Cantorate. Just how soon or how faithfully its provisions will be carried outsions will be carried out is another story.
But there is a glimmer of hope, for their resolutions are to be administered through the association, and the whole matter is largely the question of how powerful they make their association.
That, in turn, depends on how much solidarity and collective spirit will be evinced by members of this semi-artistic calling, who in the past, like many other artists and professionals, showed unmistakable signs of rugged individualism.
However, the 350 or so of those present indicated by their conduct that they learned their lesson from the economic depression and gave every evidence of having realized that there is a strong identity of interest and that in union there is power, which they need to effect their aims.