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Reform movement digitizes Torah

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The Reform movement has digitized the Torah as downloadable sound files.

Cantor Alane Katzew, director of Music Programming at the Union for Reform Judaism, headed the 22-month project, which will enable people to download all 5,845 verses in the Torah to their digital music players.

Twenty-three chanters, most of them Reform cantors and cantorial students from the New York area, chant all the Torah and Haftorah portions using the same cantillation and tone, to provide listeners with a standardized version of Torah trope, or chanting.

The project was completed June 6, two days before Shavuot, the holiday that commemorates the giving of the Torah at Sinai.

This is the first time the Reform movement has tried to standardize Torah trope, Katzew said.

Within a few months, the project will be available freely for downloading on the Web site of the Union for Reform Judaism, Katzew said.

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