ROME (JTA) — Can Jewish sacred music sung in a Roman Catholic basilica help relations between Christians and Jews?
For the Reform movement’s American Conference of Cantors, the answer is a resounding yes.
Twenty Reform cantors from across the United States traveled to Rome this month for just that purpose, performing a unique concert of Jewish prayers and sacred texts at the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, a cavernous church adapted by Michelangelo from the ancient Baths of Diocletian.
“We are here as spiritual emissaries, not political emissaries,” said the president of the cantors’ conference, Susan Caro of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles. “We recognize the power of music to transform as well as reach across cultural and religious lines.”