Midwest Region FJMC



A Midwest Region FJMC and the Cantors Assembly Program

             – Coordinated by Hazzan Steven Stoehr, Congregation Beth Shalom

This program is a short course leading to certification as a Shiva Minyan Leader, or for those that are not Hebrew fluent, a Shiva Minyan Assistant.

There is a gap in our community:

  • A shortage of men as Minyan Leaders exists.
  • A certification program does not exist.
  • Men who are not fluent in Hebrew have a reluctance to participate in assisting at a Shiva Minyan.

As innovators, Midwest Region FJMC and its member Clubs can fill this gap.  This will be a pilot program that can spread to other FJMC Regions.

In 2007, Cantor Stoehr  authored a prospectus for instruction on leading Shiva Minyan. This was a joint effort between FJMC and the Cantors Assembly.   Now is the time to leverage Cantor Stoehr’s knowledge base and leadership.

What you will learn:

  • Ritual aspects of a Shiva Minyan including chanting, service flow, mood, concluding thoughts, especially on the last night.
  • Recognizing the audience needs and comfort level. (knowledgeable vs. uninitiated worshippers). Leader presence from time you arrive to time depart.
  • Psychological aspects.
  • Laws regarding Shiva period.

Assistants will learn the laws, audience needs and how to assist the Leader at the Minyan.  Men who are Leaders and Assistants can be partnered to attend a particular Minyan.

What you need to participate:

  • Hebrew fluency a must for Leaders.
  • Interest in learning about Shiva Law, rituals, people skills for Leaders and Assistants.
  • A Men’s Club Membership

How long is the course?

  • Three sessions, about two hours each.

Where will sessions be held and who will teach?

  • Beth Hillel Congregation Bnai Emunah- Hazzan Pavel Roytman
  • Beth Israel Ner Tamid- Hazzan Jeremy Stein
  • Congregation Beth Judea- Hazzan Roger Weisberg
  • Congregation Bnai Amoona- Hazzan Sharon Nathanson

When will sessions be  held?

  • November, 2014.
  • Date, time to be determined by Hazzan and participating Men’s Club.

Why participate?

Individual benefits:

  • Perform a Mitzvah to the mourners and community.
  • Gain knowledge you might not have.  Assistants may get motivation to become more fluent in Hebrew and become Leaders at a future time.
  • Leaders and Assistants are recognized and honored with a certificate and a dinner at the Cantor’s Assembly on Sunday, May 3, 2015 (Westin Hotel in Rosemont, early evening. Time, cost to be determined. Partial payment by Midwest Region and Clubs to be arranged).
  • Bonding with other Leaders and Assistants


Club benefits:

  • Engage men who are not active in the Club
  • Men can be partnered – Leaders and Assistants to create value to more Men. 
  • Clubs with more than 2 or 3 participants can apply for a Torch Award recognizing their Clubs for this important mitzvah.
  • Add value to the community and recognition to the Club.