Eduardo Galeano (1989), Uruguayan writer, describes in his stories “a sea of sparks”. If we look from above, we can see how each human being shines with its own light and how it takes care of its fire in a particular way. Some shine in a discreet and delicate way, others vibrate in a fun way following the movement of the air, leaving sparks of light and heat.
Inspired by these images of light in my mind, a year ago, I decided to feed the fire. The American Conference of Cantors (ACC) is the institution that officially brings together and represents the chazanim of the American Reform movement. Never before in ACC history has a petition for the validation of a diploma been submitted by a Latin American candidate. After going through several extraordinary commissions and after having reviewed all the required documentation, I was authorized to take the test, which took place in New Rachel (NY, USA) on 3 February 2020.
The test lasted all day and consisted of an oral part and a written part – without a doubt, one of the most challenging moments of my life!
A month later, I received the news that I had been accepted as an Official Member. In addition to being the second female chazanit recognized in Latin America by the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary (2009), I was also the first to be registered with the ACC. The immense effort to prepare for this purpose now fills me with pride and, at the same time, with responsibility.
Today I work as a chazanit at Associação Religiosa Israelita (ARI), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. My intention is to spread my example, a new generation of small sparks. In addition, that all together, we can bring more melody and harmony to this world.
Inés Kapustiansky graduated as a chazanit in 2009 at the Latin American Rabbinic Seminary and studied Lyrical Chamber Singing at the Municipal Conservatory M. de Falla. Since the age of 17, she has been dedicated to teaching and playing music in the community. In addition, she graduated in Family Orientation from Universidad Austral.
She has performed concerts in different countries and for seven years, she has led High Holidays services in Reform communities in the United States. In Argentina, she worked as an educational director for the Dor Jadash community until last year.
She currently works as a chazanit at Associação Religiosa Israelita, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.