Are Cantors Paid?
Yes, they do get paid. Also known by the name of Hazzan, the role of Cantor is one of the two ministerial positions in Jewish Synagogue, the other being a Rabbi. The main responsibility of a Cantor is to present liturgical music that helps in clarifying studies and prayers in a synagogue or temple. This music augments the experience of worshippers, as the Cantor leads them in prayer.
When the congregation selects a candidate for this prestigious position, his starting salary is decided through negotiation. A medium salary for a Cantor is around $80,000 to $90,000 annually, which can gradually increase with experience. This is totally dependent upon the requirement at a certain place for a certain time.
In addition to being paid for their services, Cantors may also receive living expenses and allowances from the congregation. The usual process of hiring a qualified candidate is done though a placement service, and the training provided by JSLI is more than enough to showcase your leadership abilities.
A negotiating contract has to be endorsed prior to becoming an official Cantor. This includes a specific amount of money that the congregation agrees to pay per year in biweekly or monthly payments. In the sample contract, the salary figure is left blank, and separate paragraphs are used for agreed number of years. A format of this type allows the Cantor to negotiate a higher salary on the basis on his experience.
In some cases, the congregation may also hire a part-time Cantor if they cannot afford a full-time salary. Since the role of a Cantor is a ministerial one, he may also be entitled to a residence allowance, in addition to the salary. This stipend covers the entire annual housing expense or a part of it, and is generally paid once in a year as a lump sum amount.