Originally a cantor led Jewish worship as prayer leader and intermediary between God and the congregation without any musical accompaniment.

In the 19th century Louis Lewandowski linked the Jewish tradition of an anthem between cantor and choir with occidental harmonics to produce a new harmony.

However, the innovations introduced to the Jewish liturgy by the great master and reformer Louis Lewandowski (1821 – 1894) transformed Jewish worship into a musical experience. The resurgence of pride and confidence in their identity among the Jews of the 19th century found expression in these innovations and imbued the Jewish liturgy throughout the world and across denominations with fresh vibrancy and popularity.


These give you the opportunity to experience Lewandowski ‘s liturgy today anywhere in the world from the Pestalozzistraße Berlin Synagogue and in the Cantor, Isaac Sheffer’s concerts with the Synagogal Ensemble Berlin under the musical direction of Regina Yantian from the Pestalozzistraße Berlin Synagogue.

The Synagogal Ensemble Berlin is the only ensemble in the world to perform Louis Lewandowski’s liturgy every Friday evening, every Shabbat morning and on all Jewish feast days. In his concerts with the Synagogal Ensemble Berlin, Cantor Isaac Sheffer takes this unique German Jewish tradition out into the world.

The ensemble consists of eight to twelve singers, who belong to the Choirs of the Berlin Opera Houses or work as freelance soloists. It is under the leadership of the organist and choir leader, Regina Yantian.