Arts and Culture | Local

Cantors’ journey to Poland captured in film

Cantor Ivor Lichterman of Congregation Anshei Israel, right, and his brother, Cantor Joel Lichterman of Denver, Colo., sing at the Nozyk Synagogue in Warsaw, where their father was the last prewar cantor, in this still from “100 Voices: A Journey Home.”

A documentary based on the historic visit of 100 cantors to Poland last year, “100 Voices: A Journey Home,” will be shown at three movie theatres in Tucson, for one night only, on Tuesday, Sept. 21.

The film explores the rich history of Jewish culture in Poland, which is the birthplace of cantorial music, as well as the resurgence of Judaism in Poland today.

As the chronicle of “a life-affirming journey,” the film is “appropriately being offered three days after Yom Kippur,” says Cantor Ivor Lichterman of Congregation Anshei Israel, who was part of the Cantors’ Assembly pilgrimage with his brother, Cantor Joel Lichterman of Denver, Colo.

The film includes “the emotional opening ceremony at Warsaw’s sole surviving synagogue where my late father was the last cantor,” says Lichterman (see “Cantor meets echoes of past in Warsaw,” AJP 8/14/2009, aspx?id=204760).

The movie also featured performances at the National Opera House in Warsaw and at the site of the Warsaw Ghetto during a ceremony launching construction of the new Museum of the History of Polish Jews, as well as a prayer service near the gates of Auschwitz.

The film begins with a kick off in-theater event. Cantor Nathan Lam of Los Angeles’ Stephen S. Wise Temple hosts a mini-concert that demonstrates how the legacy of Polish Jewish culture flourished in American popular music. The cantors from “100 Voices: A Journey Home” perform a selection of classic American music including Broadway show tunes from musicals such as “Westside Story,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Les Miserables,” which were composed by writers who can trace their roots to Eastern Europe.

Tucson is one of 500 cities across America where “100 Voices” will be shown. Screenings will be on Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at Century 20 Park Place, Century 20 El Con and Century Theatres at Oro Valley Marketplace. Lichterman will introduce the film at the Park Place location.

Tickets are $12.50 and can be purchased in advance at participating box offices and online at