Definition of hazzan in US English:



  • another term for cantor (sense 1)
    • ‘The second CD contains performances of cantorial music and Yiddish songs by hazzanim who were active in Amsterdam.’
    • ‘Born in Luba, Volhynia, in the Ukraine, he sang in cantorial choirs in that region and then in Odessa, where he worked with many great hazzanim.’
    • ‘The Bene Israel themselves never had a rabbi of their own, although individuals versed both in Sephardi and exclusive Bene Israel liturgy acted as hazzanim.’
    • ‘Most major Jewish communities in the world now have professional associations of hazzanim and several bulletins and journals are regularly published.’
    • ‘At the present time, 20 hazzanim per year are graduated from the major training institutions combined.’
    • ‘While there may be those who claim to be hazzanim or less than desirable candidates, that does not justify the diminished quality of prayer in such lay-led congregations.’
    • ‘I really thought nothing of it. [When I was in the army] I spent most weekends at home, and went to services at the local synagogue where I would join the hazzan for lunch and spend the afternoon with his family studying the Bible.’
    • ‘Students will complete two professional internships, as hazzanim and as Jewish educators, as well as choral performance internships with either the Zamir Chorale of Boston or Koleinu: The Jewish Community Chorus of Boston, both based at Hebrew College.’
    • ‘Our hazzanim for the evening just chanted different forms of the kaddish, a prayer found woven throughout all of our worship services.’


Mid 17th century: from Hebrew ḥazzān ‘cantor’, possibly from Assyrian hazannu ‘mayor, headman’.