BARNEA, EZRA (1935– ), ḥazzan, educator, and head of Renanot – Institute for Jewish Religious Music. Barnea was born in Jerusalem and from his youth was familiar with Sephardi cantorial music. He studied with Shaul Abbud, author of Shirei Zimrah, and with the Jerusalem cantor Moses Ner-Gaon. From the age of ten he was a chanter of the Torah readings and after his bar mitzvah a cantor in the Bukharan neighborhood in Jerusalem. In 1985 he opened a school for Sephardi cantorial music in Jerusalem and was appointed in 1986 the principal of Renanot in Jerusalem. In 1989 he received the Prize of the Ministry of Religious Affairs for his activities on behalf of Jewish music. Among his activities were the documentation and production of recordings of traditional Jewish music, especially liturgical pieces recorded from cantors and other knowledgeable individuals. He also organized a yearly conference on Jewish music during Hanukkah and published books and the periodical Dukhan on Jewish music.
[Gila Flam (2nd ed.)]