Hazzan Simon Kandler died on August 7, 2001, at the age of 100 (plus 1 month).
Hazzan Simon Kandler, Cantor at Temple Emeth in Brookline, MA since 1941, was born in Libau, Latvia, in 1901. Music was a part of his upbringing, and at age six, he joined his two older brothers in the choir of the Chor Shul in Libau.
Hazzan Kandler studied voice in Berlin at the Stern Conservatory and was a member of the choir at the Oranienburger Strasse Synagogue under Cantor Klein. He arrived in Boston on November 1, 1923, on the Carmenia, one of the last passenger ships to leave Liverpool for the U.S. before the Immigration laws were changed in January, 1924. He still has his Boarding Pass from that journey.
From 1923 until 1939, Hazzan Kandler supported himself through work in retailing men's clothing, and also sang in many theater productions and on the radio. In 1933 he was a prize winner in the vocal division of the Boston Traveler - Metropolitan Theatre Voice and Piano Contest; second prize in the piano division went to Leonard Bernstein.
In 1941, Hazzan Kandler was engaged for the High Holidays by the Southern Brookline Community Center, which was later renamed Temple Emeth. He became full-time cantor in 1948, following the completion of his tour of duty in the U.S. Army as an Assistant Chaplain at Camp Edwards on Cape Cod in MA. As of July, 2000, he became Cantor Emeritus at Temple Emeth.
Cantor Kandler was the recipient of the Hazzan David Putterman Award for Exemplary Service, Northeast Region, Jewish Theological Seminary in 1994. There is a Scholarship Fund in his name at the Seminary. Hazzan Kandler has been an active member of the Jewish Ministers Cantors Association of Boston since 1945, and is a charter member of Cantor's Assembly of America. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary in February, 1998.
Cantor Kandler was married to his wife Deborah (Shore) for 53 years, until her death on the 5th day of Chanukah, 1995, at age 92. Cantor Kandler's daughter, Miriam is married to Jeffrey Sokoloff. Their children are Chava, who is married to Jeff Traurig; Leah, who is married to Avi Greengart; and Shoshana, who is married to Harold Zazula. The Cantor has three greatchildren, Aharon Yaakov and Adina Esther Traurig and Netanel Zvi Greengart.