Lerer, Shmuel

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LERER, SHMUEL (1930– ), ḥazzan. Shmuel Lerer was born in Jerusalem to a family of famous cantors. One of his forefathers, Aharon Natan Sofer, was for many years the cantor of the Tiferet Israel Synagogue in the old city of Jerusalem. Shmuel Lerer received a religious education in Jerusalem where he also studied music and voice development at the Academy of Music. He served as the conductor of the choir of his elder brother, Cantor Joshua *Lerer, and afterwards as chief cantor of the Ramah Synagogue in Tel Aviv and of the Great Synagogue in Ramat Gan. From there he moved to the Marble Arch synagogue, London, where he served from 1963 to 1968. During the years 1968–78 he was chief cantor in the central Bet Midrash in Johannesburg. He then returned to Israel. He has since then officiated communally at High Holiday prayer services, inter alia in Montreal and St. Petersburg. He has produced several records of cantorial music. The Cantors and Choirmasters Association of South Africa issued a volume of Lerer's compositions entitled Rinah ve-Tefillah in Johannesburg in 1977, when Lerer was also their chairman and honorary president. This work shows Lerer as an exceptional melodist of synagogal compositions written in the traditional style.

[Akiva Zimmerman /

Raymond Goldstein (2nd ed.)]