Cantor Emeritus Harry Gelman z"l


Cantor Harry GelmanCantor Harry Gelman z"l was our Cantor Emeritus. He passed away on April 6, 2012.

Cantor Gelman led his first service at Temple Aliyah on Shabbat Hanukkah of 1971. Born and raised in New York City, Cantor Gelman studied Physics and Mathematics at City College of New York where he earned a B.S. degree, and at New York University where he earned his Ph.D. He then pursued simultaneous careers in both physics and as a Cantor. His passion for Jewish music developed as a member of choirs in the Bronx, and he studied under Cantors Phillip Pfeffer, Gregor Shelkan, and Earl Lefkowitz. Before coming to Temple Aliyah, he also served at Temple Emmanuel in Wakefield, MA.

As a physicist, Cantor Gelman worked for fourteen years at GTE as the Manager of the Electromagnetic Effects Branch and Director of the High Voltage Lab. For eight years he also taught Physics at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, including the first year introductory course, upper level undergraduate courses, and graduate courses. He also supervised Masters degree candidates.

As our hazzan, Cantor Gelman led our services with great gusto. His greatest pride, however, came from passing on his skills to others. Over his thirty years, he patiently instructed hundreds of Bar and Bat Mitzvah students, teaching them the trope, their Torah and haftarah portions, and the davening of the service. He also taught these skills to countless adult members of the congregation. On a lighter side, his performances have been the highlight of many Temple Cabarets and shows.