Cantor Sheldon Merel z”l
Dear Holy Blossom Community,
It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of Cantor Sheldon Merel Z”l. Cantor Merel served our beloved Holy Blossom Congregation with tremendous dignity and honour for 10 years from 1969-1979. While I did not have the pleasure of knowing Cantor Merel well, I did meet him earlier this year on a Zoom call. He was truly a sweet singer of Israel, he was known for his majestic voice and menschlichkeit personality. He elevated the music of our congregation for almost a decade and was succeeded by our Cantor Emeritus, Benjamin Maissner.
I want to share with you some words posted by the President of the American Conference of Cantors along with a reflection from Cantor Maissner.
The family has requested a private Funeral and Shiva and I have been informed that there will be a public memorial service in the near future. We will provide details as they become available.
May his memory forever be for a blessing.
Cantor David Rosen
President of the American Conference of Cantors:
Reflection from Cantor Benjamin Maissner
Dear Friends and Congregants,
It is with great sadness that I have to bare the heartbreaking news that our former beloved Cantor Sheldon Merel passed away last night. I arrived at Holy Blossom Temple shortly after Shelley left to return to the west coast. I succeeded a giant in the field. Shelly was really a sweet singer of Israel. He embodied the highest level of our calling in the Art of the Shaliach Tzibur; the emissary of our people.
Cantor Merel served this congregation with love and devotion. He was a hard “act” to follow as his glorious voice, calming temper and sweet personality endeared him to the entire congregation. He was learned, musical and had excellent taste as he catered the sacred song of our people and elevated the prayer text to a very high level.
Shelley had an extremely busy and dignified career for over forty years since he left our congregation and returned to the west coast in San Diego. In his advanced age, well into his 90’s he still sang like a bird every High Holiday in his beloved home congregation. Many of our members still remember Shelly with great love and admiration. Shelly came back to our Temple for concerts. It was an honour for me to sing with him and stand beside him as I listened to his sweet Neshama shine through as he put his heart into our sacred song.
May his memory be for a blessing to all who knew him
Both Cantor Rosen and I sadly mourn his passing.
Yehi Zichcon Baruch,