David, the Cantor
102 Years Old!
Photography is much more than just taking pictures. It’s the chance to interact with people, places, and things in our world….and in our imagination. I feel fortunate that I have had the opportunity to meet David, the Cantor. He is 102 years old, born in Trondheim Norway in 1913 and arriving here before his Bar Mitzvah. Amazing man…and his wife, Goldie, too! Thanks to Berit Engen, a very talented artist who I met as part of the Jewish Artist’s Workshop Lab at Spertus Institute and who is also from Norway, I was able to come to David and Goldie’s home to photograph them and film David singing and speaking Norwegian, Hebrew, and English. In fact, I’m going to try something new in this blog…adding video! I’ll try that at the bottom of this posting.
David retired at 90 years old after a 50 year career at his synagogue in Chicago. Wow! Can you imagine?? Such a nice man with a still strong voice and a very likable personality. And he and Goldie, who is a spry and sharp 97, are a sweet couple, looking after each other…such a joy to see.
As I mentioned above, it was quite an experience for me and Berit to visit David and Goldie in their home. We went there twice and I got a ton of photos…difficult to choose which ones to include here. And I have no idea which ONE I will choose to be part of my Spertus project. Regardless of that dilemma (haha), this was a special experience for me. Thanks to them and Berit. Look at this photo (below) that I took as I was leaving yesterday and I hope you can feel what I felt when I took it. Sweetness.
Now…let’s try some video! I filmed David singing several songs and I’m attaching three of them here as a small sample of his vast multi-lingual repertory. I hope you take the time to watch at least one or two to get an idea of the surprising strength of his voice and to observe his personality while he sings. I believe Berit intends to send these video clips along with the others to the Jewish community in Norway. Please feel free to share them, too! And, also the blog post…send it around! It’s a good story!
-Stephen M. Levin
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