For the past two years, Cantor Tauber served as Cantor of North Shore Synagogue, along with myself and our senior Rabbi David Whiman. The Cantor leads the musical life of the synagogue, singing in services, teaching children and officiating at life cycle events. David had a beautiful baritone voice, but it was his shining personality that we will all remember.
Yesterday, we told our religious school children about his passing and we asked them to describe what they remember about Cantor Tauber. They talked about his energy, enthusiasm, how he always smiled and played his guitar with passion. David loved music, but he also loved sharing it with others and helping them find their voices in prayer.
Cantor David Tauber was 34 years old. His loss is a great tragedy, and as a rabbi of about the same age, it is hard for me to imagine the pain that his wife and family are feeling. One of my congregants aptly said that it is hard to make sense of such a terrible accident.
We will be holding funeral services for Cantor Tauber at our Temple, and we will say goodbye to a good man, who loved music, loved Judaism, and cared more about others than himself. I hope and pray that over time his wife and family find peace and comfort. Zecher Latzadik livrachah, the memory of the righteous is always a blessing. Amen.
Below please find a reprint of an article from Newsday newspaper on Long Island that describes the memory and great work of Cantor David Tauber.
Rabbi Eric Eisenkramer
North Shore Synagogue cantor drowns in Israel
BY LAURA RIVERA, February 26, 2008
An avid hiker, David Tauber was exploring the gorges and streams of a lush reserve near the Dead Sea when rushing waters barreled down the trail.While he was able to help his wife get to high ground, Tauber, an acclaimed cantor at a Syosset synagogue, was apparently overwhelmed by the flash flood and drowned on Monday, the congregation's rabbi said Tuesday."They both loved the land of Israel," said Rabbi David Whiman, senior rabbi of the North Shore Synagogue. "It's just a great tragedy."Tauber's wife, Heather, was later rescued by helicopters, according to news reports.
The Taubers, of Brooklyn, had gone to Israel to attend the annual mission of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, for which Heather works, the rabbi said. After the conference, they traveled for pleasure to Ein Gedi nature reserve, a 6,250-acre oasis between the Judean desert and the Dead Sea, about 50 miles southeast of Jerusalem.
The congregation was reeling Tuesday from the loss of a cantor who had won over its members during two years of service, Whiman said."He had a very boyish charm about him. When he would conduct the service, it was in an endearing, engaging, and absolutely invitational kind of way," he said. "There was such a conspicuous delight in the way he would sing and encourage the people to join in liturgy and music."
A recipient of the H.L. Miller Cantorial Fellowship, Tauber, who was in his mid 30s, was installed as a resident cantor at the reform congregation in a ceremony last November, Whiman said.Tauber replaced a cantor who died of cancer after serving eight or nine years, said Wayne Landau, the synagogue's president."It was a difficult position," he said. "It would take a special human being to replace . David was able to do that and win over the hearts and minds of the congregants."
Under Tauber's stewardship, the synagogue's adult and junior choirs expanded and improved as he coached them at weekly rehearsals, and prepared them for a monthly service with song, he said. He also coached bar and bat mitzvah students in chanting from the scriptures.A graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary in Manhattan, Tauber also trained as an opera singer, performing in the Amato Opera in Manhattan and the Tri-Cities Opera in Binghamton, according to a biography on the North Shore Synagogue's Web site.
Links to newspaper articles about Cantor David Tauber:
Newsday Article: Click Here
Jerusalem Post Article: Click Here