DAVID A. EDWARDS
Cantor David Edwards was born and raised in the UK in a traditional Jewish home that regarded Judaism as an important aspect of life. After completing high school, he spent a period of time in Israel where he studied at an Ulpan and then went on to work in Tel Aviv.
Cantor David moved to Toronto in 1974 and
embarked on a successful business career.
Although he enjoyed a love for music, it wasn't until much later in life that he discovered his voice and began to take the art of cantorial music seriously. After the passing of his late mother in 1993, he began to study intensely and in 2000, he became the Cantor of the Lodzer Centre Congregation in Toronto where he served for 9 years.
During 2009 to 2011, David was honoured to lead the Calgary Beth Tzedec Congregation where he engaged his congregants, encouraged them to participate and fostered a greater sense of community within the Synagogue, which led to a positive experience for many.
In 2011, he returned to Toronto to accept the position of Senior Cantor at the Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue, a thriving 1200 family congregation. David formed a theatre arts group that produced very successful plays around the theme of the Purim Holiday story. In addition, he initiated outreach programs to retirement homes, performed pastoral duties for the elderly and bereaved and organized a musical choral group of talented singers who augmented many services on Shabbat and the High Holy Days.
In 2017, he concluded his tenure at the Beth Emeth in order to take on more diverse roles in the Jewish community. This included a High Holiday cantorial position at the Beth Sholom Synagogue, mentoring and teaching students, performing life cycle events and also concerts/special events as requested. Cantor David's style is a combination of the treasured traditional musical themes and genres of the past, together with new modern melodies. In performing the sacred craft of chazzanut, he holds the belief that without a "tzibur" (a congregation) there can be no "shaliach" (spiritual prayer leader).
During this period, he also took on a role of Community Outreach at Benjamins Park Memorial Chapel by visiting bereaved families during their shiva period that follows the burial of a loved one. This role requires compassion, caring and attention to detail that allows a bereaved person to process their new reality. It proved to be a humbling learning experience in visiting over 800 different families. It also taught him about the enormous attention to detail necessary to meet the needs of a family during a time of emotional trauma.
However, the call to the cantorate stayed with him and in April 2019, an opportunity to serve another congregation as a part time Cantor emerged. As a result, arrangements were made to serve a young vibrant shul in Thornhill as one of its spiritual leaders. He also continued to serve the greater Jewish community in the GTA and work with the Beit Rayim Synagogue but the Covid pandemic changed the landscape of his position and it concluded in May 2021.
However, he has now been engaged by the Beth Torah Congregation, a larger 500 family community as a part time Interim Cantor and Clergy person effective June 1st. As a seasoned veteran, he brings a vast array of experience to his new position and is eager to continue serving his new congregational family whilst maintaining his wonderful relationships from past experiences.