For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Richard Schwartz. Over the past nine years I’ve served Temple Beth David of the San Gabriel Valley as its Cantor and, for five of those years, as Director of Education. This coming July, my family and I will be moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota where I will be working as the full-time cantor of Bet Shalom Congregation in Minnetonka. I’m writing this message in order to express my gratitude for our beloved community and to offer it my blessings.
My years as Temple Beth David’s cantor have been among the most fulfilling ones of my professional career. Whether officiating at services or lifecycle events, working with talented and dedicated volunteer musicians and singers, ritual, adult education, and religious school committee members, sharing Torah and Jewish music with children and adults, shaping the hearts and minds of students, teachers, and parents (as religious school director), participating at communal events, or being with congregants during life’s most important moments, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to fulfil my life’s purpose and connect so meaningfully with others.
I’m grateful to Temple Beth David’s presidents, Mickey Adelman and Kenny Gross, and members of our board for their leadership and care and ever thankful to those who have supported our congregation with their financial generosity. TBD’s gifted educational director, Gal Kessler-Rohs, its dedicated office staff, volunteers, custodians and other professionals associated with Temple Beth David are worthy of much praise. Aside from my dear wife, Lily Silver, who has been a tremendous source of strength and wisdom, my deepest affection is reserved for Rabbi Alan Lachtman. Rabbi Lachtman’s consistent encouragement, guidance, spiritual depth, kindness, and sense of humor have helped shape the cantor and humanbeing I am today.
One of the more enjoyable and meaningful aspects of my work as cantor of Temple Beth David has been participating in or attending the many concerts, events, religious services, theater performances, and social gatherings sponsored by the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys. Jason Moss’ leadership and commitment to providing programs that powerfully address the needs of Jews in our area is outstanding. My dear friends and colleagues, Cantor Judy Sofer, whose work as the Jewish Federation’s Cultural Arts Program Coordinator has had an outstanding impact on our community, and Cantor Paul Buch of Temple Beth Israel of Pomona have provided me with much pleasure and inspiration.
As I prepare to join the “Chosen Frozen” of Minnesota, my heart is full of gratitude for the deep connections I’ve made with so many of you and for the opportunities to serve the Jewish people, humanity, and God. May the SGPV Jewish community continue to thrive and flourish and may you be inspired to impact its future through your engagement and support. Yours truly, Cantor Richard Schwartz
Please join Rabbi Lachtman and the members of Temple Beth David on Friday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m. as they honor and celebrate Cantor Schwartz’ service to our community. The Kabbalat Shabbat service will feature extraordinary musical performances by percussionist Jamie Papish, pianist/vocalist/clarinetist Leeav Sofer, bassist Will Davila, violinist Paul Stein, pianist Neda St. Clair, the Sweet Singers of David, and numerous gifted volunteer musicians.
Cantor Richard Schwartz has worked with communities and individuals as a cantor, spiritual leader, choral director, concert producer, performer, songwriter, Jewish music and liturgy consultant, educational director, B’nai Mitzvah mentor, and Hebrew, music, and religious studies teacher for over 25 years