David & Janice Cantor
Congregation Ohr HaTorah is our shul, and its members are our extended family.
We both grew up as conservative Jews whose parents were involved with their respective synagogues. Janice was drawn deeper into Judaism through her friendship with Cantor Charles and Esther Lew from Temple Shalom in Medford, MA. Her pursuit of Jewish interests played a role in her choice of attending Stern College in New York. I have always had a strong Jewish identity which was supported by an interest in the history of my family. My formal Jewish education ended a few years after my bar mitzvah when I finished attending the afternoon sessions of Hebrew High School in Patchogue, NY. When we got married in 1983, we attended Temple Beth Shalom in Cambridge, MA, for most of the regular holidays. We have always considered ourselves to be “traditional Jews” since we aren’t really either Conservative or Orthodox.
When our daughter, Aviva, was born in 1987 we faced a dilemma. The only Jewish preschool that was near our Watertown, MA, home that would take a child who was not toilet trained was the preschool at the Lubavitch congregation in Lexington, MA. After our daughter had been going to the preschool for awhile we decided to check out what the services were like at the synagogue. We were immediately impressed by the openness and knowledge of Rabbi Alte Bukiet and started attending the services regularly. However, we never got involved on the boards of the Jewish organizations while in the Boston area. Since Janice’s son Jeremy is multiply handicapped, we put all of our energies into United Cerebral Palsy Association. Janice was on five committees of their board and I served on the other five committees.
When we moved to Charlotte in 1991, we were happy to find that Rabbi Yossi and Mariashi Groner were already established here with both a great preschool and regular services. Janice has focused her board and volunteer activities on Jewish education (Jewish Preschool on Sardis and the Charlotte Jewish Day School) and with LifeSpan. My primary activity has been with Congregation Ohr HaTorah.
What we have discovered over the years is that we are two individuals with different personalities and interests — but the Jewish values we share make our differences unimportant. We hope that our commitment to the long-term financial health of our synagogue will inspire others to do the same.
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