Today is September 1, 2014 - 6 Elul 5774
of Westport, Weston and Wilton
30 Hillspoint Road · Westport, CT 06880
Phone: (203) 454-4673 · Fax: (203) 454-8888
Notes from our Cantor
Posted on May 02, 2013
Walk with me through the streets of Montevideo, a very old, European looking town, where one can find a balance between its rich history and modern life. There is where I served as a cantor for fifteen years. Growing up in a very Jewish, Zionist home and becoming the cantor of the only Conservative Synagogue at a young age was something that helped me fulfill my true passion: to ensure the continuity of the Jewish people.
Walk with me now, through the streets of Miami Beach where one hears Spanish more often than English, and the Cuban flag is as popular as the American flag. I had the pleasure and joy of serving the Cuban Hebrew Congregation of Miami for five years. It was a unique journey that forged our new identity as Americans. Friday after Friday around the Shabbat table, my family and I listened in awe to the stories of our congregants, most of them Cuban immigrants to the United States. These stories of success, sacrifice and gratitude were an inspiration for my family and me.
For the last six years I walked the streets of Aventura and North Miami Beach, Florida as well. At Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus I had the chance to create musical programs, record two CD’s (one with the religious and day school students), create a brand new concept in Bar and Bat Mitzvah education, and innovate a program for older teenagers. I am grateful that with the support and incentive of several people in the community, I was able to have all of these opportunities to grow, teach, and learn. It was while I was there that I became more involved with the Cantors Assembly, the largest organization of cantors in the world, and I hope that this is something I will continue to be involved with in the future.
A new chapter in my professional career and family life is beginning. We feel blessed for the opportunity. We fell in love with the people we have met and we are looking forward to meeting more people in the synagogue. We hope to be part of this community, to be able to help others find their place, their roles, and encourage their participation as well. Community life has many dimensions. People should be able to feel the connection with God with the help of their spiritual leaders, but there should also be a connection between the individuals. That dimension, the bond between the people in the community, is the result of the relationship that comes from sharing tasks, experiences, and life’s happiest and hardest moments. That is what over the years makes a synagogue truly stronger.
That is why I ask you to walk with me and Rabbi Wiederhorn through the streets of Westport and the neighboring towns, so we can begin a journey together: a journey of mutual learning and appreciation, a journey of spirituality, creativity and tradition.
See you soon,
Cantor Luis Cattan