Cantor Uriel Naor, who served for many years at Tiferet Bet Israel in Blue Bell and had an active concert career worldwide, died Sept. 27.
He was 77 years old.
Born and educated in Tel Aviv, where he attended the Rubin Academy of Music, Naor arrived in the United States with his family in 1979, 17 years after he started his career as a concert performer in Israel and a year after he began duties as cantor at Congregation Sinai in his native city.
In 1980, he landed the cantorial position at Tiferet Israel in Norristown, leaving thereafter for his role in Blue Bell.
Over the years, the acclaimed tenor built a following for concerts here and abroad and served with distinction in the Cantors Assembly Choir of Philadelphia.
David Tilman, chazzan emeritus of Beth Sholom Congregation in Elkins Park and an associate professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, conducted that choir and recalls with admiration the talents of Naor, who held the choral position of first tenor.
Having known Naor for a number of years, he praised him as “a sweet, loving guy with a beautiful tenor.”
“There was an innate sweetness to his sound; he was born with it and it was a well-trained voice.”
The late cantor, who was blind in his later years, had a lot of fans for that sound at the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life in North Wales, where he was a resident and led services on a regular basis.
Cantor Naor is survived by his wife, the former Sareva Stern; and a step-son, Zephania Grunschlag.