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A Cantor's Cantor
Special to the Jewish News
antor Larry Vieder was the
heart and soul of Adat Shalom
Synagogue; we could always
count on him to be there for everyone:'
said synagogue President Jeff Supowit of
"Retirement didn't mean much to him
because he was the hardest-working retiree
I've ever seen."
"He was an incredible man and
synagogue leader;' added Alan Yost
of Farmington Hills, the synagogue's
executive director for 30 years. "He taught
everyone, especially the bar and bat mitz-
vah youngsters, how to maximize, not
minimize, everything they did in their
lives. He gave us his wisdom and support
for nearly five decades."
Cantor Vieder, 85, who had served Adat
Shalom for 48 years and earned respect as
a compassionate friend and inspirational
leader to hundreds of youngsters and
adults in many generations of Adat Shalom
families, died Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008, at his
Farmington Hills home after being ill with
pancreatic cancer since last December.
He joined Adat Shalom as a sexton in
1960, and became head cantor in 1974.
He officially retired in 1993 and took on
emeritus status; but that didn't keep him
from his "home away from home" where
he spent part of almost every day, con-
tinuing to work with students, officiating
at High Holiday services, teaching mem-
bers how to daven and even how to blow
the shofar. "He remained a vital part of
ABRAMSOHN, 96, of
Southfield, died Oct. 9,
2008. She was a well-
known piano teacher in
She was born in
Auburn Hills in 1912,
the eldest of six children.
Most of her childhood was spent in Detroit
and she studied from numerous music
the congregation:' said Yost.
Hashanah and Yom Kippur. "My father
"Cantor Vieder was a hard-working,
made sure his three sons knew how to
highly professional colleague who was
daven and be able to lead services:' said
committed to very high standards;' added Mark Vieder.
Judy Marx of West Bloomfield, who has
Cantor Vieder, a native of
been Adat Shalom's communications
Czechoslovakia, was a Holocaust survivor,
director for 21 years.
whose parents, four brothers and two
Cantor Vieder was honored by the
sisters perished in Nazi Germany concen-
National Cantors Assembly in 2000 and by
tration camps. He escaped by fleeing to
Adat Shalom in 2005 when the synagogue
the Russian army in 1944. Returning to
unveiled the Cantor Larry
Prague after World War II,
Vieder Foyer, a gift made pos-
he met his future wife, Gitta,
sible by the Schostak Family
after being fixed up by a
mutual friend. She also had
"My job is to reach out to
lost several relatives in the
the heart of the worshipper,"
Holocaust. "She had nobody,
Cantor Vieder explained
and I had nobody:' he would
at the time. In that way,
reason, "and now we had
he helped many pray with
a family" They wed three
meaning — the same way
after they met — a
Cantor Lar ry Vieder
he learned to pray.
marriage that lasted 62 years.
One of Cantor Vieder's three sons, Dr.
In 1948, the Vieders moved to Israel
Sanford Vieder of West Bloomfield, said
where he served in the Haganah. After a
in his eulogy at last Monday's funeral at
few years, they moved to Toronto where
the synagogue that his father was "pas-
Gitta had friends. He got a job with a choir
sionate about wanting people to learn
and as a cantor with a local synagogue dur-
how to pray; his commitment to his job
ing the holidays, picking up on the cantorial
was intense and rare.
skills he achieved while attending yeshivah
"He was a curiously complex, yet
amazingly simple man, with a legend-
Through another friend, they came to
ary work ethic, who won the respect and
Detroit on July 4, 1954."He worked in a bak-
admiration of everyone he met. He never
ery and drove a taxi cab to make ends meet
said (no' to anyone, whether it was for a
before becoming a chazan here said Dr.
hospital visit, an extra lesson for a young- Sanford Vieder. Cantor Vieder joined Ahavas
ster, teaching an individual how to say
Achim and B'nai David synagogues, then
Kaddish; he was there for them."
came to Adas Shalom, as Adat Shalom was
Another son, Mark Vieder, a pharma-
called when located in Detroit, as a sexton.
cist in Germantown, Md., helped conduct
As his many friends in the Detroit area's
services at Adat Shalom this past Rosh
Czechoslovakian community gathered
teachers while growing up. She later attended
Julliard School of Music and began teaching
during the Great Depression. In some cases,
she taught three generations of students
from the same families.
Mrs. Abramsohn gave many recitals in
local homes and also played with the sym-
phony in Detroit. She was given the Teacher
of the Year of the State of Michigan award
and also plaques, recognizing her achieve-
ments, from the Livonia Area Forum and the
MONUMENTS & MARKERS • MONUMENT DUPLICATING
Detroit Music League. She had a great love of
opera, symphony and chamber music.
Though she had no children of her own,
her nieces, nephews and their families as
well as her many students were her true
She is survived by her sister, Helen
Zuckerman of Franklin; nieces, nephews,
other relatives, friends; caregiver, Annette
Mrs. Abramsohn was the beloved wife for
Monday morning to attend the funeral,
they reminisced about a lifetime of experi-
ences with the cantor.
"Gitta and I grew up in the town of
Seredny, Czechoslovakia, and a number of
girl friends all came to America around
the same time:' recalled Gita Weinberger
of West Bloomfield, also a Holocaust
survivor. "In fact, six of us used the same
dress for our marriages. Larry was an
exceptionally good-hearted man, who
was always there to help everyone."
Added Garry Kappy of West
Bloomfield: "He was the best; a wonderful
man and an excellent cantoe
Three rabbis officiated at his funeral:
current Adat Shalom Rabbis Aaron
Bergman and Herbert Yoskowitz and
Rabbi Emeritus Efry Spectre of New York,
along with Cantor Simon Spiro of Toronto.
Cantor Vieder is survived by his wife,
Gitta; sons and daughters-in-law, Tom
and Debra Vieder, Mark Vieder, Dr.
Sanford and Carol Vieder; grandchil-
dren, Dr. Jason and Stacy Vieder; Brian,
Rachael, Ryan, Jeffrey, Adam, Brandon,
Alex, and Nikolas Vieder; great-grand-
children, Samuel and Gabe Vieder; sister-
in-law, Nina Adler.
Interment at Adat Shalom Memorial
Park. Contributions may be made to Adat
Shalom Synagogue, Larry Vieder Memorial
Fund, 29901 Middlebelt, Farmington Hills,
48334; (248) 851-5100, www.adatshalom.
org , or Botsford Hospital, Larry Vieder
Memorial Fund, c/o Botsford Foundation,
28050 Grand River, Farmington, 48336;
(248) 471-8000, www.botsford.org .
Arrangements by Ira Kaufman Chapel.
20 years of the late George Abramsohn; lov-
ing sister of the late Leslie Fleisher, the late
Dorothy Buten, the late Bernice Kane and the
late Madelyn Cottler.
Interment at Machpelah Cemetery.
Contributions may be made to
Chamber Music Society of Detroit,
31731 Northwestern Highway, Suite
259W, Farmington Hills, MI 48334.
Arrangements by the Ira Kaufman Chapel.
Obituaries on page C38
OCTOBER 19, 2007
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It has only been one year since you left us
but it seems like an eternity.
You are sadly missed by all who knew you.
Your kindness and sincerity is something
we will always remember.
You are forever in our thoughts and hearts.
Your "DARLING" wife Sue
Cindy, Mike, Lisa & Larry
Dana, Freddy, Rachael, Jordan
Adam & Jenny
October 16 • 2008