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Chazanim & Choir

Giselle Harbour Photography

Chazan Shimon Farkas OAM - Senior Cantor

Chazan Shimon Farkas OAM is one of the great Cantors of our time, his unique voice is brilliant in tone and rich in emotional warmth.
Chazan Shimon was born in Hungary and moved to Israel as a young child. A virtuoso from the beginning, by age nine he was already conducting the Friday night services at the Rama Synagogue in Tel Aviv. In 1972 at the age of 22, Chazan Shimon was appointed as Chief Cantor of our synagogue.

He is well known throughout the Jewish world and has made a number of professional recordings. On Australia Day, 2008, Chazan Shimon was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in recognition of his contribution to the Jewish community, in particular, to our synagogue. Shimon and his wife, Veronica, have three children and 11 grandchildren living in Sydney, Melbourne and Israel.

Rabbi Yehuda Niasoff – Chazan Sheini-Choir Master

In 2003, Rabbi Yehuda Niasoff was appointed as Chazan Sheini at Central.  He is also our Choir Master to both the main choir and boys’ choir and does a magnificent job on all fronts.

Born and raised in New York, Yehuda originates from a family of musically talented, internationally renowned Chazanim. He began performing publicly at six years old and by 18, his vocal talents were heard in performances across the United States. For several years, Rabbi Yehuda featured as Chazan at Chabad of the Hamptons and ably led High Holiday services.

In 1993, Rabbi Yehuda came to Australia to work with the Sydney Jewish community, whilst concurrently continuing his rabbinical studies.  Between 1993 and 2003, he served as Chazan for a number of synagogues over the High Holy Days. He is multi-skilled and invaluable to our community, practicing as a Shochet, kosher ritual slaughterer for The Kashrut Authority of Australia and New Zealand, and also as a qualified Mohel. Rabbi Yehuda is married to Devorah and they have a precious family of six children.

Sam Weiss - Assistant Choir Master

Sam Weiss is a highly experienced, respected, passionate, dedicated and professional young musician. Graduating from Emanuel School (2012), Sam is currently completing a Bachelor of Music (Composition) and Bachelor of Commerce degree at UNSW. He has been a member of The Central Synagogue for his entire life, and his family has a long history with the shul, spanning 3 generations.
A multi-instrumentalist, Sam regularly performs in Sydney and abroad at simchas, events and prestigious venues with his jazz band 33 Degrees Music, the Sincopa Trio, and several other groups. Sam is also a practicing film composer, having scored feature films Pockets of Hope (2015) and Indigo Lake (2017). Sam has also composed and arranged several pieces of music for The Central Synagogue choir.

The Choir

The choir at Central has been acclaimed as one of the finest in Australia.

The choir at Central has been acclaimed as one of the finest in Australia.  In fact, the collective vocal quality, in conjunction with beautifully arranged tunes, enhance every Shabbat and Yom Tov. Furthermore, our choir is often invited to perform outside the shul at various community functions and Simchas.

Such uplifting and harmonious voices add a vibrancy to every service. Congregants feel a palpable joy and are encouraged to join in the heavenly davening.

Under the guidance of Rabbi Yehuda Niasoff, our Boys’ Choir fills our sanctuary with their angelic voices. With every piece performed, there is a hush throughout the shul as the purity of their sweet songs is complemented by the incredible acoustics within.

The choir members:

Bob Borowksy

Brendan Zlatkis
Colin Fox
Dion Marks
Emmanuel Rosenberg
Frank Marks
Gavriel Ingram
Ian Tubak

Jacob Wine

Jacques Klein
Jeff Zulman
John Tintner
Joseph Toltz
Len Mahemoff
Martin Friedgut

Natie Lieb
Sam Weiss
Saul Lieb
Shaun Eliastam
Shmaryahu Bowdre
Ted Arnold
Zelwyn Orbach

Under the guidance of Rabbi Yehuda Niasoff a Young Boys Choir has recently been formed. When they sang over the High Holy Days there was a hush in the shul as their sweet, angelic voices filled the air. They also made an appearance at our concert in 2010 and once again they “wowed “the audience.

Our Boys Choir:

Avi Niasoff
Judah Shifroni
Meir Gershowitz
Sam Levy
Shaun Lieb
Zelig Nussbaum