Dudu Fisher returns to his cantorial roots

WASHINGTON - Israeli singer Dudu Fisher, known worldwide for his Broadway lead role in "Les Miserables" and for many other musical performances and recordings, is returning to his roots and will take on a permanent post as cantor of the New York Synagogue in Manhattan. Fisher began his career as a cantor but in recent years has focused on singing and served as a cantor only on the Jewish holidays. "The synagogue is the source for all my music," said Fisher, who will be installed as cantor this Shabbat. "Each time after I'm at the pulpit I feel that my batteries are recharged." Fisher will serve as cantor at the synagogue for the winter season. The New York Synagogue, located on E. 58th street and Park Avenue, is an affiliate of the Hampton Synagogue, which is popular with Jewish families and individuals that keep summer homes in the upscale resort area. "There is such enthusiasm, such a buzz," said Rabbi Marc Schneier, who is the rabbi of both the Hampton and the New York synagogues. His biggest challenge now, Schneier said, is to find room for the hundreds of worshipers who have expressed interest in coming to the synagogue when Fisher is at the pulpit. Rabbi Schneier is more than pleased with the new approach Fisher is bringing with him. He describes his synagogue, which is the only Orthodox synagogue in New York that has a professional choir, as "an Orthodox synagogue with a Reform crowd." Fisher is not giving up on his musical career, however, and will work on several stage productions while in New York.