David Proser assumes helm of Hampton Roads Board of Rabbis and Cantors

by | Aug 11, 2022 | Other News

David Proser

David Proser, cantor at Kempsville Conservative Synagogue, Kehillat Bet Hamidrash, has recently been chosen to lead the Hampton Roads Board of Rabbis and Cantors as president. The organization’s mission, according to Proser, is to provide an opportunity for local Jewish clergy to meet on a regular basis “to learn from each other and to share events and programs going on in our individual synagogues.” In addition, it provides the opportunity to address, discuss, and answer with a “unified voice” the challenges facing the Tidewater Jewish community.

Proser’s responsibilities include a variety of administrative duties including scheduling meetings, sending email reminders, suggesting programs, and coordinating the agenda for the meetings, as well as calling special meetings to discuss situations of interest to or affecting the Jewish community.

The Board was originally organized as the Board of Rabbis. About 20 years ago, it expanded its membership to include cantors.

“Since that time, not only have area cantors joined, but at least four other cantors have preceded me in becoming president of the board: The first was Cantor Jennifer Bern-Vogel from Ohef Sholom Temple (she was also the first cantor on the board), then Cantor Jennifer Rueben of Ohef Sholom Temple, Cantor Elihu Flax of Beth Sholom Village, and immediately preceding me, Cantor Wendi Fried of Congregation Beth El,” says Proser

The board is starting to meet again in-person, rather than the virtual (Zoom) meetings that were the norm during the pandemic. “There’s a professional camaraderie that just loses a bit of the personal touch when we’re all on a screen,” he says.

Looking forward to Rosh Hashanah, Proser says, “I think all of our members would like to see a return to the ‘old days’ of having our sanctuaries filled with our congregants as we observe and celebrate the upcoming holidays. I don’t see streaming or Zooming ever going away, as it enables those who truly cannot attend in-person to be a part of their congregation’s Yom Tov services.”

Debbie Burke