Hazzan Bernard Savitz, who served as the cantor of Har Zion Congregation in Scottsdale for 11 years, is now the spiritual leader of Congregation Shomrei Torah, a traditional, egalitarian, independent congregation in Scottsdale.

Savitz, whose last day at Har Zion was June 30, is a graduate of the Talmudical Academy of Baltimore, Yeshiva College, the James Striar School of Jewish Studies, and the Cantorial Training Institute, all in New York. He also spent a year at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel, studying opera and music theory. He is an ordained hazzan with the Cantors Assembly, a member of the Guild of Temple Musicians, a lifetime associate member of the American Conference of Cantors and a member of the Jewish Ministers Cantors Association.

Shomrei Torah, which means “Guardians of the Torah,” meets for weekly services at 9:30 a.m. Shabbat mornings at the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus, 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. Initially, the group met in Savitz’s home every other week, but soon outgrew the space; the first service was at the end of July and each week’s service brings an average of 25-35 people, he said.

Savitz, who also has rabbinical ordination from an Orthodox beit din in California, also offers bar or bat mitzvah training and officiates at weddings, baby-naming ceremonies and funerals. Additional programs are being developed. Call 602-320-3369, email benyamin3@cox.net or visit congregationshomreitorah.com.

– Leisah Woldoff

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