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Rabbi Hazzan Yehuda Abittan

Rabbi Hazzan Yehuda Abittan has been the Cantor at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue since April 1984. Born in Casablanca, Morocco, Rabbi Abittan moved to the United States as a teenager, and studied at the Telshe Yeshiva in Cleveland, Ohio, and in Chicago, Illinois, earning a degree in rabbinical studies. He moved to Montreal in 1980.

As a multi-talented person Abittan is Hazzan, Rabbi, Torah weekly reader, teacher, mohel, poet, writer and singer. Throughout his thirty-five years of service to the community he has performed hundreds of weddings, circumcisions and has taught and prepared hundreds of Bar and Bat Mitzvah students as well as performing all life cycle events.

Rabbi Abittan is also the founder of the Beit Hamidrash Helwani, which has been a part of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue since the year 2000. Here Rabbi Abittan and other rabbis offer many different Torah classes daily. Rabbi Abittan has also organized annual Beit Hamidrash fund-raising galas since the foundation of the Beit Hamidrash.

Rabbi Abittan has also published several books in Hebrew on Jewish customs and traditions as well as poetry books on the weekly parasha and on the holidays as well as life cycle events. Some of his poetry have been translated into French and English. Some have been published in the weekly bulletin of the synagogue.

Beyond his usual duties at the synagogue, Rabbi Abittan has been president for many years of the Sephardic Association of Hazzanim. He has won le prix de la culture Sépharade in 2010 for his excellent work in keeping the Sephardic traditions and melodies alive and vibrant. 

In November 2010 the community organized a grand celebration to honor Rabbi Abittan on the occasion of the twenty-sixth year of service to his community. Many Rabbis and dignitaries were present and a special booklet was printed in his honor.

After 35 years of service Rabbi Abittan is scheduled to retire at the end of June 2019.

Mon, 22 October 2018 13 Cheshvan 5779