BROOMALL–She has spent nearly three decades sharing her passion for music and talented singing skills with the congregation of Temple Sholom in Broomall, and now with a heavy heart, Cantor Patty Kaplan will say a bittersweet goodbye.
After leading the people of Temple Sholom in song since 1983, Cantor Patty, as she’s become familiarly known, will retire at the end of June to begin the next chapter in her life.
“My husband, Jeffrey, is retired, so I would like to spend time with him to travel more. I want to spend time with my family,” she says. “I plan to visit my daughters, Sarah in Chicago, and Andrea in St. Louis.”
While Cantor Patty says the decision has been quite difficult, she says she will forever cherish the 28 years she dedicated to Temple Sholom.
“It’s the only cantoring job I ever had. Finding a job like this is not trivial. They are hard to come by. I happened to be in the Greater Philadelphia area and felt very lucky I could audition for this opening,” Cantor Patty says.
The gifted singer was undoubtedly very well-prepared for the position, having earned her bachelor and master degrees in voice from Temple University. She later continued on to further her credentials, receiving a special cantorial certification from Hebrew Union College in New York City.
Since coming aboard at Temple Sholom, Cantor Patty has been instrumental in helping grow and develop the choir programs. The adult choir has expanded, and she helped add a teenage choir as well as one for children from third to sixth grades.
“I’ve had the privilege of working with these choirs and have a continual relationship with the members. It’s been very special for me to get to know the kids and the adults,” she says. “We have created a lot of projects and I have forged many relationships. I will miss the people and working with Rabbi Peter Rigler who is delightful.”
Cantor Patty says as for her future, she is not sure if she will continue to live in Broomall, but stresses that she has had a wonderful time at Temple Sholom, and will never forget the great community.
"It’s hard to give it up. It’s important the congregation knows I feel it’s been an honor to serve them, and a huge pleasure to work as their cantor,” she says.