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Cantor Schneider Memorial Scholarship Fund
By Jean Cohoon / April 15, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...
“He was a spiritual leader in the spiritual community,” Dr. Irving Schneider says of his father, the late Cantor Morris Schneider who served as cantor at Congregation Adas Israel in Fall River for more than 50 years.

Born in Lithuania, Cantor Schneider left his homeland at 19 due to the urging of his mother as she foresaw that the Jewish future was bleak in Lithuania. He immigrated to Mexico before coming to the United States. Training with rabbis, he received his first position as a cantor in Northampton, MA, before beginning his long tenure in Fall River.

“He was a very well-respected and loved individual. In Fall River, where he spent most of his life, I don’t think anybody disliked him. He had a very strong desire for Jewish education, so to honor him when he passed away in 1990 at age 86, we established, through the synagogue, the Cantor Schneider Memorial Scholarship Fund,” Dr. Schneider states.

But as the congregation grew older, then dwindled in number, the remaining members sold the building. “It was sad,” Dr. Schneider says, recalling that he and his wife were married at Congregation Adas Israel and their children were bar and bat mitzvahed there.

The sale also made administration of the fund more of a challenge. “If the Fall River congregation dissolves completely, who’s going to manage the money,” Dr. Schneider recalls thinking before arranging to transfer the fund to the Foundation. “I want to keep the fund perpetual. It is a godsend to have the Foundation do what it does. The fund was established for Jewish education because my father was a very strong believer in it. My sister, brother, and I want to do this…to remember our dad and keep his name alive,” Dr. Schneider says.

As it has since it was established 25 years ago, the Cantor Schneider Memorial Scholarship Fund will benefit students, usually those in middle school, at Providence Hebrew Day School. Noting that Fall River does not have a similar school, Dr. Schneider notes, “Many of the children who attend Providence Hebrew Day School have real need and that’s a primary criterion for the scholarship.”
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