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Cantor William's Obituary

Sharlin, Cantor William

January 7, 1920 - November 5, 2012
Cantor William Sharlin, 92, died Monday surrounded by loved ones. A world renowned composer, Cantor, teacher, friend, husband and father - he will be deeply mourned and forever missed by the many whose lives he touched.

Born Wolfe Sharlin in New York in 1920 to Ida and Isaac Sharlin, his orthodox Jewish upbringing provided him a foundation of deep love for traditional Jewish prayer and ritual. His childhood years in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Harlem and Jerusalem were shared with his siblings, Ed, Rachel and Hillel. Their precious bonds held strong throughout their lifetimes. William was the last surviving Sharlin in his family.

After his army service, William began his formal studies at the Manhattan School of Music where he excelled in composition. He was in the very first graduating class of cantors at Hebrew Union College School of Sacred Music, Cincinnati.

In 1954, Leo Baeck Temple and its founding Rabbi, Leonard Beerman, hired William as their cantor, setting the stage for a rich and creative lifetime of service. His partnership with Leonard was a brotherhood, his congregation a loving family, and the hundreds of cantorial and rabbinic students who studied under him during his years as an adjunct
professor of liturgy and cantorial music at HUC-JIR, LA were an extension of that family.

In 1958 he married the love of his life, concert pianist Jacqueline Drucker, with whom he shared 54 loving years. He was a very joyful and thoughtful father to his daughters, Ilana Sharlin Stone (Brent Stone) and Lisa Sharlin Klein (Mark Klein) and later a charming, sweet Grandpa to Kira and Simona.

William's library of religious and secular compositions will be one of his finest legacies. His music is performed throughout the world, from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in LA to the Lincoln Center in New York, and throughout the synagogue world. As a vocal soloist, he performed twice with the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra in Schoenberg's
A Survivor From Warsaw. But whether the performers were the LA Master Chorale or his long devoted LBT temple choir, his greatest joy was in elevating the profane to the sacred. His was a remarkable soul.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 Friday morning at Leo Baeck Temple, 1300 North Sepulveda Boulevard, L.A. 90049. Interment will follow at approximately 1PM at Mount Sinai Memorial Parks & Mortuaries - Hollywood Hills. 800-600-0076

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Memories of Cantor William

Janice Alper
Nov 9, 2012

As a student at Hebrew Union College I fondly remember Bill Sharlin as the quintessential cantor and mensch. He was a caring and talented teacher who had a deep love of Judaism and music. It was a privilege to know him, even from a distance, as a tone deaf Jewish educator.

I had the privilege of working with his daughter Lisa, who was a master pastry chef and great teacher at Kehillath Israel in the Pacific Palisades. You could tell that Bill's love of Judaism and learning rubbed off on his family.

I wish all of you warm and loving memories. May his name be for a blessing.


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