Cantor Aviva Marer

Cantor Aviva Marer, the cantor at Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation in Indianapolis, IN, and the newest member of its clergy team, grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. Born in Canada into a family of Bene Israel Jews from India, she possesses a strong cultural sense of Indian Judaism. Cantor Marer's grandfather built the first synagogue in New Delhi, which still stands today. She enjoys teaching about her heritage and was featured in an exhibit, Beyond Bollywood, at the Smithsonian in February 2014.

The Sound of Silence: My Musical Mode for Victoria Day

Cantor Aviva Marer

The relationship between music and time has always played an integral role in my life. As a cantor, I chant particular nusachaot (traditional musical modes) to alert the community to specific times in the calendar. The melodies tell my congregation not only the time of year, but also the time of day. For example, the nusach of this niggun (wordless melody) foreshadows the High Holidays just as the chromatic, haunting tones of Kol Nidre usher in Yom Kippur.