Isaac Goodfriend, eminent Atlanta cantor, dies at 85

(JTA) — Cantor Isaac Goodfriend, a Holocaust survivor who sang the national anthem at President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration in 1977, has died.

Goodfriend, who served Ahavath Achim Synagogue in Atlanta for 30 years, died Aug. 10 in that city at the age of 85. He was buried in Israel.

Carter appointed Goodfriend to the President’s Commission on the Holocaust in 1979. Goodfriend also was a charter member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. He represented the Jewish community every year at the national observance of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s birthday.

Goodfriend was born into a Chasidic family in Poland. At the age of 16, he was interned in a Nazi labor camp in Piotrokow, Poland, but escaped and was hidden by a Polish farmer. He was the only member of his family to survive the war.

His memoir, "By Fate or Faith," was published in 2002. Goodfriend appeared in the film "Summer of My German Soldier."

He received the Kavod Award from the Cantors Assembly in 1995 and an honorary doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1998.

Before moving to Atlanta, Goodfriend had served at synagogues in Montreal and Cleveland.

 

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