The Song Shul’s leaders are world-renowned Cantor Simon Spiro, who serves as spiritual leader, and Aliza Spiro, creative director. Each has a lifetime of experience in synagogues internationally. The Spiro team has worked together in Toronto since 2005, creating countless successful Jewish musical events for the community and bringing people together through music.
Cantor Simon Spiro is Yeshiva-educated, fully ordained, and brings with him 40 years’ experience as an esteemed member of the clergy, serving congregations around the world. He has taught cantorial master classes throughout Europe, North America and Israel, and he is recognized by his colleagues as one of the foremost Cantors alive today.
A leading recording artist for the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music, Cantor Simon is featured on all of their Yiddish Theater albums, and his solo album Traditional Cantorial Favorites is one of the top selling CDs in Milken’s history. Many of his numerous Jewish compositions have become part of the fabric of Synagogue Music throughout the world.
Entirely unique, Cantor Simon is known as “The British Jazz Singer” for balancing dual careers in both Cantorial and popular music. He has worked with, among others, Elton John, Faith Hill, Sheena Easton, Cliff Richard, Neil Sedaka and Shania Twain; he has had hit singles on Israeli and British pop charts, and has twice represented England in the Eurovision finals. He played the lead in Phantom of the Opera, and as an entertainer he has toured around the world with Redd Buttons, Marvin Hamlisch and Joan Rivers.
Working with a cappella choirs from the UK to Canada, from New York to Disneyworld, Simon is renowned for the smooth “Spiro Sound” he has developed in international vocal ensembles. The Toronto Festival Singers, who sing with him at The Song Shul, have been under his direction since 2005.
Cantor Simon’s upbringing in a prominent Gerer Chassidic family, and his years of living in different communities, combined with his experience in the pop music arena, give him a unique perspective and understanding of the challenges we face living as Jews in the world today. He is approachable and warm, insightful, knowledgeable and funny, and he will make you feel comfortable within seconds of meeting.
Aliza Spiro is an award-winning American songwriter and singer. A magna cum laude graduate of Columbia University, she holds degrees in Music and Hebrew Literature. Aliza is the daughter of a Conservative rabbi and able to trace her lineage through 31 generations of rabbis back to Rashi. In a Cantor-less shul where children led services, Aliza grew up on the bimah. She got her first professional cantorial job while still in high school, freelanced as a Cantor for decades following, and served as full-time Cantor in Connecticut.
As a singer, Aliza recorded numerous commercial jingles in the USA and had three top ten hits on the Israeli pop charts. In Israel she also starred in the musical Your People Are Mine and was the only non-Israeli cast by Matti Caspi in the smash hit Chofim with Israeli stars Meir Banai and Moshe Datz.
As a songwriter, Aliza is much in demand on the New York cabaret circuit. Her special material and comedy songs have been used in off-Broadway musical theatre, nightclub acts, corporate conventions and rabbinical conventions. Additionally, Aliza has written hundreds of personalized lullabies for commission. Here in Toronto, Aliza has been the writer and director of sell-out concerts at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, Roy Thompson Hall and the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.
In addition to her work at The Song Shul, Aliza serves as artistic director of Jewish Music Week in Toronto, which she founded in 2011.
Aliza is energetic and enthusiastic, compassionate and charismatic. She looks forward to getting to know you, your parents and your children, and to making you all feel at home at The Song Shul.