Shimon Farkas

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Colinwhite613: Copy edits: Farkas contributing to Holocaust education


'''Shimon Farkas''' {{Post-nominals|country=AUS|OAM}}<ref name=":0">{{Cite web |url=https://honours.pmc.gov.au/honours/awards/1137626 |access-date=2024-04-02 |website=honours.pmc.gov.au}}</ref> is a cantor, songwriter, singer, and performer born in Hungary, and living in Australia. He was awarded there Medal of the Order of Australia.<ref name=":0" /> He has been a cantor at Concord Resort Hotel in the Catskills, NY and was appointed Chief Cantor at The Central Synagogue of Sydney.

== Early Life ==
Farkas was born in Fehergyarmat, Hungary in 1949 to Chaim Meir Farkas and Faigu Weiss. As Holocaust Survivors, his parents survived the camps and were married after the war. Three of his grandparents were killed at Auschwitz in 1935, and the fourth died prior to the war. He moved to Israel in 1951.

Farkas and his mother immigrated to the United States after his father’s death. He studied privately under Cantor [[Moshe Koussevitzky|Moshe Kusevitsky]] and Cantor David Bagley, and was appointed lead soloist in Kusevitsky’s choir. In 1967 and 1968, Farkas was first posted as cantor at the Shaarei Shomayim synagogue for the High Holidays in Windsor, Ontario.

Farkas led High Holiday services for an Orthodox congregation in Cincinnati, Ohio from 1969 to 1971. That same year, while enrolled in Yeshiva University in New York, he enrolled as an exchange student at Bar Iian in Israel where he met Veronica Weisz. They were married and relocated to her hometown in Sydney, Australia.

== Career ==
Farkas led High Holiday services for an Orthodox congregation in Cincinnati, Ohio from 1969 to 1971. That same year, while enrolled in Yeshiva University in New York, he enrolled as an exchange student at Bar Iian in Israel where he met Veronica Weisz. They were married and relocated to her hometown in Sydney, Australia.

The following year at age 22, he was appointed cantor at The Central Synagogue of Sydney until 1987 when he moved to the [[Concord Resort Hotel]] in the Catskills (NY). Appointed as cantor, it was noted that he filled the venue to capacity at Passover and High Holy Days. When the new Central Synagogue in Sydney was consecrated in 1998, Farkas was reappointed as Chief Cantor. (concord recordings: <nowiki>https://djsa.dartmouth.edu/albums/11188</nowiki>)

== Notable Holocaust Remembrance Participation ==
Farkas has participated numerous times in the [[March of the Living]] in [[Auschwitz concentration camp|Auschwitz-Birkenau]] on [[Yom HaShoah|Holocaust Remembrance Day]]. He chanted the traditional prayer for the six million Jews who perished there, El Malei Rachamim. He also performed Szól a Kakas Már with his sons, Dov & Chaima.<ref>{{Cite web |last=Staff |first=J.-Wire |date=2013-04-08 |title=Lowy fights back tears at Auschwitz |url=https://www.jwire.com.au/lowy-fights-back-tears-at-auschwitz/ |access-date=2024-04-02 |website=J-Wire |language=en}}</ref> Along with many thousands in attendance, was [[Frank Lowy]], Holocaust survivor, philanthropist, who witnessed the Farkas family performance in 2013.<ref>{{Cite web |last=Staff |first=J.-Wire |date=2013-04-08 |title=Lowy fights back tears at Auschwitz |url=https://www.jwire.com.au/lowy-fights-back-tears-at-auschwitz/ |access-date=2024-04-03 |website=J-Wire |language=en}}</ref> Farkas has contributed significantly to the International March of the Living by raising funds to support more student participation.

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