Temple Sholom in New Milford mourns Cantor Guy Bonne: 'He had a beautiful, soulful voice'

NEW MILFORD – Though his time as part of the clergy was short-lived, Temple Sholom members said they were heartbroken by the recent death of Cantor Guy Bonne.

Bonne died on Nov. 27 at the age of 52.

“He just lit up the room when he entered it,” said Trudy Cooperman, a member of the Temple Sholom Board of Trustees. “He had an amazing energy. He had a beautiful, soulful voice and he played that piano will all his heart and soul.”

The synagogue at 122 Kent Road will hold a memorial service for Bonne at 4 p.m. Dec. 11. Details on streaming the service are posted on the synagogue's website.

Bonne had been the clergy for Temple Sholom for five months, according to Temple Sholom Executive Director Tamara Potter. She said there was immediate interest when Bonne came in for his first interview.

He began his work as cantor of Temple Sholom on July 1, and Potter said the congregation took to him right away.

“He was very spiritual,” she said. “What was different about him is he would pull his interpretations from different services. … He would just pull different interpretations for discussion.”

Potter also said Bonne was a delight to be around and found the humor in any situation.

“He’ll be greatly missed by all,” Cooperman said.

An unidentified member of Temple Sholom wrote tribute to Bonne that will be read aloud at the memorial service.

“I only knew Guy a short while, but he made a big impact,” the member said. “Guy was my teacher and he was my friend. … Guy had a beautiful voice and he used it in a particular way. He wanted to move and motivate the listener and he wanted me to try to do the same. He wanted his audience to come back for more, and he wanted my audience to want the same.” 

“I appreciated Guy and considered myself profoundly lucky to have him in my life, even for a short time,” the member said.

Born in Haifa, Israel, Bonne’s love of music was nurtured at the music conservatory in Haifa, where he began piano lessons at the age of 7. After serving in the Israeli Defense Force as a paramedic, Bonne pursued a musical education in the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv University, where he earned a bachelor of music and arts degree in voice.

Bonne later studied at the Vienna Conservatory in Vienna, Austria, and at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. He was ordained as a cantor in 2005 and became a member of the American Conference of Cantors. 

Before serving as cantor at Temple Sholom in New Milford, Bonne served the synagogue communities of Temple Shalom in Succasunna, N.J,, and Temple Tikvah in New Hyde Park in Long Island.