NEW YORK -- Abraham Lopes Cardozo, a synagogue singer recognized for his efforts to preserve the music of Spanish and Portuguese Jews, died Tuesday at age 91, a relative said.
From 1946 until 1984, Mr. Cardozo worked as a cantor, or leader of music during religious services, for Manhattan's Congregation Shearith Israel, the first Jewish congregation established in the United States.
The descendant of Portuguese Jews was born in Amsterdam in 1914. He started working as a teacher and cantor at a Portuguese congregation in a former Dutch colony now known as Suriname in 1939, allowing him to escape the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam during World War II.
He began working as a cantor at the Shearith Israel synagogue in New York in 1946.
When he went to the Dutch Antilles, Mr. Cardozo took with him notebooks containing the liturgical music used in Jewish ceremonies and observances. For years he kept the notebooks, which are now housed in the archives of Amsterdam's Portuguese synagogue.
He also recorded a CD for the Jewish Music Research Center.