In his office at Temple Sinai of Glendale, the paperwork and music sheets piled on Steve Hummel’s office desk indicates that he’s well settled in since taking over as cantor in July. So he was perfectly ready to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, which commences the Jewish High Holy Days, when it began at sundown on Wednesday.
Hummel made the move to Glendale from a Santa Monica synagogue, where he worked for the last 10 years. Prior to that, he was living in Chicago when a friend called him about the Santa Monica job on what he recalls as “a very cold day in December.”
As a cantor, Hummel, 42, is by definition a musician. He grew up in Chicago’s Highland Park suburb strumming a guitar he inherited from his uncle — or, rather, his uncle’s attic — at age 7.
“It was a guitar that probably had four strings on it that I sat and plucked for weeks on end,” he said.