Smiling woman with long dark wavy hair. Wearing a black shirt.

In Memoriam: Cantor Judith Borden Ovadia z'l

We are sorry to inform you of the death of our member, Cantor Judith Borden Ovadia, DFSSM class of 1996.

Her family has written the following obituary:

Judith Borden Ovadia, age 54, of Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, passed away peacefully on December 6, 2023.

Judith was born in Philadelphia on April 29, 1969, to Arlene and Barry Borden. She attended Lower Merion High School, Sarah Lawrence College, and earned her master’s degree in Sacred Music from Hebrew Union College. She was ordained as a Cantor in 1996. In 2022 she received her master’s degree in psychology from Northwestern University and began work as a therapist. This new career was never fully realized, as she was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2023.

Judith will be remembered for her deep intellect, artistic soul, and fierce love of her children: Omri, Yaniv, and Zohara. She had a passion for wildlife photography, a profound appreciation of poetry, a broad enthusiasm for humor, and an outsized dedication to the Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies. As a cantor, she was known for her beautiful and expressive voice, her insightful interpretation of prayers and Torah portions, and her ability to make all aspects of Judaism both relevant and elevated.

She is beloved to countless congregants whose lives she touched at some of their most important and vulnerable moments. She struggled valiantly with her cancer, and her wisdom and humor in the face of death set a thoughtful example for all who knew her.

Judith is survived by her children, father, brothers David (Colleen Law) and Michael (Miranda Hunt), sister Susan, cousins Debby and Donna, seven nieces and nephews, aunt Charlotte, and beloved Alex. Preceding her in death are her husband Ron, mother, uncle Jerry, and cousins Daniel and Arturo.

Services will be held at Beth David Reform Congregation in Gladwyne, PA, on Sunday, December 10 at 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Judith’s memory to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation or to the American Conference of Cantors Chesed Fund.

Zichrona livracha. May Judith's memory be for a blessing.