Paul, a baritone trained in Bel Canto, began singing at an early age, his true calling came in officiating as a junior Hazzan in his home town Bogota, Colombia, at High school for the 500 students under the inspiration of his teacher and first mentor Rabbi Dr. Meir Gurevich z”l, and at the German shul his parents were members at, he is a son of Holocaust survivors. Paul at an early age 17 was a soloist of the several choirs he sang with, and even then for a short while, directed a Youth Choir for weddings at the Sephardic Synagogue by invitation of Chief Rabbi David Sharabani z”l. The former Cantor Joachim Preuss z”l at his Synagogue, originally from Danzig, showed the way of the German tradition. Later, Chief Rabbi Alfredo Goldschmidt mentored him also in the Eastern Ashkenazic tradition.
Having trained as a Dentist and obtaining a degree from the Pontifical Xavierian University, with a dissertation in Music Therapy, he combined his dental practice and took over the part-time position Cantor Preuss left while becoming frail in 1986, while also contributing as a certified translator English-Spanish-English to his father’s translations office, creating a specialized company (Trasalud) that offered translations and interpretation in the medical field to the major pharmaceutical companies based in Colombia.
Paul studied two years at Yeshivot in Jerusalem, Torah and Liturgy together with voice lessons and private coaching, later, he pursued advanced studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary in N.Y. in the same fields, all this convinced him that a life in prayer was his primary vocation, and is dedicated full-time to the religious ministry since 1996, and has since then occupied positions as the Spiritual Leader serving Synagogues in Colombia, Ecuador, as Cantor at the Great Synagogue of Stockholm and now the prestigious Belsize Square Synagogue in London since 2013.
Paul has sung at various events and concerts in the presence of Royalty, Nobel Prize winners, Presidents, Prime Ministers, and other dignitaries, and at Westminster Abbey in the commemoration of Holocaust Memorials, as well as having sung live on TV and given interviews at radio programs.
He was an International Member of the Cantors Assembly 1998-2020, and currently of the European Cantors Association. He considers himself a guardian of the Western European tradition, specialized in singing music by composers Salomon Sulzer, Samuel Naumbourg, and naturally, Louis Lewandowski. He also has immense affection for Ladino, and the history of the Sephardic diaspora – Hebreo-Espaniol or Ladino is one of the languages close to the seven he speaks. He gives lectures and concerts on these subjects. Cantor Heller tutors bnei mitzvah, officiates funerals and weddings aside from his pulpit duties at Belsize.