Tzipora Jochsberger, Z”L, died at 96 in Jerusalem

The Jewish music world mourns the passing of music educator Tzipora Jochsberger in Jerusalem on Oct. 28 at the age of 96. (1920-2017) Dr. Jochsberger led the New Jerusalem Conservatory and Academy of Music.   Jochsberger was Director of The Hebrew Arts School (now known as Kaufman Music Center) in New York until her retirement in 1985. Jochsberger may be best known to many as the creator and executive producer  of The Israel Music Heritage Project, a 10-volume video series exploring  the music and culture of Jewish communities around the world.

Hilda Jochsberger was born in Leutershausen, a small village of fewer than 2000 people near Ansbach, Germany on 27 December 1920. Her father was a cattle dealer. There were only a few Jewish families in that community.…

Reb Ben Zion Shenker Z’L

It is sad news to report the passing today, November 20, 2016, of Reb Ben Zion Shenker z”l. Reb Shenker was renowned as the composer of over a thousand songs in the chassidic tradition, at least 400 in the Modzitzer style. Shenker was born in Brooklyn in 1925. As a child, he participated in the synagogue choir led by cantor Joshua Samuel Weisser [Pilderwasser], then a leading cantor in country. In the late 1930s, Weisser aided his appearance on radio and helped set the stage for Shenker to study composition and music theory. While his parents were from nearby Lubin, Shenker became known for helping preserve the Modzitzer musical tradition of chassidic song after meeting the Modzitzer rebbe (Rabbi Saul Taub) in NY in 1940. He started transcribing many of the melodies sung by the rebbe and others in that community becoming essentially “musical secretary” for the dynasty. …

Andre Hajdu Z”L Dead at 84

Andre Hajdu, one of the leading lights of Israeli music, passed away in Israel, August 1, 2016. His funeral will be in Jerusalem. His music and his teaching affected generations of Israeli musicians and composers. Born in Hungary on March 5, 1932, Hajdu’s education started in Budapest. He studied with well known musicians, including Zoltan Kodaly for ethnomusicology. Hajdu grew up under the oppressive Soviet occupation and Communist regimes in Hungary. He escaped during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 to France. It was there he was able to study with some of the most renowned composers in the world, such as Darius Milhaud and Olivier Messiaen. He was also able to experience freedom of religion and follow his Jewish heritage. In 1966, with the encouragement of Israel Adler, Hajdu visited and settled in Jerusalem, Israel.…

Closed for Shloshim

The Jewish Music WebCenter News and Announcements will be closed for observing the shloshim following the death of my mother, Eileen Pinnolis, Asnah bat Tzvi Hirsh v’Zlota Menucha, z”l.

Claire Barry Singer of Yiddish Hits Dead at 94

Claire Barry, of the famous duo “The Barry Sisters” died Nov.22, 2014 at the age of 94. For over four decades, she and her sister Merna made Yiddish songs into mid-century contemporary hits such as “Bei Mir Bistu Shein” and “Mein Shtetle Belz”. They outlasted the radio age and went onto TV and stage. Ever elegant, the Barry Sisters sang in tight harmonies in “swing” and the styles of the day. They often sang even American pop songs in Yiddish. There is an obituary in the NYTimes that appeared on Nov. 30
and the Forward

Amnon Shiloah Z”l

Amnon Shiloah, one of the world’s foremost authorities on Jewish music passed away in Jerusalem on Jul 11 2014 at the age of 85.
A long-time professor of musicology at Hebrew
University, Amnon Shiloah was an internationally respected and widely published
authority on Arabic and Middle Eastern Jewish musical traditions, a
scholar who did both ethnomusicological fieldwork and traditional
historical research. Prof. Shiloah was a prolific author of books and
articles, and editor of records; He did an immense amount of groundbreaking fieldwork. His most valuable work may be his large
bibliographic compendium and his magnum opus “The Theory of Music in
Arabic Writings ca.900-1900
” published by RILM in 1979.

Other works include: The Musical Tradition of Iraqi Jews,Music Subjects in the Zohar, Text and Indices, Jewish Musical Traditions, The Dimension of Music in Islamic and Jewish Culture, Music in the World of Islam: A Socio-cultural Study.…

Arik Einstein Z’l Obits

Israeli singer-songwriter Arik Einstein passed away Nov. 26 at the age of 74. His recordings were some of the very first album of Israeli music I purchased way back and he’s been a favorite in Israel for decades. Obits about Einstein tell about his life and work:

Chana Mlotek z”l

It is with deep sadness we report the passing of Chana Mlotek, the Music Archivist at YIVO, author of many columns on Yiddish song, and editor and author of many books of Yiddish music. Chana Mlotek had an amazing memory for all the Yiddish songs and materials she worked with. She was certainly one of the giants of Yiddish music in the world, and in her years of contribution she shared with the the rest of us insights into her vast knowledge. She was a very generous with her knowledge and time helping those who came to find resources of Jewish music. She worked at YIVO since 1944 and will be missed not only by those who worked with her and her family, but by the greater world and family of Jewish music.…

Popular Singer Eydie Gorme Dead at 84

Eydie Gorme and Steve Lawrence were household words in the era of Ed Sullivan’s TV show and the heyday of the Tonight Show. Articles about her life are hitting all the major media and here are links to some items about this iconic American-Jewish singer of mid-century America.

Steve and Edie Official Website:


Yaffa Yarkoni: A Voice for Peace; Gave Voice to Israeli Pride; Supported National Morale for Half Century

Yaffa Yarkoni, (December 24,1925-Jan 1, 2012). Born in Giv’ atayim, Israel. Yarkoni, as many of her generation, was the child of immigrants from the Caucuses. She was the daughter of Malka Alhassof and Avraham Abramov, the middle daughter of three children. Each parent had migrated early in the 20th century. Avraham Abramov, a fabric and carpet dealer, met Malka in Tel Aviv and married her there. Later, he left his family and moved to South Africa. Meanwhile, Malka was left to raise the children. She owned Tslil coffee house in Givatayim (Givat Rambam). All three young children (including Yaffa’s siblings Binyamin, Tikva) proved to have musical talent in singing, dancing and playing musical instruments. They started off in a teenage group Basmati. Yaffa attended Gertrude Kraus Dance School and from there succeeded in landing a place with the dance troupe of the Palestine Opera Company.…

Adrienne Cooper: A Yiddish Light Goes Out

Adrienne Cooper Khane-freyde bas beyle-buni z”l.

Adrienne Cooper (1946-2011), a leading light of Yiddish song died early last night, December 25, of cancer in Roosevelt Hospital in NYC. She was surrounded by her family and friends. Ms. Cooper, one of the world’s top figures of Yiddish music, brought Yiddish folk and theater music to modern audiences. She was a valued performer, not only for her impressive vocal qualities, but her masterful interpretive style and tremendous stage presence. She presented Yiddish song in such an expressive way that any audience could understand and appreciate it. Along with her feminist social conscience, she was a mentor and leader to thousands of musicians and students. She helped co-found “Klezkamp” and spread Yiddish culture throughout the world. She is survived by a daughter, Sara Gordon, and partner Marilyn Lerner, two brothers and her mother.…

Yaakov Lemmer at Leiby Kletzky Memorial

It’s times like these that our traditional music truly expresses the feelings that are so hard to express. So tremendously moving. In this clip, Yaakov Lemmer leads 1000 mourners, men and women, gathered in Borough Park, Wednesday night July 20 2011, crying and singing at a memorial service that was held at Congregation Anshe Sfard on 14th Ave. in Brooklyn, NY.

Jack Gottlieb z”l

The American Society for Jewish Music sends out this sad announcement about the passing of Jack Gottlieb.
Dear Members and Friends:
It is with sadness that I share with you the news of Jack Gottlieb’s passing.

A prolific composer, especially of sacred songs and choral music for the synagogue, Jack worked actively on behalf of Jewish music and served as President of the ASJM for a number of years. Also a scholar and noted author, his acclaimed books, Funny, It Doesn’t Sound Jewish: How Yiddish Songs and Synagogue Melodies Influenced Tin Pan Alley, Broadway and Hollywood, and, most recently, his memoire Working with Bernstein, about his years as assistant to Leonard Bernstein, received rave reviews. A biography of Jack Gottlieb’s distinguished career is appended below.

As Jack wished for no public funeral, those in the New York area wishing to mark his passing are invited to attend the services at Congregation Emanu-El on March 11 and 12, 2011, which will be devoted to his music.…

Debbie Friedman z”l

It is truly with sadness that JMWC reports the loss of Debbie Friedman. Debbie Friedman’s funeral will take place Tuesday January 11 at 11am at Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana, California. She died Sunday morning, January 9, 2011. Her music lightened the hearts and lifted the spirits of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world, and brought so many Jews closer to God. I had the privilege of being Debbie’s biographer for Encyclopedia Judaica. She was definitely one of the most, if not the most, spiritual person I’ve ever encountered, even in engaging in everyday conversation. Those that knew her or her music, will surely miss this tremendous musician and Jewish composer.

Attached is a link to a service that was held for her in New York at the Manhattan JCC.…

Barry Serota Z”l

Barry Serota

Barry Serota, a practicing attorney and executive director of the Institute for Jewish Sound Recording, died suddenly November 16, 2009 on a plane flight between New York and Madrid on the way to Israel.

Serota, widely known for his deep knowledge of Jewish music, had produced more than 100 recordings of Jewish sacred and secular music. Serota’s output at the Institute, based in Chicago, included choral, instrumental, folk and art music. Serota was especially known a promoter of chazzanut. Starting in 1969, he issued many esoteric Jewish music recordings under the imprint of Musique Internationale.

Serota, an advisor to the Milken Foundation, worked on their large project of the Library of American Jewish Music, the recordings which were published under the Naxos label.…

Cantor Susan Wehle in Crash near Buffalo, New York

CNN reported that one of the victims of Continental Airlines Flight 3407 that crashed in Buffalo last Thursday was Cantor Susan Wehle. Brooklyn native Cantor Wehle was a cantor at Temple Beth Am in Williamsville, New York since November of 2002. She had also sung as a cantorial soloist at Temple Sinai in Amherst, New York. The cantor received her Cantorial Smicha from Aleph – the Movement for Jewish Renewal. Additionally she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre and in Judaic Studies, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Acting. She performed with theatre companies in Buffalo, Chicago and New York City. Her parents were Holocaust survivors. Cantor Wehle was 55. She had released a CD called “Songs of Hope and Healing.” Temple Beth Am synagogue has established at guest book for those who wish to remember the cantor.…

Judith Wachs of Voice of the Turtle Dies at 70

We are saddened to report that Judith Wachs, the founder of the Voice of the Turtle, the music group devoted to Sephardic music, died in Cambridge, MA on October 9, 2008 of cancer. Starting out first with just one music volume she found at Harvard, Judith painstakingly researched and recreated songs that told the stories of the exile and survival of the Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain in the 15th century. She interviewed elderly Sephardic people in Israel, and did research at the Jewish National Library in Jerusalem. Her Boston-based group of four, produced recordings such as Balkan Vistas–Spanish Dreams, From the Shores of the Golden Horn, The Sword of the Dove, Bridges of Song:Music of the Spanish Jews of Morocco, and Circle of Fire: A Hanukkah Concert Live!

Jorge Liderman died in California

Jorge Liderman, a well-known composer, died at age 50 in California in February 3, 2008. Liderman, born in Argentina in 1957, went to Israel and received musical training at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. He came to the United States and studied at the University of Chicago. He worked at the music department of the University of California, Berkeley since 1989. Liderman became known as a composer of modern classical music, and also wrote many pieces on Jewish themes. A recording of of his composition of 46 Spanish songs “Aires de Sefarad” was recently reviewed by this author for the Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter. [Albany Records TROY829]. He had many works commissioned by major organizations such as the Israel Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and the London Sinfonetta.…

Sid Beckerman Memorial

Sid Beckerman, klezmer clarinetist, beloved teacher and mentor to a generation of klezmorim, passed away on April 4, 2007. A tribute to him will be held Monday, May 21 at 8pm at the Congress for Jewish Culture, 25 E. 21st St. ground floor, Manhattan. Musicians and friends are invited to share a tune or story. Sid’s musical partner of many years, Peter Sokolow and his protege Margot Leverett will lead an evening of musical memories. For more information contact Margot Leverett at 718-545-9404

Longy School Famous Faculty Dumont Dies at 94

Long term Longy School of Music faculty member, Lily Dumont, died at the age of 94 at her home, March 6, 2006 in New Bedford, MA. Ms. Dumont was a concert pianist and teacher on the faculty of the Longy School for more than 40 years, and taught privately until around age 92. She was born in Berlin, the daughter of Jakob Dymont, a well-known Jewish synagogue music composer. Lily was famous in her own right before the second world war as a concert pianist, and had already played with many of the leading orchestras in Europe by the time of her departure during the Nazi regime in Germany. Via colleagues in the US, she made her way to New England, and eventually divided time between concertizing world wide, teaching and her family.…

Chazzan Abraham Lopes Cardozo Dead at 92

Chazzan Abraham Lopes Cardozo z”l died February 21 at around 3am. He had been hospitalized for several days with breathing difficulties. Abraham Lopes Cardozo was born in Amsterdam, Holland on September 27, 1914. He was the great-grandson of the Chief Rabbi in Amsterdam and the son of the choir director of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue there. He came to his American post in 1946 and served Congregation Shearith Israel in New York for over 40 years. Cardozo’s recordings from 1959 were recently rereleased in time for the celebration of the 350th anniversary of Jews in America, and reviewed by this website:

He was a made a Knight in the Order of Orange Nassau by Queen Beatrix of Holland on June 7, 2000.
Two years ago the Chazzan celebrated his 90th birthday in Amsterdam.…

Mike Eisenstadt, z”l , Host of Sunday Simcha Radio dead at 54.

It is with sadness that we recognize, Sunday Simcha, hosted by Mike Eisenstadt is no longer available. Mike died Friday Sept. 2, 2005 from a long battle with cancer at age 54. Eisenstadt hosted the Jewish radio show for over twenty years, starting in 1985. He kept it up continually. and it was the Florida Gulf Coast’s only Jewish radio show. To read a tribute to Mike Eisenstadt, go to Tampa Tribune: