KHAYIM HERIS (HYMAN H. HARRIS) (b. 1884)
He was born in Grozov, Slutsk region, Byelorussia, into a devout, prominent family. His father was a ritual slaughterer and a cantor. He studied in religious elementary school, synagogue study hall, and yeshiva, later pursuing secular subjects and foreign languages. In 1906 he received rabbinical ordination. In 1913 he came to the United States, settled in Philadelphia where he studied at Temple University (1915-1925), and graduated with a doctorate in pharmacology. He was one of the more active Zionist leaders in Philadelphia. He cofounded local community institutions. Over the course of many years, he wrote for: Tageblat (Daily newspaper) and Idishe velt (Jewish world), in which he published articles and portions of his work, “Di geshikhte fun khazones bay yidn” (The history of Jewish cantorial arts). He contributed as well to Philadelphia editions of New York’s Tog (Day), the Hebrew-language Bitsaron (Fortress), the English-language Medical Record, and other English-language Jewish publications in New York. Among his books in Hebrew: Toldot hanegina vehaḥazanut beyisrael (The history of cantillation and the cantorial arts in Israel) (New York, 1950), 486 pp., which included, among other things, biographies of the most famous cantors among the Jewish people. He was last living in Philadelphia.
Sources: Y. L. Malamut, Filadelfyer yidishe anshtaltn un zeyere firer (Philadelphia’s Jewish institutions and their leaders) (Philadelphia, 1942), pp. 139-40; Z. Verba, in Hadoar (New York) (September 7, 1951); Y. Tsuzmer, Beikve hador (At the edge of the generation) (New York, 1957).