SHIYE VAYSER (JOSHUA WEISSER) (1888-1952)
He was born in Novaia Ushitsa (Nova Ushytsya), Podolia district, Ukraine. He worked as a cantor in various cities in Russia of the past, and later, after 1914, he was a cantor in New York, Philadelphia, and elsewhere. He served as secretary of the American Cantors’ Union. He was the author of such cantorial works as: “Tefilat yehoshua” (Joshua’s prayer), “Shira ḥadasha” (New song), “Minḥat yehoshua” (Joshua gift), and “Rinat yehoshua” (Joshua’s exultation). He published articles on Jewish liturgical music in: Di idishe velt (The Jewish world) in Philadelphia; Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) and Hadoar (The mail) in New York; Di shul- un khazonim-velt (The synagogue and cantors’ world) in Warsaw; among others. He chaired the editorial collective for the anthology Khazones (Cantorial art) (New York, 1937), 272 pp. in Yiddish and 112 pp. in English, in which he published an article entitled “40 yor khazones in amerike” (Forty years of the cantorial art in America). He also composed melodies to the poetry of Yiddish writers, among them Leyzer Shindler’s poems, to be found in his book Yidish un khsidish (Yiddish and Hassidic) (New York, 1940), many of which were sung.
Sources: E. Zaludkovski, Kultur-treger fun der yidisher liturgye (Culture bearers of the Jewish liturgy) (Vilna, 1930), pp. 279-81; Y. Beler, in Khazones, zamlbukh (Cantorial art, anthology) (New York, 1937), p. 66; Y. Tsuzmer, Beikve hador (At the edge of the generation) (New York, 1957), see index.
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