Wednesday 28 March 2018


            He was born in Ostrov (Ostrów), Lomzhe region, Russian Poland.  He attended religious elementary school, yeshivas, and a Russian public school.  He studied the cantorial art and music in Vilna, and he sang in the Taharat Hakodesh Choral Synagogue in Vilna.  He performed at evenings of the historical ethnographic society of Sh. An-ski.  For a period of time he traveled through Lithuania and Latvia with the Vilna Yiddish operatic theater.  From the summer of 1926 he was living in Canada.  Until 1927 he was a cantor in Ottawa, later in Toronto where he was also active in Jewish community and cultural life.  He was a cofounder of the local YIVO, of the local division of the cantors’ union, and of the “Association of Lithuanian Jews” in Toronto, among other such organizations.  He began writing in Hebrew, publishing correspondence pieces in Hazman (The times) in Vilna, and from 1912 he wrote in Yiddish.  His first article, concerning Yiddish theatrical issues, was published in Vilner vokhenblat (Vilna weekly newspaper) in December 1912, edited by Lipman-Levin; later, he contributed correspondence pieces, articles, and surveys of cantorial art and music in: Unzer osed (Our future), a weekly of the Zionist Youth in Vilna (1918); the theater newspaper Habima (The stage), edited by Moyshe Zilburg (1925); and Vilner tog (Vilna day); among others.  From 1926 he was a regular contributor to: Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; Der idisher zhurnal (The Jewish journal) in Toronto; and Dos yudishe vort (The Yiddish word) in Winnipeg.  He placed work as well in: Forverts (Forward), Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal), and Der amerikaner (The American) in New York; Idishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper) in Buenos Aires; Di shuhl- un khazonim-velt (The synagogue and cantor’s world) in Warsaw; and the like.  His works are included in the anthologies Khazones (Cantorial art) of 1937 and 1947.  In book form, he published: Negine-oyflebung (Music revival) (Toronto, 1952), 24 pp.; and Negine in yidishn lebn (Music in Jewish life), articles and biographies of Jewish cantors and composers (Toronto, 1957), 328 pp.  He also published under such pen names as: A. Ostrover, N. St-ts, and A. Vilenski.  He served as the Toronto correspondent for Tog-morgn-zhurnal (Day-morning journal) in New York.  He died in Toronto.

Sources: F. Zolf, in Dos yudishe vort (Winnipeg) (March 12, 1927); Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), see index; E. Zaludkovski, Kultur-treger fun der yidisher liturgye, historish-byografisher iberblik iber khazones, khazonim un dirizhorn (Culture bearer of Jewish liturgy, historical-biographical survey of the cantorial art, cantors, and conductors) (Detroit, 1930); A. Kh. Shrayer, in Der yudisher rekord (St. Louis) (September 26, 1947); 50-yoriker yubeley-bukh fun agudes hakhazonim (Fifty-year jubilee volume of the association of cantors) (New York, 1948); Sh. Rozhanski, in Di idishe tsaytung (Buenos Aires) (September 4, 1952); N. Shemen, in Der idisher zhurnal (Toronto) (June 29, 1953); Shemen, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (October 14, 1957); Khayim Liberman, in Forverts (New York) (December 16, 1957); M. Sh. Geshuri, in Shaarim (Tel Aviv) (Shevat 28 [= February 18], 1958); Y. Rabinovitsh, in Keneder odler (November 3, 1959); Bet Halevi, in Hatsofe (Tel Aviv) (Elul 29 [= September 21], 1960).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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