Zalman Polak

Zalman Polak
Cantor, composer and teacher of Ashkenazi prayer and cantorial music
1901-1985

1901: Born in Yugoslavia.

1919: Immigrated to Israel with his mother.

1920: Injured in the riots in Jerusalem.

1921: Invited to serve as cantor in The Great Synagogue, (Beit ha-Knesset ha-Gadol) of Rishon LeZion.

1922: Returned to his homeland to recover, to serve time in the military, and to complete his training as a cantor. He finished his cantorial education with cantor Yehuda Lieb Miller in Vienna, and with Josef Baser Mesobotitza. During this time he was active with the Organization of Yugoslavian Cantors.

1926-1934: Served as cantor for the Montefiore community of Vienna, and as lead cantor for the Ashkenazi community of Sarajevo.

December 1934: Returned to Israel.

1934-1948: Served as cantor in many various synagogues throughout Israel.

1937: Was involved for many years founding the Organization of Cantors in Israel.

1948: Married Margalit Agassi.

1951-1985: Established courses for versions ('nosachim') and cantillation, and founded 'Heichal David,' a studio for cantillation.

1953, 1962: He received critical acclaim in the press by Meir Shimon Geshury and others, particularly concerning his work educating cantors and dictating 'nosachim.'

1960: The Institute of Sacred Music reported in the news regarding his institute for cantorial training and regarding his manuscripts. During this time he was active in cantorial organizations and taught in Tel Aviv and in Jerusalem.

1985: Passed away in Jerusalem.

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