Synagogue music

Sigmund Schlesinger

Organists, choirmaster and composer

Sigmund Schlesinger was one of the most influential figures among the group of mid- to late-19th-century American synagogue organists and choirmasters who attempted to create and adapt music to suit the new ritual and format of American Reform congregations — before and especially after their consolidation within an official movement.

1835- 1906

Yeruham Blindman

Cantor & composer

Yeruham Blindman served as a cantor in Kishnev, Tarnopol and Berdichev. By 1834 he was touring extensively as a cantor for Synagogues throughout Poland and the Ukraine. He became known as “Yeruham Hakatan” (the little one) because of his small stature. Blindman was admired for his tenor voice with unlimited falsetto range and his improvisatory vocal style. Although he only had a basic musical education, he composed many arrangements for liturgical music using melodies from Jewish folk songs.