“Kol Isha”: Pioneering Women Cantors 1923-1972
October 5 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pmDonation
The first women ordained as a cantor happened in 1975, but women have been professionally singing the traditional synagogue liturgy publicly more than a half-century before. The phrase “Kol Isha” (“Voice of a woman”), is the historical term which denotes that woman’s singing voice as an inappropriate expression (“ervah“) for men to whom she is not related. Though denied a pulpit, pioneering women— Madame Sophie Kurtzer, Freydele Oysher, Sheindele di Khaznte, Goldye May Steiner, Bas Sheva and Bryna Zuckerberg, among others —created through radio, vaudeville, concerts and commercial recordings, a consciousness in the modern Jewish world about women as the Sheliakh Tzibur/ Messenger of the People, a reality widely present today
Henry Sapoznik is an award-winning producer, musicologist and performer, and writer in the fields of traditional and popular Yiddish and American music and culture. Sapoznik, a native Yiddish speaker and child of Holocaust survivors, grew up in an Orthodox home and attended Lubavitch Yeshiva and Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin.In his teens, Sapoznik was introduced to traditional American music and took up the banjo with lessons from Marc Horowitz and Bill Garbus. He studied with North Carolina masters Fred Cockerham and Tommy Jarrell during numerous trips to North Carolina with the late Ray Alden. In 1972, Sapoznik co-founded the New York-area group The Delaware Water Gap String Band, and confirmed his reputation as a noted player in both southern playing styles and classic ragtime banjo. Sapoznik was the founding director of the sound archives of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York from 1982 to 1995. While there, Sapoznik founded and directed the internationally acclaimed KlezKamp: The Yiddish Folk Arts Program beginning in 1985 for the next 30 years. A five-time Grammy-nominated producer/performer, Sapoznik has been on over fifty records including having reissued over 30 anthologies of Yiddish, jazz, old-time, cantorial, ragtime, blues, Italian, swing, blackface minstrelsy and bluegrass recordings.
This program will take place over Zoom.