Ackerman, Shabtai

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ACKERMAN, SHABTAI (1914– ), ḥazzan. Ackerman was born in Kishinev (Bessarabia). He sang in synagogue choirs from his childhood on. He studied cantorial liturgy under David Roitman, David Moshe Steinberg, and Abraham Kalechnik, and led the services at the Kishinev synagogue. Wounded by the Nazis in World War ii, he nevertheless succeeded in escaping to Russia. In 1945 he conducted services in the Great Synagogue in Moscow and then returned to Romania, where he was cantor in the Baron Rothschild synagogue and Ahavat Achim in Bucharest. In 1950 he moved to Israel and served in the Beth El synagogue, Tel Aviv, and from 1952 to 1954 he was chief cantor in the Great Synagogue of Tel Aviv. At the same time he was chairman of the Israel Cantors' Association. From 1955 to 1982 he was cantor of the Beth Abraham Hillel Moses synagogue in Detroit. From 1983 he was cantor of Temple Beth Israel in Deerfield Beach, Florida. The Shabtai Ackerman Scholarship Fund was established in his name. In 1985 he became chairman of the Florida Cantors Association. His recordings include Songs of the Ages – Cantorial Masterpieces.

[Akiva Zimmerman]