Chagy, Berele

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CHAGY, BERELE (1892–1954), ḥazzan and composer. Born in Dagdo, Russia, Chagy took his first position as ḥazzan in Smolensk at the age of 18, but left after three years for the U.S. He held positions in Detroit, Boston, and Newark and in 1932 went to Johannesburg, South Africa, where he remained for nine years. On his return to the U.S. he became ḥazzan at Temple Beth-El in Brooklyn, New York, a post which he held until his retirement. Chagy attained great popularity through his concerts and recordings and was praised for his clear, ringing, tenor voice, with a naturally graceful and flexible coloratura. In 1937 he published Tefillot Chagy, containing 87 recitatives for Sabbath services.