Goldstein, Josef

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GOLDSTEIN, JOSEF (1837–1899), ḥazzan and composer. Goldstein was born and brought up in Hungary. His father, known as "Shmelke Ḥazzan," was ḥazzan of the town of Neutra, and Josef sang in his choir at the age of six. His father died when Josef was 10, and when he was 13, though still at school, he was made ḥazzan of the community. During the next five years, he conducted services in many Hungarian towns and at the Polish synagogue in Vienna, studied music in Prague, Florence, and Padua, and sang in concerts in Budapest and elsewhere. At the age of 18 he was appointed chief ḥazzan of the Leopoldstadt Synagogue in Vienna, and served there for over 40 years. He introduced the Polish-Jewish style of singing, which he also used for the songs in his book Schire Jeschurun (3 vols., 1862). The work contains melodies for all the services of the synagogue and settings of psalms for choir with organ accompaniment.


Idelsohn, Melodien, 6 (1932), 196–209, nos. 15–30; Friedmann, Lebensbilder, 2 (1921), 102–8; E. Zaludkowski, Kultur-Treger fun der Yidisher Liturgie (1930), 120–4; Sendrey, Music, index.

[Joshua Leib Ne'eman]