Kraus, Moshe

views updated


KRAUS, MOSHE (1923– ), ḥazzan. Kraus is a native of Ungvar in Czechoslovakia. He learned cantorial liturgy from his ḥassidic father, and together they sang in the synagogue. He studied in yeshivot, was ordained as rabbi, and went to Vienna to study under the well-known cantor Yehuda Leib Miller. Kraus served as cantor in Marmoresh, Szeged, and Budapest. During the Holocaust he was imprisoned in extermination camps, but miraculously survived. He joined Tito's partisans and after the war went to Bucharest where he was appointed cantor to the Malbim synagogue. From 1946 to 1949 he served as cantor and rabbi in Germany and in 1949 moved to Israel, joining the Israel Defense Forces, where he became the first chief cantor. He appeared in concerts and led prayers in the main Jewish centers of Europe. He served as cantor in the Oxford Street synagogue in Johannesburg, South Africa, and also officiated in Mexico, Venezuela, and Canada, finally making Ottawa his residence. He made records of cantorial liturgy and ḥasidic tunes and also composed prayer-tunes and ḥassidic melodies.

[Akiva Zimmerman]