Kwartin, Zavel

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KWARTIN, ZAVEL (Zevulun ; 1874–1953), ḥazzan and composer. Born in Novoarkhangelsk, Ukraine, Kwartin worked in his father's business while studying music and singing in a synagogue choir. He first officiated as a ḥazzan in 1896, on the Sabbath preceding his marriage in Yelizavetgrad. After spending some time in Odessa and studying the ḥazzanut of *Sulzer in Vienna, he was ḥazzan at synagogues in Vienna and St. Petersburg, and for ten years at the Tabak Temple in Budapest. In 1919 Kwartin emigrated to the United States and was appointed ḥazzan at Temple Emanuel of Borough Park, Brooklyn. There he became known for the richness and fervor of his lyric baritone, and he made many recordings. In 1926 he moved to Ereẓ Israel, where he conducted services and gave concerts, acquiring property near Safed. Eleven years later, in 1937, Kwartin returned to the U.S. and accepted a position as cantor in Newark, New Jersey. His compositions, recorded as traditional improvisations, were transcribed and published as Zemirot Zevulun (2 vols., 1928). A supplementary volume, Tefillot Zevulun (1938), appeared with an autobiographical introduction. He also published his memoirs, Mayn Lebn (1952).


Cantors' Association of the U.S. and Canada, Di Geshikhte fun Khazones (1924), 173–4; E. Zaludkovski, Kultur Treger fun di Yidishe Liturgie (1930), 331; A. Holde, Jews in Music (1959), index; Sendrey, Music, index.

[Joshua Leib Ne'eman]