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Mendelson, Jacob Ben-Zion


MENDELSON, JACOB BEN-ZION (1946– ), ḥazzan. Jacob Ben-Zion Mendelson was born in New York to a well-known family of cantors. He is the brother of the cantor Solomon *Mendelson, a former president of the Cantors' Assembly. He was a student of the Etz Haim Yeshiva in Brooklyn. He studied cantorial music with the cantors Moshe and David *Koussevitzky, William Bougcester, and especially Moshe *Ganchoff. He served as cantor in Riverdale, New York, at the Beth Torah Synagogue in Miami, Florida, in the Shaarai Tefila congregation in Flushing, New York, and from 1986 at Temple Israel in White Plains, New York. He appeared in concerts and in prayer services throughout the United States, and also at the Jerusalem congress of the Cantors' Assembly in honor of the 20th anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem. Cantor Mendelson was called mentor by an entire generation of cantors, having taught at the Hebrew Union College-School of Sacred Music, the H.L. Miller Cantorial School at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and the Academy of Jewish Religion. It is true to say that he was one of the most sought-after teachers in the world of ḥazzanut. He produced record selections from the prayer service in the style of the cantors Alter, *Ganchoff, and Rappaport. A documentary film dealing with the entire spectrum of cantorial music today, from the prism of Cantor Mendelson's career, was made for pbs and other venues. From 2002 he was president of the Cantors' Assembly.

[Akiva Zimmerman /

Raymond Goldstein (2nd ed.)]

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