Pollak, Zalman

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POLLAK, ZALMAN (1901–1985), cantor, composer, and instructor of cantorial music. Born into a rabbinic family in Patrovosla, then Hungary and later part of Yugoslavia, he studied in a ḥeder, and then in yeshivot, including the Pressburg yeshivah. He began singing with the choir of the Great Synagogue of Pressburg. Upon the conclusion of World War i he emigrated to Palestine and settled in Jerusalem. He led services in the Great Synagogue of the Ḥurvah of Rabbi Judah Ḥasid in Jerusalem and then served as cantor in Rishon le-Zion. From 1922 he was in Europe and was cantor in Yugoslavia (Sobotizia and Sarajevo) and in Vienna, Austria, where he was the chief cantor at the Kehillat Montefiore synagogue for almost five years. He advanced his cantorial education under Judah Leib Miller. After returning to Palestine in 1935 he was cantor at various synagogues in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. His main efforts were directed at instructing the younger cantors. He wrote many works for passages from the services and his wife, Margalit, initiated the publication of his works, the first volume of which, Nusaḥ le-Shabbat, appeared in 1989, edited by Benjamin Glickman.

[Akiva Zimmerman]