Weisser (Pilderwasser), Joshua

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WEISSER (Pilderwasser), JOSHUA

WEISSER (Pilderwasser), JOSHUA (1888–1952), ḥazzan and composer. Born in Novaya Ushitsa, Ukraine, Weisser studied with several notable ḥazzanim, including Eliezer *Gerovich, before taking his first position as ḥazzan in Vinnitsa at the age of 20. He emigrated to the United States in 1914 and officiated in various New York synagogues. Weisser composed music for each synagogue service, including the usually neg lected weekday service.

He published several collections of liturgical music, including Ba'al Tefillah (2 vols., 1936–40) and Shirei Beit ha-Keneset (2 vols., 1951–52). His work Avodat ha-Ḥazzan (2 vols., 1943–48) is a valuable reconstruction of the east European cantorial style. Weisser was also active in publishing ḥasidic songs, including those of *Modzhitz and *Ḥabad, and notated the music in S. Zalmanoff (ed.), Sefer ha-Niggunim, 1 (1948).


E. Zaludkowski, Kult-Treger fun der Yidisher Liturgye (1930), 279–81; M. Wohlberg, in: Cantors Voice (Sept. 1952), 2, 7; A. Weisser, Modern Renaissance of Jewish Music (1954), 144–5; P. Kavon, in: Journal of Synagogue Music (Jan., 1968), 16–42.