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Herskovits, Bela

HERSKOVITS, BELA (1920–1974), cantor and concert artist. A graduate of the leading music conservatories of Hungary, Herskovits was professor of Jewish liturgical music at the Goldmark Karoly College. When Hungary was invaded by the Nazis in 1942 he was imprisoned, but released, and succeeded in reaching the U.S. in 1942. Appointed cantor of the Ocean Parkway Jewish Center in Brooklyn, he was "discovered" by Eddie Cantor who introduced him to Hollywood. He co-starred in Servant of God and was musical consultant to Cecil B. De Mille's film The Ten Commandments. In 1966 he was appointed chief cantor of the Beth Shalom synagogue in Toronto, but later resigned on account of ill-health.