GANCHOFF, MOSES


GANCHOFF, MOSES (Maurice [Moshe] (1905–1997), ḥazzan. Ganchoff was born in Odessa but came to the United States as a child. During his formative years he studied with Simon Zemachson and later came under the influence of the creative talents of Mendel Shapiro and Aryeh Leib Rutman. Even at that tender age, he was already a skilled interpreter of the many recitatives of the most important composer of ḥazzanut of that generation, Jacob *Rappaport. After serving in a number of congregations, in 1958 he was appointed cantor to the synagogue in Grossinger's Resort in New Yok's Catskill Mountain Borscht Belt, remaining there until 1978. In 1963 he was invited by the Government of Israel to participate in the Israeli Music Festival. He was lecturer in ḥazzanut in the faculty of ḥazzanut of Hebrew Union College. Ganchoff was one of the last of the great classical East European ḥazzanim and the title of "Ḥazzan's Ḥazzan," by which Ganchoff is known, was apt and well deserved. A number of publications by the Cantors' Assembly and Tara Publications include Ganchoff's: Mincha and Ma'ariv for Weekdays, "Tefillot Moshe," and Favorite Recitatives, all skillfully transcribed and notated by Noah Schall. Barry Serota, record collector and publisher of "Musique Internationale," has issued an entire series of cassettes devoted to the cantorial art of Ganchoff. They are based on standard recordings, radio broadcasts, and live concerts and services that Ganchoff participated in through the course of his long active carreer as a performing ḥazzan.

[Akiva Zimmerman /

Raymond Goldstein (2nd ed.)


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.