RAVITZ, SHELOMO (c. 1886–1980), ḥazzan and composer. Born in Novogrudok, Russia, Ravitz studied music from the age of 15 and received his diploma in Vienna. He officiated in various European communities, including Riga, and in Johannesburg before moving to Ereẓ Israel in 1932. He became ḥazzan of the Ohel Shem Synagogue in Tel Aviv and his reputation spread through his singing together with his own choir, at the weekly oneg shabbat organized there by Ḥ.N. *Bialik. He subsequently became ḥazzan of the Tel Aviv Great Synagogue, where his expressive, yet unexaggerated, style of singing brought him admiration and popularity. As director of the Selah Seminary for ḥazzanim, Ravitz was the teacher of many present-day ḥazzanim.
His compositions and arrangements of traditional melodies were published in Yalkut Zemirot (1954) and Kol Yisrael, 2 vols. (1964), edited by M.S. Geshuri. Ravitz also edited the music section in each volume of Y.L. Baruch and Y.T. Levinsky (eds.), Sefer ha-Mo'adim, 8 vols. (1946–67), which serves as a popular source of Jewish musical tradition in Israeli homes and schools.
M.S. Geshuri (ed.), Kol Yisrael, 1 (1954), xxii–xxv; idem, in: Dukhan, 3 (1962), 31–38; Yedi'ot ha-Makhon ha-Yisre'eli le-Musikah Datit, 5 (1963), 23–25; S. Samet, in: Haaretz (April 10, 1970), 18.
[David M.L. Olivestone]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.