HERSTIK, NAFTALI (1947– ), ḥazzan. Herstik was born in Hungary but was brought to Israel as a child. His first teacher was his father, Cantor Moshe Menaḥem Herstik. Together with his brother Ḥayyim Eliezer (ḥazzan at the Oxford Synagogue, Johannesburg) he appeared as a child prodigy and continued his studies in ḥazzanut under Shelomo *Ravitz in Tel Aviv and with Prof. L. Bryll in London, where he studied inter alia at the Royal Academy of Music. After serving as ḥazzan in synagogues in Tel Aviv, Acre, Haifa, and the Finchley Synagogue in London (1972–79), he returned to Israel and was appointed ḥazzan to the Heichal Shelomo synagogue in Jerusalem in 1979. When the new sanctuary that became the Great Synagogue was completed in 1982, Herstik was appointed its ḥazzan. Herstik is also director of the Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute and he himself is highly regarded as a teacher of nusahl'tefillah. As a superb artist, he has a worldwide reputation, and he sings with rare elegance and class. His rich and heart-warming tenor voice has been heard with the top Israeli and European orchestras worldwide. His discography includes a series of recordings for Beit Hatefutzot, namely the Danzig and Koenigsberg traditions; other CDs include performances with the London Male Choir, Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir, and the Brno Symphony.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.