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Samuel Rosenbaum

ROSENBAUM, SAMUEL (1919–1997), cantor and organizational executive. Rosenbaum was born in New York City and received his B.A. from New York University in 1940. Simultaneously, he studied music and liturgy privately under renowned Cantor Jacob *Beimel. He began his cantorial career at the Queens Jewish Center, Queens Village, New York (1940–42), which was interrupted by military service in the U.S. Army during World War II. In 1946, Rosenbaum became cantor of Temple Beth El in Rochester, New York, where his innovative work in musical programming won him national recognition in the form of awards from the Cantors Assembly and the *United Synagogue (1965). Upon his retirement, he was awarded an honorary doctor of music degree from the *Jewish Theological Seminary in 1985.

Rosenbaum was active in the Cantors Assembly from its founding in 1947, serving as the editor of its journal, The Cantor's Voice (1951–66), before being elected president of the association (1956–59). Following his term of office, Rosenbaum was appointed the organization's executive director (1959–97). Under his leadership, the assembly grew to become the world's largest association of cantors and spearheaded the expansion of its members' roles beyond performing at services to becoming involved in congregational and educational programming. Rosenbaum was also a fellow at the Cantors Institute of the *Jewish Theological Seminary (1960), where he assisted in placing graduates. In 1970, he became managing editor of the Journal of Synagogue Music, published by the Cantors Assembly.

A prolific composer, Rosenbaum was commissioned by Conservative and Reform congregations to write some 30 solo and choral works. In 1973, his oratorio Yizkor: In Memory of the Six Million, written with Sholom *Secunda, was performed on ABC-TV's Directions and nominated for an Emmy Award. Rosenbaum also wrote books and narrated several record albums. He developed a new method for teaching biblical cantillation, which he set forth in A Guide to Haftarah Chanting (1973). His other books are Sabbath and Festival Songs for the Young Singer (1959) and To Live as a Jew (1960). He released Four Holiday Recordings in 1981. Other major musical compositions include: Sing a Song of Israel (with Issachar Miron, 1962); Oneg Shabbat (with Sholom Secunda, 1964); A Singing of Angels (with Charles Davidson, 1967) and The Last Judgment (with Lazar Weiner, 1967).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.