Cantors End Tour of East Europe with Rousing Concert in Budapest

Five cantors from the United States, Canada and Israel completed a concert tour of Eastern Europe Tuesday night at Budapest’s Dohany Synagogue, where they received a wildly enthusiastic reception.

It was the final concert for the group, which arrived here fresh from triumphs in Moscow, Leningrad, Odessa and Kiev. The cantors performed both liturgical and Jewish folk music.

The tour, sponsored by the Cantorial Arts and the Gila and Haim Wiener Foundation, marked the first time Israeli cantors sang in the Soviet Union, according to Haim Wiener of Miami, president of the society.

He said he was convinced that cantorial concerts could be “an extremely important factor in reviving Yiddishkeit in Eastern Europe. Chazzanut is a language that every Jew can understand.” he said.

The cantors who participated in the two-week concert tour were Moshe Stern of Jerusalem and Arie Braun of Tel Aviv, David Bagley and Louis Danto of Toronto, and Pinchas Rabinovics of Los Angeles.

They were accompanied by Daniel Gildar of Philadelphia, who also is a cantor.

Wiener said the group found “particularly in the USSR, a profoundly sad lack of knowledge of many of the basic fundamentals of the Jewish faith and liturgy, the result of 70 years of being deprived of the opportunity for Jewish education.”

“Yet at the same time, there is a powerful thirst for Jewish identification,” he said.

NEXT STORY