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ANONYMOUS CANTORIAL MANUSCRIPTS

The group of Anonymous Cantorial manuscripts includes fifty manuscripts whose composers or compilers have not yet been identified. The collection dates from the late 19th to the mid-20th century, and the manuscripts are from Europe and the United States.  They include music for solo and choral compositions for weekdays, liturgical music for Sabbath and holiday services, weddings and other occasions.  The language of the compositions is primarily Hebrew, with some material in Yiddish and Russian. Several manuscripts include drawings and illustrations in a folk art style. A selection of noteworthy items in the collection, which appear in the manuscripts hidden among large numbers of unidentified items, include:
 

·       Correspondence in Hebrew and Yiddish on cantorial matters, bound in a cantorial manuscript (manuscript 83).

·       Shir tsiyon al admat nekhar: le-zekher yisdat bet otsar ha-kolonyali ha-ivri, 659 (1899) = A song of Zion on foreign soil: in memory of the founding of the Beth Otsar Ha-Kolonyali ha-Ivri, by Isaac Roset.

 שיר ציון על אדמת נכר. לזכר יסדת בית אוצר הקאלאניאלי העברי, תרנ"ט. This refers to the Jüdische Colonialbank (Jewish Colonial Trust), the first Zionist bank, incorporated in London on March 20, 1899. It is currently part of Bank Leumi (manuscript 92).

·       Compositions by S. [Joshua Samuel] Weisser [Pilderwasser]; some may be autographs (manuscript 119).

·       "Shir Ha-Emuno," text by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, music by Seymour Silbermintz. Rabbi Kook wrote this while he was in London, probably in 1917, as a religious alternative to HaTikvah. It was never formally adopted (manuscript 144).

·       Printed sheet music by Cantor Josef Rosenblatt for Hallelukah from Hallel, probably published in New York in the 1920s (manuscript 145).

·       Ha-noten Teshuah, a prayer for the government, mentions Pres. Franklin Roosevelt and Vice Presidents Henry Wallace and Harry S. Truman (manuscript 149).

·       A printed Yiddish poem entitled "Shir le-Tsiyon" by Rev. Ya'akov Gershtayn [Jacob Gerstein] - שיר לציון מאת רעוו. יעקב גערשטיין - dated May 11, 1920. The text is in Yiddish, despite the Hebrew title. The poem may have been written in response to the San Remo Conference which took place in April 1920 and reaffirmed the Balfour Declaration (manuscript 151).