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Yossele Rosenblatt
Birth: May 9, 1882
Bila Tserkva
Kyyivs'ka, Ukraine
Death: Jun. 19, 1933
Jerusalem
Yerushalayim (Jerusalem District), Israel

Cantor, Composer. A tenor called "The Jewish Caruso", he is one foremost figures in the history of Jewish liturgical music. The child of a Chassidic cantorial family, he received his musical training at home and at a young age was much in demand to sing at his father's services. A small man (5'1") who made a large impression, he earned his first cantorial position in Munkacs, Hungary at 18, and before he was 19 had beaten out 52 other candidates to become chazzan (cantor) of a larger congregation in Pressburg, Hungary. Remaining there five years, he made his first records and began publishing his own compositions. Another five years in Hamburg, Germany, followed, then in 1911, faced with the support of a large extended family, he accepted the high-paying cantorial job at Congregation Ohab Tsedek in New York City. Cantor Rosenblatt's reputation had preceeded him via recordings, and he quickly found himself a 'media idol', with Shabbos attendance at Ohab Tsedek so large that Police often had to be called in for crowd control whenever he davened. His concerts, at which he performed Yiddish and English folk songs as well as Italian opera arias, were sell-outs, and in 1918 he bowed at Carnegie Hall; on one occasion Enrico Caruso is said to have been so moved by his singing of the National Anthem that he jumped on the stage and kissed him. Meanwhile, the operatic world was calling: General Manager Carlo Campanieri of the Chicago Opera wanted him to sing the role of the goldsmith Eleazar, one of Caruso's noted pieces, in Jacques Fromental Halevy's "La Juive". The fee was to be $1,000 per performance, arrangements had been made to feed him in Kashrut observant homes, and the sopranos Alma Gluck and Rosa Raisa were available to assume the role of Eleazar's daughter Rachael in case Rosenblatt objected to sharing the stage with a Gentile woman. In the end, the opportunity was declined for reasons never made clear, though Cantor Rosenblatt admitted to conflicted feelings. The French language would have been no problem as he could sight-read anything; perhaps the fact that Eleazar is a bigot, who brags of hating Gentiles while loving their money and willingly burns Rachel rather than see her with a goyim, and as much villain as hero figured in the decision. Having made a bad newspaper investment in 1922, the cantor was bankrupt by 1925 and had to undertake a concert tour to recoup his losses; this was a major success despite, or possibly because of, the fact that he always wore his black yarmulke and frock coat, sang on a bare stage with the house lights turned up, and never gave curtain calls. In 1927 the producers of "The Jazz Singer" wanted him, at a huge fee, for the role of Al Jolson's cantor father; he refused the part because it would have required him to sing Kol Nidre on a sound stage. The producers still wanted him so badly that they wrote-in a small role as himself singing a Yiddish song in concert; despite having only a cameo he still received star billing as "Cantor Rosenblatt". Though he never missed a Sabath service, he did switch synagogues a couple of times, but by the early 1930s the Depression had left him broke again. In 1933, he journeyed to Israel to assist in making "Dream of My People", a film in which he sang at various sacred sites in the Holy Land; he was preparing for a recital tour of Europe when he died suddenly of a heart attack. His compositions and recorded legacy have never been out of print, and in recent years his discs have received a much praised remastering. (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Rafael Sholom Rosenblatt (____ - 1909)
  Chaya Sara Pilatsky Rosenblatt (____ - 1912)
 
 Spouse:
  Taube Rosenblatt (1882 - 1966)
 
 Children:
  Samuel Rosenblatt (1902 - 1983)*
  Leo Rose (1903 - 1949)*
  Nettie Rosenblatt Reiss (1904 - 2005)*
  Henry Rosenblatt (1907 - 1998)*
  Marcus A Rosenblatt (1909 - 1991)*
  Sylvia Rosenblatt Gruber (1912 - 1999)*
  Ralph Rosenblatt (1913 - 2006)*
 
 Sibling:
  Chaveh Rosenblatt Weisbard (1870 - 1940)*
  Yossele Rosenblatt (1882 - 1933)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Mount of Olives Cemetery
Jerusalem
Yerushalayim (Jerusalem District), Israel
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Jan 10, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 64003870
Yossele Rosenblatt
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
Yossele Rosenblatt
Added by: Scott G
 
Yossele Rosenblatt
Cemetery Photo
Added by: BobBoston
 
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 Added: Jul. 27, 2014

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