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About Yad Vashem

A Token of Remembrance Presented by Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev to President Obama at the Conclusion of his Visit

The sheet music with the composition written in 1941, Amsterdam, by Cantor Maroko, received from Ruth Maroko during Yad Vashem's "Gathering the Fragments" Campaign, courtesy Yad Vashem Archives The sheet music with the composition written in 1941, Amsterdam, by Cantor Maroko, received from Ruth Maroko during Yad Vashem's "Gathering the Fragments" Campaign, courtesy Yad Vashem Archives
Cantor Maroko, 1929. Received from Ruth Maroko during Yad Vashem's "Gathering the Fragments" Campaign, courtesy Yad Vashem Archives Cantor Maroko, 1929. Received from Ruth Maroko during Yad Vashem's "Gathering the Fragments" Campaign, courtesy Yad Vashem Archives
Cantor Maroko, circa 1937. Received from Ruth Maroko during Yad Vashem's "Gathering the Fragments" Campaign, courtesy Yad Vashem Archives Cantor Maroko, circa 1937. Received from Ruth Maroko during Yad Vashem's "Gathering the Fragments" Campaign, courtesy Yad Vashem Archives

Israel Eljasz Maroko – Short Bio

Israel Eljasz Maroko was born on May 3, 1896 in Zdunska Wola, Poland. He married Rajsel Najman around 1915 and they had four children. Before moving to Amsterdam in 1926, he was a cantor in Kalisz (Poland), Tarnow (Poland) and Bratislava (Czechoslovakia). He was known for his musical ear and his beautiful voice.

On June 5, 1926 he was appointed Chief Cantor of the Main Synagogue in Amsterdam.

On July 20, 1943 Israel Eljasz was deported from the Westerbork transit camp in Holland to the Sobibor extermination camp in Poland, where he was murdered three days later. His wife Rajsel and their children Hersz (Herman), Sara-Golda and Miriam (Marjem) were also murdered.  His son Simon-Wolf survived.

This information was gleaned from sources in the Yad Vashem Archives, Library and Hall of Names, including Pages of Testimony submitted by Israel Eljasz Maroko's son, Simon-Wolf Maroko, in 1956.

The sheet music is an original composition written by Israel Eljasz Maroko in 1941 for the liturgical poem Had Gadya (One Lone Kid), traditionally sung at the Passover Seder. Of the many cantorial works he composed, this is the only one that survived the Holocaust. Cantor Maroko's daughter-in-law, Ruth Maroko from Sylvan Lake, Michigan, donated the original to Yad Vashem, along with photos of Cantor Maroko, during the "Gathering the Fragments" campaign in 2012.