| Subscribe | Press Room | Store | Friends | Contact Us
Yad Vashem Homepage
Yad Vashem The Jerusalem of Lithuania: The Story of the Jewish Community of Vilna

The Interwar Period

Religious Life

Chazanut - Cantorial Music

Jacob Goldstein: Head cantor of the Great Synagogue in Vilna, 1920 - 1935Jacob Goldstein: Head cantor of the Great Synagogue in Vilna, 1920 - 1935

Many cantors came to Vilna seeking work in the city's synagogues – the Great Synagogue and the "Taharat Hakodesh" Synagogue – despite the modest salary, because the title of "Vilna Chazan" (cantor) presented its holder with great opportunities to be employed by larger and wealthier communities. Indeed, cantors from Vilna moved to Warsaw, Odessa and even abroad – to England, South Africa and Eretz Israel. Some of them returned later to Vilna, for guest performances. Many cantors also hailed from among the members of the two large synagogue choirs in Vilna.

The exhibition was made possible through the generous support of Mr. Nehemia Burgin in memory of his dear and beloved parents, Holocaust survivors Zlata (Zehava) Burgin and Yehiel Burgin of blessed memory.