Brought together in 2018 to perform a television concert for PBS, U.S. public television, The New York Cantors are three of the brightest rising stars in American Jewish music. Their March 2018 PBS concert attracted a vast and enthusiastic audience of Jewish music lovers and has been so successful in major U.S. tv markets that the program continues to enjoy multiple repeats during Jewish holidays and PBS fund-raising drives. Millions of PBS’s North American television viewers have become fans.
The New York Cantors, all serving synagogues in New York, are: Brooklyn-born Yaakov (Yanky) Lemmer, Head Cantor of the Lincoln Center Synagogue in New York City; Netanel Hershtik, Cantor at The Hampton Synagogue, Westhampton Beach, New York; and Cantor Chaim David Berson, a native of Israel and Chief Cantor of the prestigious congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Some of the most beautiful songs in the Jewish musical history are prayers sung by cantors during shabbat services. For this concert these ancient songs have been given splendid new arrangements by the accomplished Dutch composer/arranger Bob Zimmerman. The program also includes favorite secular songs evoking memories of Jewish tradition and its rich musical culture, as well as music with a nod to Broadway.
Conducting all NYCantors touring worldwide is Maestro Andrew Kurtz, Conductor of the Gulf Coast Symphony, Ft.Myers, Florida. Producer is Daniel Hart long-time creator and producer of fund-raising concerts for PBS including three concerts by The Irish Tenors, Friar Alessandro, The Voice from Assisi, South London’s famous boy choir, Libera, as well as PBS’s original cantorial trio concert in 2003, Cantors, A Faith in Song, with cantors Alberto Mizrahi, Benzion Miller, and Naftali Hershtik.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Cantor Yaakov “Yanky” Lemmer is one of the leading young cantors on the cantorial horizon. His beautiful lyric tenor voice, dramatic color, and precise coloratura have garnered him universal praise among his peers and connoisseurs, alike. He began his singing career as the star soloist of the Young Israel of Bethel Choir, where world renowned cantor Ben Zion Miller took him under his private tutelage. Yaakov earned a scholarship to the Belz School of Jewish Music at Yeshiva University, where he studied with Cantors Joseph Malovany and Bernard Beer. He also studied with cantorial legend Cantor Noach Schall, and has won a scholarship for vocal training in N.Y.C.
Now an internationally renowned concert artist, Yaakov is in constant demand on the concert stage and synagogues, thrilling audiences throughout the world. He has appeared at the Tel Aviv Culture Hall with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and has been featured throughout the United States, Canada, England, and at various European Culture Festivals. In addition, he tours extensively with grammy award winning, Jazz/Klez legend, Frank London and receives rave reviews for his unique interpretations of traditional liturgical music. He has also oﬃciates at some of the world’s most prominent pulpits throughout the world.
Cantor Lemmer’s repertoire spans many genres and languages, including traditional Hebrew liturgy, Yiddish folk, Opera, Broadway, Israeli, and more.
In additional to his Cantorial vocation, Yaakov is a Licensed Special Education Therapist, working with special needs children in Brooklyn, NY.
He currently serves as Cantor of Lincoln Square Synagogue in New York City
Cantor Chaim David Berson, born and raised in Jerusalem, is the Chief Cantor of the prestigious congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Cantor Berson received his education at the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Subsequently, he graduated from the Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute, receiving an unparalleled quality of training in Chazzanut, voice skills, and the Mesorah of our Tefilah, under the personal tutelage of the world-renowned Cantor Naftali Hershtik and composer Raymond Goldstein.
His mellifluous, lyrical tenor voice, his deep knowledge in music and prayer as well his personal charisma, make Cantor Berson unique in his craft and much sought after as a Chazzan and singer.
An internationally acclaimed Chazzan and Hassidic music singer, Cantor Berson has performed at music festivals throughout North America, Israel, and Europe. Cantor Berson has led several missions to Poland, teaching and inspiring visitors of all ages to connect to their Jewish roots and learn about the life and destruction of European Jewry. He was invited to the United Nations General Assembly, where he recited a memorial prayer for the victims of the Holocaust, has performed on Central Park’s Summerstage in a concert celebrating Israel, as well as at the Krakow Jewish Festival, and was a featured singer with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.
Cantor Berson has served as the Chief Cantor of The Jewish Center on the Upper West Side of Manhattan as well as associate Cantor at the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue in Montreal and the Ohel Leah Synagogue in Hong Kong, and is constantly in demand to lead services in leading synagogues worldwide.
As a versatile singer of contemporary Jewish music, Chaim David has recently released his debut album ”Ten Lanu Chaim”, featuring original songs.
Often accompanied by his own guitar playing and demonstrating a broad repertoire of music, he is a favorite artist at popular Jewish music concerts, weddings, and events.
Born in Israel, Netanel’s musical talent was already apparent as a child through his regular appearances as a soloist in the Jerusalem Great Synagogue with his father, Naftali Hershtik. At the age of seven, he performed with this father in Australia, and throughout America and Europe. Educated at the Horev Yeshiva High School in Jerusalem and in Yeshivat Midbara Ke’eden, Netanel later served as an IDF combat paramedic.
He graduated with an L.L.B degree from Sha’arei Mishpat College of Law and recently completed his L.L.M at the University of Miami School of Law. His musical education includes graduation from the Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute, as well as training under Cantor Chayim Feifel, Raymond Goldstein and other renowned cantors and musicians.
His concert appearances, both in Israel and worldwide, include performances with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra as well as with the world’s leading choirs. Netanel has performed in the world’s most acclaimed concert halls such as Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, The Vienna Konzerthaus, The Sydney Opera House and Casino de Paris.
Netanel was the ﬁrst cantor invited to perform a cantorial concert at Kennedy Center, Washington DC. Netanel was also the ﬁrst cantor to be invited to perform at the U.N., as part of a Holocaust remembrance ceremony in 2006. Netanel is recognized as an outstanding cantorial talent in the world of Jewish music and currently serves as Can-tor at The Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton, New York.
Date: 24 October 2019
Time: 7:00 PM
Venue: Beth Tzedec Congregation, 1700 Bathurst Street, Toronto
Presented By: The David and Bessie Pullan
and Sophie and Rose Pullan Endowment Fund