The Official Leibele Waldman Blog

Welcome to the Official Leibele Waldman blog.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

WALDMAN on the Radio

WHN with host Harry Hirschfield
As was mentioned in his biography, my father (l”z) sang often over the air waves when radio was still in its infancy. He had his own “live” show on Jewish radio for more than twenty years twice a week (Friday and Sunday). He also sang Saturday nights with host and comic Harry Hirschfield (WHN) and often on Sundays with the Barry Sisters on "Caravan of Stars". Many people tell me that when they were youngsters, their parents would scold them if they dared to make noise while Waldman was singing.

Following are two selections. Mi Sheoso Nisim (“He who hath made miracles”) he sang very often especially when his program coincided with the “Blessing of the New Moon” (Rosh Chodesh) and at concerts. This was the same selection he sang at Madison Square Garden for the “Hanukkah Festival” when Eleanor Roosevelt requested to meet him.

The other selection, The Cantor and the Synagogue, was another popular selection.

The Cantor and the Synagogue

Mi Sheoso Nisim

Ovinu Malkeinu

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A letter from Edward G. Robinson

Edward G. Robinson (born Emanuel Goldenberg; December 12, 1893 – January 26, 1973) was a Romanian-born American actor. A popular star during Hollywood's Golden Age, he is best remembered for his roles as gangsters, such as Rico in his star-making film Little Caesar and as Rocco in Key Largo. Other memorable roles include Barton Keyes in the film noir Double Indemnity, and as Dathan in The Ten Commandments. Robinson was selected for an Honorary Academy Award for his work in the film industry, which was posthumously awarded two months after the actor's death in 1973. He was included in the American Film Institute's list of the 25 greatest male stars in American cinema.  [from Wikipedia]

In March 1944, my father visited Edward Robinson at his home in Beverly Hills, CA.  He was invited to sing at Robinson's synagogue during his tour of California and received one of the famous cigars which was Robinson's "trademark".  This letter was received after the visit.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Live - High Holiday Kol Nidre Service

The following Kol Nidre Service selections were recorded from the original 1/2" reels. The live davening is from the Chicago Loop Synagogue, October 13, 1967.  Where possible, background hissing and noises were removed.

The compositions and melodic piyutim (poetry) that my father uses in this Kol Nidre Service represent his interpretations of the liturgy.

As the Shaliach Tzibbur (intermediary), his main concern was that the congregation feel the sanctity of the day.

Kol Nidrei
Limaan Yirbu
Hatzi Kaddish
Vaychulu Hashomayim
Hanshomo Loch
Ki Hinei Kachomer
Shema Koleinu
Ma Nomar L'fonecha - Atah Yodeah
Adon Olam

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Live - High Holiday S'lichos

I have posted the first recordings in a series of live High Holiday davining, which was taped at Chicago Loop Synagogue in 1967.
These recordings are from the S'lichos Service.

Hatzi Kaddish
Hanshomo Loch
Kamoh Yisartonu
B'motzaei Menucha (Choir Intro)
B'motzaei Menucha
Shema Koleinu
Rachmono D'onei
Moran Divishmayoh

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Live Recordings - Coming Soon

In the next few days, I will be adding the first part of a series of live recordings from High Holiday Services (S’lichos, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur).  The recordings were made in 1967.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

One of the advantages of being on the radio for twenty-five years, was that some of the most creative songwriters and Cantors inundated my father with their original musical compositions (Chazzanut, Yiddish and English). Most of the Chassidic melodies he sang were those he heard as a youngster davining in various steibels with his family on the lower east side.

These composers were hopeful that he would choose their music to sing on his weekly radio program. The flip side of this is, of course, as a radio performer for that length of time, my father was always in need of new material for his extensive repetoire.

Two such examples: "Israel" (music by Joshua Weisser and music by Aaron Chait) and "The Fifth Commandment" (Dos Finfte Gebot) by Cantor Abraham Singer were popularized by my father during this period. (see above) One Song in particular, "Mein Zeinden's Cholom" (My Dream of Grandpa) written by Cantor Abraham Singer was so popular that it made its way around the world.

In the area of Chazzanut, he sang compositions written by Cantor Joshua Lind and Solomon Beinhorn for him exclusively. He sang the music of Israel Schorr whose work he admired. "Lefichoch Anachnu Chayavim" being just one example. David Roitman and Joseph Rumshinksy wrote "Ki Lekach Tov" which you might describe as my father's signature composition.

Today, if you were to go to YouTube, you will hear Cantors all over the world singing his rendition of that composition. In the area of Yiddish songs, he sang the material of Abraham Singer, Goldfadin, Abe Ellstein, Joshua Weisser among others too numerous to mention. But one thing for sure, my father always added that "special Waldman touch" to everything he did which made it unique.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Concert of the Century

This is the promotional advertisement for the "Concert of the Century" that took place at the Second Avenue Theater in New York City celebrating the twenty fifth anniversary of the Choir Leaders Association.  Pictured are: Cantors Moshe Koussevitsky, David Koussevitsky, Ben-Zion Kapov-Kagan, Pierre Pinchik, Berele Chagy, Leibele Waldman, Yosef Edelson and Moshe Oysher.

The Choir Leaders pictured are: Ben Friedman, Max Pincus, Samuel Sterner, Louis Friedman, Herman Zalis, Reuven Kazimirsky and Meyer Machtenberg. Needless to say, this was a big treat for all lovers of Chazzanut. I know of two books that were written about this concert.  Incidentally, Cantors Chagy and Pinchik did not show up.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Yiddish Folk Songs

There were very few Cantors who were able to make the transition from hazzanut to the Yiddish folk song.  My father was one of the very few able to accomplish this with great success.  As a “shaliach tzibbur", one must concentrate on the t’filah, using unique skills to interpret the sacred words.  With folk songs, one becomes more of a storyteller, conveying the tale with drama and personality.  My father moved easily between these two distinct areas, and as a result, greatly enhancing his position in the world of Jewish Music and in the hearts of Jewish Music lovers.

To listen to some samples, select the link.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Two Theater Posters

In my father’s biography, mention is made of the twelve Yiddish movies (“Jewish talkies”)
in which he appeared from 1932 to 1941.  Below are the photos of the original theater posters
that advertised two of the twelve films, namely, “The Seder Feast” and “The Eternal Jew”.

Many Waldman fans who had heard him davin and listened to him on the radio
were eager to see him on the screen. These movies were shown all over the world and enhanced his popularity dramatically.

The Feast of Passover - 1931
The Eternal Jew - 1933

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

S'firat Ha'omer

(HINENI)   S'firat Ha-omer-  Between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot, the Omer is counted each evening, signifying our preparation for the receiving of the Torah on the holiday of Shavuot.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Song Divine - Leibele Waldman Autobiography

Song Divine was published in 1941.  The editor of the book states why Cantor Leibele Waldman was chosen by the publisher to write his autobiography:

One of the youngest cantors, born and raised on the East Side, with a remarkably matured voice shaded with delicate nuances, Cantor Waldman remains the symbol of the success of Jewish ideals coupled with a new outlook in a modern world.

The entire book can be downloaded in PDF format by following this link

Thank you Usher Piller for providing the website link!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Memorial Concerts for Leibele Waldman draw 5,000 fans

The above concert was produced in Israel in 2001 memorializing my father (l"z). Thanks to Mordechai Sobol, in my opinion and many others, considered the authority on Chazzanut and Yiddish folk song, planned the concert, selected the soloists and led the YUVAL Orchestra and Choir. Dr Sobol invited me to attend the concert as the guest of honor which, needless to say, was quite a thrill. I even had the opportunity to address the throng of three thousand at the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv and two thousand more aficionados in R'nanah two days later, who came to hear four outstanding artists sing my father's popular compositions, his Yiddish folk songs and his Chassidic melodies. In addition, I also had the pleasure of meeting soloists Dudu Fisher, Chaim Eliezer Herstig, Moshe Schulhof and Ari Klein with whom I shared many interesting and humorous stories. This was an experience that I will never forget.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

First Roumanian Shul at 89-91 Rivington Street


The FIRST ROUMANIAN-AMERICAN CONGREGATION (Shaarey Shamoyim) was located at 89-91 Rivington Street for over 100 years.

The synagogue became famous as the "Cantor's Carnegie Hall", because of its high ceiling, good acoustics, and seating for up to 1,800 people. Yossele Rosenblatt, Moshe Koussevitzky, Zavel Kwartin, Moishe Oysher, Jan Peerce and Richard Tucker were all cantors there. My father performed here many times.

Unfortunately, on January 22, 2006 the building suffered a partial roof collapse and less than two months later, the entire structure was demolished.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Birchas Kohanim

BIRCHAS KOHANIM - all Services - (repetition of the Amidah)

"Our G-d and G-d of our Fathers, bless us with the three-fold benediction of the Torah written by the hand of Moses and spoken by Aaron and his sons..."

Al Horishonim

AL HORISHONIM - Shabbat, Festivals, and High Holidays - Shacharit
"For the first and for the last ages, your word is good and endures forever...
It is true that You are our Lord our G-d and the G-d of our fathers, our King and our Redeemer, our Deliverer and Rescuer...there is no other G-d besides You."

Ki Lekach Tov

KI  LEKACH  TOV - Chanted every Service the Torah is read and placed back into the Holy Ark. "It is a Tree of Life to them that hold fast to it. Happy is every one that upholds it..."

Friday, April 1, 2011

B'rosh Hashonah

B'ROSH HASHONAH - (Un'saneh Tokef) Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur - Musaf
"On New Year's Day, the decree is inscribed and on the Day of Atonement, it is sealed..."

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Crown Heights, Brooklyn - 1938

Special thanks to Gadi Elon for providing this photo. It is from a davening at the Congregation Yeshiva Reines, 417 Troy Avenue, Brooklyn. Dated March 4 & 5, 1938.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Waldman Appears in Los Angeles

247 N. Breed Street Shul, Los Angeles. Friday evening, Saturday morning. Sunday concert.

Waldman meets Eleanor Roosevelt at Madison Square Garden

At the Hanukkah Festival the First Lady requested an introduction to Cantor Waldman after hearing him sing the Hanukkah Blessings and a cantorial selection with choir.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Shuvi Nafshi

SHUVI NAFSHI  - (Hallel) All Festivals and Rosh Chodesh - Hymns of Praise
"Return, O my soul, to your resting place; The Lord hath dealt bountifully with you. You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling..."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sarfei Ma'alo

SARFEI MA'ALOH (Martyrology) Yom Kippur Day - Musaf
Describes the death of ten Rabbis who attempted to defy Roman Rule after the destruction of the Holy Temple in 70 (CE). The Jews had lost everything but not their love for independence and study of Torah. In 131 (CE), they rebelled once more against Roman rule that lasted four years. The fate meted out to the ten Rabbis is graphically described in this section of the  EILEH EZK'ROH prayer.

Zochreinu B'Zikoron

ZOCHREINU B'ZIKORON - Rosh Hashanah   (Zichronos)
"Our G-d and G-d of our fathers, be mindful of us for good and remember us from Your everlasting heights for salvation and mercy. Remember the Covenant You made with Abraham...Be merciful unto us and unto Zion. Fulfill the promise You made to us in Your Torah through Moses Your servant."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Odom Yesodo Meofor

"Man's origin is dust and he returns to dust..."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Charlie Bernhaut Special - Broadcast on February 28, 2011

I recorded a 2-hour Leibele Waldman special with Charlie Bernhaut on February 27.  It was broadcast on the following day.  You can listen to it by going to the archives.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Last of the Great Cantorial Concerts

The photo below was taken in 1950 at the Second Avenue Theatre for the benefit of the Choir Leaders Association.  Top row, choir masters.  Bottom row, cantors (L-R) Moishe Oysher, Moshe Koussevitzky, Ben-Zion Kapov Kagen, David Koussevitzky, Leibele Waldman, Yosef Edelson.   Berele Chagy and Pierre Pinchik were advertised to appear but did not. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Published Music

Liturgical compositions and Yiddish folk songs of Leibele Waldman can be heard on many published albums.  Please contact me at for information on specific songs and recordings which are available, as a part of your collection.  I recommend the following albums if you are looking to expand your collection of Hazzanut and Yiddish folk songs , or start a new collection:

The Best of Leibele Waldman - High Holidays  The Best of Leibele Waldman - Three Festivals & Weekday Service  The Best of Leibele Waldman - Songs of My People  The Best of Leibele Waldman - Sabbath old photo

I have many old photos of my father taken at different times.  This photo was taken during his childhood.  It is undated.  He is standing in the front row, in the center.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Thank you for visiting the Official LEIBELE WALDMAN blog, maintained by Hazzan Harvey Waldman.  Watch this blog in the upcoming days for news, photos, and music of Leibele Waldman.