JSA Highlights: New CD from Cantor Udi Spielman

By , October 29, 2009 3:22 pm

Our work at the JSA involves working in our offices for hours and hours on computers. Nathan Tinanoff is always busy entering information about newly acquired recordings into the database and I (Maxine Schackman) spend my time writing this blog and creating all the public relations materials for the JSA. So we were more than happy to take a break two Fridays ago to visit a good friend.

Cantor Udi Spielman

Cantor Udi Spielman

Cantor Udi Spielman of B’nai Torah Congregation (6261 SW 18th Street, Boca Raton, FL) asked us to stop by for a visit.  He said that he wanted to give us something.

What he wanted to give us were some copies of his new CD as gifts and to share on the JSA Website. He has been a JSA featured performer since January, 2008.

This newest CD is truly special. Recorded live at B’nai Torah Congregation in March 2009, it features the Cantor and his wife Varda singing songs of the High Holy Days written especially for the occasion by their dear friend Cantor Meir Finkelstein.

Their beautiful rendition of L’dor Vador has special meaning for the JSA. This song, more than any other, encapsulates the idea of heritage and knowledge being passed from “generation to generation.” This concept inspires us and motivates us to work tirelessly to preserve the Jewish heritage of recorded sound. To listen to the CD, click here.

It is always a delight to meet with Cantor Spielman because he is so full of ideas and enthusiasm. He helps the JSA by reaching out to other cantors and performers, encouraging them to share their music through the JSA website.

He also wanted to tell us about the exciting new Concert Series at B’nai Torah. This year Debbie Friedman, a favorite of my children and now my grandchildren, will be appearing.  Also on the program is Shuly Nathan who will always be remembered for her amazing rendition of “Jerusalem of Gold,” Cantor Alberto Mizrahi, Joshua Nelson, Frank London, and others.

Although these artists are not yet JSA featured performers we can always live in hope.

Unique Judaica recordings found among thousands

By , October 21, 2009 1:36 pm

Golden-SlumbersHave you ever opened a surprise box not knowing what you might find? That is what has been going on at the JSA since the truckload of recordings from Jack Saul’s collection arrived on September 11, 2009. So you might be wondering, “Did you find anything interesting or unusual?” Of course we did!

JSA volunteers and staff have been busy for the past three weeks unpacking recordings, sorting them, and entering information into the JSA database. After three weeks this is what has been accomplished.

(1)  Total progress: About 20 % of the Jack Saul donation of recordings to the JSA has been processed so far.

(2)  Processing of 78rpm recordings: 926 recordings were completely processed.  This means they have been unpacked and checked against the database. Of these, 213 recordings were found to be new to the collection. Information about each of these recordings has been entered into the JSA database.

(3)  Processing of albums: 2096 recordings (LPs, CDs, and tapes) were completely processed (unpacked and checked against the database). Of these, 366 recordings were found to be new to the collection. Information about each of these recordings has been entered into the JSA database.

(4)  Unusual or interesting items of note:



Click here to play a non-downloading snippet from this album.

Golden Slumbers is a book of lullabies from around the world published in 1956 by Book-Records. This “Soundbook” contains 16 lullabies, 8 on each side of a 10 inch LP phonograph record , including the beautiful Yiddish song Rojinkes mit Mandlen. The book describes the history of lullabies and provides sheet music and lyrics as well as a High Fidelity sound recordings of all the songs. The book’s editor, Sidney Reisberg writes, “Although “Raisins and Almonds” was originally composed for an opera, it appears to be based on some older folk-tunes.  In any event, it has since become absorbed into the folk tradition and idiom.”


The JSA has many recordings by the amazing Sophie Tucker.  But this one is special indeed! This Decca album, recorded in 1945, contains three 78 rpm recordings (six songs) and was personally autographed by Sophie Tucker in November 1948 at the Latin Quarter in New York City.






PLEASE NOTE: In accordance with US Copyright Laws these recordings are NOT featured on the JSA website (www.fau.edu/jsa). For further information about these or other recordings in the Jack Saul Collection, please contact the Judaica Sound Archives at Florida Atlantic University Libraries (561-297-0080).


Cleveland revisited

By , October 16, 2009 12:44 pm
Jack Saul's furniture store

Jack Saul’s furniture store

When Nat was informed by the Saul family that they discovered the family’s deserted furniture store was filled with recordings they previously knew nothing about, he was stunned. He had already gone to Cleveland to assess, pack and manage the delivery of the largest donation of recordings in the history of FAU Libraries.  And now there were just as many recordings, if not more, that needed to be looked at.

Dr. William Miller, Dean of FAU Libraries, told Nat to go back to Cleveland to assess the situation.  They needed to decide what to do next. Nat left for Cleveland on Friday, October 2, 2009. What he found was truly unbelievable.

Nat estimates that there are approximately another 50,000 recordings in the store and house that would be approriate to ship to FAU LIbraries. Nat will return in November with Ben Roth and Alethea Perez to pack up what was found in the store and also some of what was left in the house. There will be no shipment in November, though, due to the fact that weather conditions can be treacherous during the winter ice and snow season. But in the spring, Nat and the others will return to finish putting the records into boxes and to oversee the loading of the final truck shipment to FAU Libraries in Boca Raton, FL.

Stacks of 78 rpm records

Stacks of 78 rpm records

Always roomfor more?

Always room for more?

Stacks of LPs

Nathan Tinanoff and Marlene Englander (Jack saul's daughter) examine records

A good friend is hard to find . . . . impossible to forget.

By , October 13, 2009 2:35 pm
 From left: Hedvah and Ben Aroni, Louis and Rouhama Danto

From left: Hedvah and Ben Aroni, Louis and Rouhama Danto

In today’s blog the JSA thanks and honors two great friends: Louis and Rouhama Danto. If you are one of the people who have been impressed and amazed by the incredible collection of recordings that the Judaica Sound Archives has received from the estate of the late Jack Saul, you might be wondering, “How did Jack Saul know about the JSA?”

Good question. And the answer is: Cantor and Mrs. Danto.

The JSA became acquainted with Cantor and Mrs. Danto about three years ago. They were known to JSA’s sound archivist Ben Roth-Aroni as friends of his mother and father, Cantor Zvee Aroni. The couple lives in Toronto, Canada and Ben urged them to visit the Judaica Sound Archives on their next visit to South Florida. On February 20, 2006 the JSA staff had the opportunity to meet this remarkable couple.

They were immediately impressed by what they saw and what the JSA was trying to accomplish. At the time, the JSA website was just beginning to put some of the music on the internet. Having a Cantor of Danto’s stature agree to allow us to put his albums on our website was a real coup! Cantor Danto signed a contract with us and about six months later his beautiful voice could be enjoyed by listeners around the world.

Dantos visit JSA (from left) Rouhama Danto, Ben Aroni, Cantor Danto, Nathan Tinanoff

Dantos visit JSA (from left) Rouhama Danto, Ben Aroni, Cantor Danto, Nathan Tinanoff

If that was all that we had to thank the Dantos for it would be more than enough. But there is more.

The Sauls and the Dantos knew each other from the years that Cantor Danto officiated a the Park Synagogue in Cleveland. The Sauls were part of the congregation and the Cantor often visited their home to listen to Jack Saul’s record collection and to talk about music. They told Jack about their experience with the JSA and how impressed they were with our genuineness and our professionalism. Although he was somewhat reluctant at first, Jack eventually agreed to visit the JSA “to see for himself.”

From left: Jack & Hinda Saul, Louis Danto

From left: Jack & Hinda Saul, Louis Danto

Jack Saul had spent a lifetime collecting sound recordings.  It was his passion.  It was his life. Now, with the encouragement of his good friends Louis and Rouhama Danto, Jack Saul was able to find a place that could take on the responsibilites of guardianship for the collection that meant so much to him.

For more information about Jack Saul and his record collection click the Jack Saul link on the right menu under the CATEGORIES heading and scroll down.

Does this man look happy?

By , October 7, 2009 10:27 am
Reel-to-reel tapes fromthe Jack Saul Collection

Reel-to-reel tapes from the Jack Saul Collection

“It’s like my birthday and Channukah all rolled into one,”  says an excited Nathan Tinanoff as he begins upacking some of the 730 boxes of recordings that arrived at FAU Libraries from Cleveland on Sept. 11, 2009.

After one week, the JSA team had unpacked and fully processed over eight hundred 78rpm recordings. The information on each record label is carefully checked against the JSA database to ascertain if a copy of the recording is already in the JSA collection. Out of the 800 recordings, 69 are new to the collection and 47 are in better condition that what we previously had.

About 815 LPs have been processed. It has been determined that 132 of these are new to the collection. We have also unpacked another 120 LPs which are unopened and sealed in the original plastic wrappers.

Nat is a happy man. “What is really exciting is that this is just the tip of the iceberg!”

45 rpm records

45 rpm records

Unpacking LPs

Unpacking LPs

Although he admits that it is a little overwhelming Nathan Tinanoff could not hide his amazement when the Saul family found two floors of a warehouse packed with recordings floor to ceiling that they previously knew nothing about. “I think this might mean another tractor-trailer loaded with recordings,” Nat says.

Cleveland sound recordings get a new home at FAU Libraries

By , October 5, 2009 10:29 am

many hands BLOGThe excitement we were all feeling when the truck from Cleveland, filled with recordings from Jack Saul’s collection, pulled up to the Library’s loading dock was quickly replaced by focused activity. Everyone had a job to do and immediately jumped into action. Unloaders moved the boxes from the truck to pallets which were then moved with a handtruck through the Wimberly Library lobby into the elevator to the fifth floor where they were stacked for later unpacking. Other boxes were placed on carts and deposited in other areas of the library.

Of the 730 boxes in this shipment 255 are filled with recordings headed for the Judaica Sound Archives and the FAU Music Department’s Jazz Sound Collection. The remaining 475 boxes contain vintage 78 rpm recordings which will form a new FAU Library collection.

Transporting boxes through the Wimberly Library lobby

Transporting boxes through the Wimberly Library lobby

Removing boxes from elevator on Wimberly Library's 5th floor

Removing boxes from elevator on Wimberly Library’s 5th floor

Panorama Theme by Themocracy