Relive the glorious cantorial past by contributing to the JMCA website with your recordings, memoirs, letters and photographs of your very own experiences. See them come to life right here our website. Share your ‘geshichte’ with the entire world! Send them to us right here in New York City – make the donation you’ve always wanted to make of those recordings in the attic or basement. We know there’s a ton of memorabilia out there so, nu shoin – send it to us and we’ll all schep naches!

Also, don’t forget that the JMCA is a New York State 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit corporation – so when you’re thinking of making a gift [no matter what the amount] either go to our secure ‘Support page’ or contact:

Cantor Michael Trachtenburg, Treasurer, The Jewish Ministers Cantors Association of America & Canada, 244 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10001 Tel: 800.977.JMCA [5622]

JMCA Hall of Fame

Cantor Charles B. Bloch

Charles Bennett Bloch was born in 1911 in Brooklyn. At the encouragement of his parents, he began singing at an early age, catching the ear of a choir direc­tor at the Talmud Torah Toras Moshe in Brooklyn at the age of six. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Harlem, near the First Hungarian Hebrew Congregation Ohab Zedek, pulpit of the famed Cantor Yossele Rosenblatt. After successfully auditioning for Rosenblatt's choir, Bloch became a regular fixture, soloing as a boy alto for the next nine years. He also studied violin and increased his repertoire of Yiddish songs through weekend performances at the Yiddish theatre while still in grade school.

As his voice developed from that of a boy alto to a young tenor of rare power, range, and sweetness, Bloch was recruited to solo on various Yiddish radio sta­tions, under the names Sol Bloch, Charles Bennett Bloch, and "Der Troubador." His skills as an interpreter of song, primarily Yiddish song, were honed in intensive study with his voice teacher, Mario Rubini-Reichlin. Bloch contin­ued to give live performances of Yiddish song while studying law at St. John's University, working radio shows in time slots next to such notable singers as the great operatic tenor Jan Peerce (who performed on Yiddish radio under the name Yasha Perl.) After the radio shows, Bloch would do the opening show before the screening of films at the Brooklyn Fox Theatre.

All the while, Bloch maintained his love of cantorial music, singing as the tenor soloist in the choir of Temple Emanuel of Borough Park, where he forged a life-long bond with the talented choir director and composer Herman Zalis. After completing his law degree, he was encouraged by Zalis and others to study chazzanut more seriously. Bloch immersed himself in these studies, working closely with a learned and gifted cantor, Rev. Simon Raisen. Raisen composed many beautiful works specifically for Bloch, which he tailored to meet Bloch's vocal talents and style.

Bloch was elected cantor at Temple Emanuel of Borough Park in 1944, and served there until 1949, when he became cantor of Temple B'nai Shalom in Rockville Center, Long Island. From 1959-1967 he officiated at the Jewish Center of Kew Garden Hills (where he succeeded the late Jacob Koussevitsky), until he was called to Temple Ansche Chesed in Manhattan, where he remained until his retirement in 1984. He officiated at High Holiday services in a number of other major synagogues in Toronto and in Pittsburgh, sharing the pulpit with such luminaries as Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.

Cantor Bloch was inducted into the Jewish Ministers Cantor Association's "Hall of Fame".