Accession consists of material documenting Cantor Harold Klein. Included are audio recordings that belonged to Klein, sheet music, and other textual records.
Cantor Harold Klein was born in Borough Park, Brooklyn in 1929. The child of eastern European immigrants, Klein was the second of three sons. When he was four, the family moved to Williamsburg. It was there that he attended yeshiva.
As a child, Klein was inspired by Rabbi Levi Greenwald, Rabbi Dovid Rabinowitz, and Earl Spero to pursue his vocation as a cantor. He studied with Cantor Noah Schall and [Frederick?] Pugel. In a 1984 interview with author Mark Slobin, Klein credited both with his later success.
In the course of his career, Klein sung for several congregations. The first was Sutton Place Synagogue, aka the U.N. Synagogue, where he introduced congregational singing. In 1968, he moved to Toronto and became cantor at Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue. After several years at Beth Emeth, he went to Shaarei Shomayim, where he sung for many years.
In addition to regular singing, Klein occupied a number of important posts within the cantorial community. In the 1970s, he was elected to the executive council of the Cantors Assembly of America. At the time he was elected, Klein was serving as the president of the Toronto Council of Hazzanim.
Klein was also a published author. After a friend encouraged him to write a songbook, he formed Mydas Music Company, which published his Let's Sing and Daven songbook in 1985. The songbook, which was accompanied by a ninety-minute cassette of Klein singing to piano accompaniment, won praise from a number of cantors. A sequel, Let's Sing and Celebrate,was released in 1987.
In 1988, the Cantors Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary inducted Klein as one of its honourary fellows.
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