Cantor Israel Alter

The Last Chief Cantor of Hannover, Germany

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For the past years we have been on a journey of remembering the work and life of Israel Alter. The journey began in 2008 when his original records from the years 1925-1926, which were produced in Hannover Germany, became digitally available on a Vol. One CD. The European Center for Jewish Music in Hannover, under the directorship of Prof. Andor Izsak as well as the heir of Israel Alter, Chief Cantor Benjamin Maissner have been instrumental in reviving the knowledge and awareness about the great Cantor.

Now, three volumes of his compositions and recordings are available to the public. In November 2013 the remembrance of Israel Alter as the last Cantor of Hannover, Germany was the lead theme of the official remembrance days of the city of Hannover and the province of Lower Saxony. Family members of the Alter and Maissner families came to Hannover, Germany to participate in the opening of an exhibition, the book launch for the scrapbook of Israel Alter, a memorial concert and the installation of the “Stolpersteine” remembrance stones.

With the words of Cantor Mimi Sheffer of Berlin, we cannot underestimate the importance of the survival of such music, the music of the Synagogue like that of Cantor Israel Alter. The preservation and remembrance of this music, compositions and recordings is as important as the restoration of Jewish heritage buildings and sacred buildings like Synagogues.

Our future wish is that the great treasure of this most beautiful Jewish Cantorial music will be rediscovered, revived and will enrich the lives of future generations both Jewish and non-Jewish. We wish the great heritage of the Jewish Cantorial music will be placed right next to the works by the likes of Bach, Haendel and Hayden. Join the revival movement of this music, immerse yourself in listening to the sounds of the music of Cantor Israel Alter. You can find samples of the links on this website under “Music”.

Special thanks to Hope Maissner. It was by Hope Maissner’s request that the installation of the “Stolpersteine” was initiated. Special thanks to Stephanie von Bargen, CEO of the German Language School Mississauga, editor and host of our website.

Special thanks to Corinna Luedtke who has supported the Maissner family with great love and kindness. Thank you also to my loving husband Otto Farkas, our children and the Geiges family.

Special thanks to Matthias Duesterhoefft, Hannover, Germany. Special thanks to my faithful friends from Solel Congragation Mississauga, Canada.

Thanks for the support of all the teachers, translators and community leaders who have supported the project, both in Mississauga, Canada and Hannover, Germany.


Katrin Farkas

Community Organizer of the Remembrance Project for Cantor Israel














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