Cantor Jacob Mendelson
Cantor Jacob (Jackie) Mendelson is the subject of the documentary film A Cantor’s Tale, directed by Erik Greenberg Anjou, currently playing in film festivals throughout the world. In reviewing the film, The New York Times called him, “a voice that heralds a culture…a documentary filmmaker’s dream.” Cantor Mendelson is also featured in the films: 100 Voices, Journey of Spirit, on the life of Debbie Friedman, Deli Man, directed by Erik Anjou, and Theodore Bikel in the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem.
Growing up in Brooklyn, he witnessed the dwindling days of the Golden Age of Hazzanut. Now, as both an international performer and one of the leading Cantorial masters of today, he is passing on his art to a new generation. For over 30 years he has taught at the Debby Friedman School of Sacred Music of Hebrew Union College, and the H.L. Miller Cantorial School at the Jewish Theological Seminary; both schools have awarded him honorary doctorates. Having retired from the full-time pulpit at Temple Israel Center of White Plains, NY in 2014, Jack teaches at both cantorial schools, concertizes, and often appears as scholar in residence. He is performing The Cantor’s Couch – a one-man show written by Mark Bieler, with original music by Jonathan Comisar, and directed by Tony award nominee Eleanor Reissa. The show has played successfully in cities across the USA, including Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Houston, Minneapolis, Louisville, Westport Detroit, and more. He returned with the show to Los Angeles and Portland Oregon in early 2019. Future perfomances include Sharon Mass, St Louis, Dallas, and Santa Barbara. The sequel to the film A Cantor’s Tale, “The Cantors Head” directed by Erik Anjou has been finished, and is about to play the film festival circuit.