Yaakov ("Yanky") Lemmer (born November 6, 1983) is an American Chazzan (Jewish cantor) and performing artist. Lemmer performs traditional Hebrew liturgy, Yiddish folk, opera, Broadway, Israeli, and Hasidic music.
Yaakov ("Yanky") Lemmer
|Birth name||Yaakov Lemmer|
|Also known as||"Yanky" or "Yanky Lemmer"|
|Born||November 6, 1983|
Brooklyn, New York
|Genres||Hebrew Liturgy, Yiddish folk, Opera, Broadway, Israeli, Hasidic|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, Head Cantor, Special Education Therapist|
|Labels||Nigun Distributors, International Music Company|
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Significant works
- 5 Discography
- 6 References
Early life and education
Yaakov Lemmer was born on November 6, 1983, in the predominantly Jewish neighborhood Borough Park, New York. The grandchild of Polish Jews, Lemmer grew up listening to Jewish music and radio which inspired him to become a cantor.
Lemmer first received formal cantorial training in 2005 at Young Israel Beth El of Borough Park, under cantor Benzion Miller. He later went on to train privately with cantor Noach Schall. Upon high school graduation, Lemmer received a scholarship to the Belz School of Jewish Music at Yeshiva University where he studied with cantors Joseph Malovany and Bernard Beer. Lemmer graduated with a dual bachelor's degree in liberal arts from Aspen University and a master's degree in special education from Touro College in 2013.
Lemmer has held the position of Chazzan at four synagogues since the start of his career. He currently holds the position of head Cantor at Lincoln Square Synagogue and formerly cantored at Young Israel in Fort Lee, New Jersey, Congregation Anshe Sholom of New Rochelle, New York, and Congregation Ahavath Torah of Englewood, New Jersey.
In February 2007, while participating as guest Cantor in a post-Tu Bishvat concert at Young Israel Beth El of Borough Park, Lemmer was recorded performing “Misratze B'rachmim.” This video was uploaded to YouTube. Soon after, Lemmer was invited to sing at the Jewish Culture Festival in Budapest, Hungary, where he sang with the Jerusalem Cantors' Choir as well as cantor Benzion Miller. Lemmer himself described YouTube as "the springboard" to his career.
Boston Jewish Music Festival
The Boston Jewish Music Festival holds concerts, lectures, and other educational events to promote Jewish culture. On March 12, 2011, the Boston Jewish Music Festival featured a concert, "Divine Sparks – Music to Ignite Your Soul: A Concert of Kavanah," in which Lemmer performed. Bill Marx, editor of The Arts Fuse, a Boston-based online art magazine, wrote:
"All of the judges found the concert ambitious and fascinating, a valuable step in expanding the creative and cultural boundaries of "Jewish music." The cantors were generally admired, with the recognition that they sang with great devotion, spiritual power, and a proud exuberance."
Lighting of the National Menorah
Every year in Washington D.C., the National Menorah is lit on the first night of Hanukkah. On December 20, 2011, Lemmer joined cantors Yaakov Motzen and Jeffrey Nadel to sing traditional Hanukkah songs with the United States Marine Band. Lemmer has since returned to Washington, D.C. in 2012, 2015, 2016, and 2017 to perform at the same event.
70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising
On April 19, 2013, the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Lemmer performed with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Zubin Metah) at the site of the old Warsaw Ghetto as part of a large event.
"Rainbow in the Night"
In December 2011, Lemmer debuted the song and accompanying music video, “Rainbow in the Night." The song and video, written by filmmaker Cecelia Margules, a daughter of Holocaust survivors, depict a Jewish family in Poland before World War II. Margules collaborated with producer and director Danny Finkelman on the film to raise awareness about the Holocaust. The portrayed Polish family end up in the Krakow Ghetto and finally in a concentration camp. Filmed on location in Krakow, Poland, and the Majdanek concentration camp, Margules described the film as the “first ever music video depicting the Holocaust.”
The New York Cantors PBS Special
On September 1, 2008, Lemmer performed sacred Jewish music with cantors Azi Scwartz and Netanel Herstik as part of a PBS special titled, "The New York Cantors: Music of Memory and Joy." The PBS special is often aired regionally and nationally.
- Ato Nigleiso
- Lo Tachmod
- Shema Yisroel
- Mein Zeiden's Chulem
- Misratze B'rachamim
- Av Harachamim
- Ma Godlu Ma'asecho
- Habeit Mishomayim
- Umipnei Chatoeinu
- Zol Shoyn Kumen Di Geulah
- Lemmer 1928 version
"Unity for Justice"
"Unity for Justice" is a single released by Aderet Music Corporation featuring over 40 singers including Lemmer. The single was created as a charity project to collect donations for a Jewish business owner.
"Rainbow in the Night" single
"It Is Shabbos"
Released September 19, 2014, Lemmer's second studio album, "It Is Shabbos," features 11 songs including:
- Mimkomcho by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach
- Rozo D'shabbos by Pierre Pinchik
- Yismach Moshe
- Gut Fun Avrohom / Zul Nokh Zayn Shabbos
- Kehilos Hakodesh
- Ad Heino
- Shabbos Koidesh by David Prager
- Yedid Nefesh by Samuel Malavsky
- Zemiros Medley by Oscar Julius
- ""מאמענט" - וועכענטליכע אידישע מאגאזין - בלאט 123 - אידישע וועלט פארומס". www.ivelt.com (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2018-05-14.
- "Yaakov Lemmer bio".
- "16_LiryDram". www.lirydram.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 2018-05-14.
- "Judicial Review # 6: "Divine Sparks" (Boston Jewish Music Festival Concert at Berklee): How Hot a Flame?". artsfuse.org. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
- "National Menorah Lit in Washington" (Blog). Gruntig!. 20 December 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- Israel Philharmonic plays Warsaw Ghetto Uprising tribute, Polskie Radio S.A, 18 April 2013, retrieved 6 December 2013
- Koncert kantorów na inauguracji festiwalu "Warszawa Singera", Polska Agencja Prasowa (PAP), 25 August 2013, retrieved 1 December 2013
- Mtom, Gasd (19 April 2013), Koncert w 70. rocznicę wybuchu powstania w getcie, Polska Agencja Prasowa (PAP), retrieved 1 December 2013
- Jspace Staff (31 January 2012), The First Ever Holocaust Music Video is Released (VIDEO), Jspace News, retrieved 30 November 2013
- Campbell, Kay (23 April 2012). "'Rainbow in the Night' Holocaust music video captures horror of World War II persecution". Living. Alabama Media Group. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- Cecelia Margules (Writer), Danny Finkelman (Producer/Director) (25 January 2012). "Rainbow in the Night" Official Music Video (Youtube). United States: Sparks Next. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- "Bkoil: By Various Cantors (Main)". Product Information. 718Getasong Corp. 19 February 2008. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
- "Yaakov Lemmer: Vimaleh Mshaloseinu: by Yaakov Lemmer (Main)". Product Information. 718Getasong Corp. 27 2008. Retrieved 7 December 2013. Check date values in:
- "Unity For Justice: by Avraham Fried (Singer), Mordechai Ben David or MBD (Singer), Lipa Schmeltzer (Singer), Yaakov Shwekey (Singer), Benny Friedman (Singer), Mendy Werdyger (Singer), Yisroel Werdyger (Singer), Shloime Taussig (Singer), Berry Weber (Singer), Dovid Gabay (Singer), Aaron Razel (Singer), Ohad Moskowitz (Singer), Shloime Gertner (Singer), Shloime Dachs (Singer)". Product Information. 718Getasong Corp. 6 October 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
- "Rainbow in the Night: By Danny Finkelman (Producer, Main), Yaakov Lemmer (Singer)". Product Information. 718Getasong Corp. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2013.