Samuel E. Goldfarb papers, 1912-1981  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Goldfarb, Samuel E. (Samuel Eliezer), 1891-1978
Title
Samuel E. Goldfarb papers
Dates
1912-1981 (inclusive)
Quantity
3.76 cubic feet (9 boxes, 2 sound cassettes, 10 phonodiscs)
Collection Number
2784
Summary
Papers and oral history of a composer and music director of Temple de Hirsch, Seattle, Washington
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

The papers are open to all users.

Additional Reference Guides

The photographs that form part of this collection are described and indexed in A Guide to the Washington State Jewish Archives Photographs Collection, available in the Special Collections division of the University of Washington Libraries.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Samuel E. Goldfarb was often called "the father of Jewish music in America." He was born in 1891 on the Lower East Side of New York City to a musical family. He sang as a choirboy in the synagogues and learned to read music from his older brother, Israel. Samuel Goldfarb studied music at Columbia University while he supported himself by playing piano in a nickelodeon and for a Yiddish vaudeville theater. After attending Columbia, Goldfarb did some composing, arranging, accompanying, and choir conducting. He spent a year in Reno, Nevada, from 1923 to 1924, where he played theater piano and organ and also played for parties and dances. While in Reno, he was appointed acting cantor at Temple Emanu-El, where he organized a choir. Goldfarb returned to New York in 1925 and decided to devote himself to Jewish music. He was appointed head of the music department of the Bureau of Jewish Education.

Goldfarb was a prolific composer of songs and other music. Together with his brother, Rabbi Israel Goldfarb, he composed hundreds of songs which are sung in Jewish schools. In 1925 the two brothers compiled the first American collection of Jewish songs, The Jewish Songster. This collection, in two volumes, was used in schools throughout the country and included some of Goldfarb's songs. The brothers also compiled Friday Evening Melodies. Among Samuel Goldfarb's compositions are biblical operettas, the best known being "The Jews in Egypt" (1926), Bible songs, festival songs, and choral music. His most famous song is "The Dreidel," which is sung during Chanukah by children throughout the world.

In 1930 Samuel Goldfarb visited Seattle to attend a wedding and accepted the post of music director of Temple de Hirsch. Goldfarb built an impressive music program at Temple de Hirsch. Over the years he established three children's choirs and trained generations of children in music. In addition to the children's choirs, he directed the adult choirs, the graduate school glee club, the Sisterhood Chorus, the Professional High Holy Days Choir, and the Temple Quartet. Goldfarb also served as organist and conducted from the organ. Besides directing his choirs, he coached singers and taught Hebrew School classes. At times more than 1,200 adults and children were under his tutelage.

Outside of the temple, "Mr. G," as he was affectionately known, directed the Halevy Singers and the Sephardic Men's Choir. He also arranged music for Susan and Maurice Friedman's "Cavalcade of Jewish Music" and coached Maurice Friedman.

While at Temple de Hirsch, Goldfarb continued to compose and arrange music for use by his choirs. He also composed some secular music, such as "I See an America," a musical setting of a speech by Adlai Stevenson. This widely hailed work was performed in a choral arrangement by the Seattle Chorale in 1965.

At his 25th anniversary celebration at Temple de Hirsch in 1956, Goldfarb and his wife were presented with a trip to Europe and Israel. The Goldfarbs returned from Europe aboard the Andrea Doria and were rescued at sea after their ship collided with a Swedish vessel. In 1968 Goldfarb retired as music director at Temple de Hirsch. He died in Seattle in 1978.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The papers document the life and work of Samuel E. Goldfarb. Accession No. 2784-001 contains an oral history interview from 1978 in which Goldfarb discusses his life and work, and also a small collection of letters, clippings, and ephemera. Accession No. 2784-003 is comprised largely of Goldfarb's compositions of sacred and secular vocal and instrumental music, and of songbooks composed or compiled by Goldfarb. This grouping of material also includes biographical information, correspondence, sound recordings, and other materials.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The creator's literary rights have been transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Preferred Citation

Samuel E. Goldfarb Papers. Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries, Seattle, Washington.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Accession No. 2784-001: Samuel E.Goldfarb papers, 1923-1978Return to Top

.04 cubic feet (2 sound cassettes)

Scope and Content: This group of material includes an oral history interview recorded on two audiocassettes, along with a transcript of the interview, letters, clippings, and ephemera, 1923-1978. The interview was conducted by Joseph Cohen and Meta Buttnick Kaplan on February 1, 1978.

Samuel Goldfarb describes his childhood in the Lower East Side of New York City. His family's lifestyle was strictly traditional. Goldfarb knew George Gershwin and Irving Berlin in Tin Pan Alley, where he played to demonstrate songs. Goldfarb also played for the Yiddish theater. He had a Jewish education and graduated from Columbia University. In 1930 he and his wife came to Seattle from Los Angeles to attend a wedding. In Seattle, Dr. Samuel Koch, rabbi of Temple de Hirsch, asked Goldfarb to serve as the temple's musical director. Goldfarb remained in the position until he retired in 1968.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Digital Content/Other Formats:Listen to the audio recording and view the transcript of this interview on the Libraries Digital Collections site.

Accession No. 2784-003: Samuel E. Goldfarb papers, 1912-1981Return to Top

3.72 cubic feet (9 boxes) plus 10 phonodiscs
Arrangement: These papers have been arranged into five series:
  • Biographical information
  • Correspondence
  • Music
  • Other papers
  • Subject series

Scope and Content: The bulk of these papers consists of music composed or arranged by Samuel Goldfarb and includes vocal music for religious holidays, secular vocal music, dramatic vocal works, and sacred and secular instrumental music. The music series also includes songbooks composed or arranged by Samuel Goldfarb, both individually and with his brother, Israel Goldfarb. The sound recordings feature music sung by the children's choir at Temple de Hirsch and music written or played by Goldfarb. Also included are speeches, writings, clippings, biographical information, correspondence, dramatic works, and ephemera.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder Accession
1/1 2784-003
Biographical information
1950-1981
Correspondence
Incoming letters
Box/Folder Accession
1/2 2784-003
A-F
1917-1978
1/3 2784-003
Goldfarb, Israel
1934-1963
1/4 2784-003
J-W
1923-1974, undated
Box/Folder Accession
1/5 2784-003
Outgoing letters
1942-1972, undated
1/6 2784-003
General correspondence regarding Samuel Goldfarb
1956
Music
Vocal music
Sacred vocal music
Box/Folder Accession
1/7-8 2784-003
Sabbath
1936-1974, undated
1/9-10 2784-003
High Holy Days
1932-1970, undated
1/11 2784-003
Sukkos
1927-1964, undated
1/12 2784-003
Chanuka
1927-1968, undated
1/13 2784-003
Purim
1954-1967, undated
1/14 2784-003
Pesach
1919-1964, undated
1/15 2784-003
Shovuoth
1964, undated
2/1-2/2 2784-003
Holidays (general)
1934-1971, undated
2/3 2784-003
Bar mitzvah
undated
2/4-6 2784-003
Various occasions
1925-1972, undated
2/7 2784-003
"The Jewish Calendar in Song"
1935, 1967
box-folder:oversize
9/1 2784-003
Bible songs
1925-1926, undated
9/2 2784-003
Sunday school songs
undated
Box/Folder
2/8-3/1 2784-003
Partbooks - New York
1912-1930, undated
3/2-3 2784-003
Partbooks - Seattle
1931-1960, undated
Box/Folder Accession
3/4 2784-003
Secular vocal music
1927-1967, undated
3/5 2784-003
Yiddish vocal music
1925-1966, undated
Vocal music-dramatic works
Box/Folder Accession
4/1 2784-003
"The Crumb Conspiracy"
undated
4/2 2784-003
"Freedom"
1917-1919
4/3 2784-003
"The Golden Staff"
1923
4/3 2784-003
"I See an America"
General Notes: See also: Subject series
box-folder:oversize
9/3 2784-003
"Israel Thru the Ages"
1934
Box/Folder
4/4 2784-003
"The Jews in Egypt"
1926
4/5 2784-003
"The Living Hagaddah"
1967
4/6 2784-003
"The Maccabees"
1914-1919
4/7 2784-003
"Man's Search for Freedom"
1964
Box/Folder Accession
4/8 2784-003
Pedagogical material on vocal technique
undated
Vocal and instrumental music
Box/Folder Accession
4/9 2784-003
"Hark, My Beloved"
1958
Instrumental music
Sacred instrumental music
Box/Folder Accession
4/10 2784-003
Tisha B'Av
1928, undated
4/11 2784-003
Miscellaneous
1951-1965, undated
Secular instrumental music
Box/Folder Accession
4/12 2784-003
"Ballet Valse" Opus 1
undated
4/13 2784-003
Miscellaneous
1916-1934, undated
Box/Folder Accession
4/14 2784-003
Student compositions
1916
4/15 2784-003
Sketches
1970-1974, undated
Published music
Scope and Content: Songbooks composed or compiled by Samuel and Israel Goldfarb.
Samuel Goldfarb
Box/Folder Accession
4/16 2784-003
Avodat Israel Sabbath Eve Service
1953
4/16 2784-003
Beloved Jewish Songs
1965
4/16 2784-003
The Bible Story in Song
1926
4/16 2784-003
Jewish Songs, Part 1
1925
4/16 2784-003
Popular Jewish Melodies, Part 1
1927
4/16 2784-003
Popular Jewish Melodies, Part 2
1927
4/16 2784-003
Songs...for the Temple and Religion School
undated
Samuel and Israel Goldfarb
Box/Folder Accession
4/17 2784-003
Friday Evening Melodies
1957
4/17 2784-003
Jewish Community Songster
1934
4/17 2784-003
The Pocket Songster
1929
4/17 2784-003
Selected Jewish Songs for Members of the Armed Forces
1943
4/17 2784-003
Synagogue Melodies for the High Holy Days
1961
The Jewish Songster
Box/Folder Accession
5/1 2784-003
1st edition, song texts only
1918
5/1 2784-003
4th revised edition, part I
1925
5/1 2784-003
7th revised edition, part I, song texts only
1929
5/2 2784-003
7th revised edition, part II
Box/Folder Accession
5/3 2784-003
The New Jewish Song Book
1965
Israel Goldfarb
Box/Folder Accession
5/4 2784-003
Sabbath in the Home
1953
5/4 2784-003
Song and Praise for Sabbath Eve
Scope and Content: 3rd and 9th editions and supplement to the 3rd edition.
1925, 1943
5/5 2784-003
Avodath Yisro-el
1946
5/5 2784-003
Kabbalat Shabbat
1962
Sound recordings
Digital Content/Other Formats: CD-ROM copies are available for listening.
Box Accession
Disc Recordings Box 3 2784-003
Temple de Hirsch Children's Choir - "En Kelohai-Nu" and "An Only Kid"
1946
Disc Recordings Box 3 2784-003
Temple de Hirsch Children's Choir - "Hodu Ladanoi," "Chad Gadyo," and "Da-Yai-Nu"
1946
Disc Recordings Box 3 2784-003
Temple de Hirsch Children's Choir - "The Spring Tide of the Year," "God of Might," and "Kiddush"
1946
Disc Recordings Box 3 2784-003
"Mood Moderne," composed and played by Goldfarb
undated
Disc Recordings Box 3 2784-003
Piano solo played by Goldfarb
undated
Disc Recordings Box 3 2784-003
"I See an America," music by Goldfarb
undated
Disc Recordings Box 3 2784-003
Children's Choir - Sabbath songs and "Kedusha"
undated
Disc Recordings Box 3 2784-003
"Kol Nidrei" sung by Yossele (Joseph) Rosenblatt
undated
Disc Recordings Box 3 2784-003
Shofar service by Goldfarb
undated
Disc Recordings Box 3 2784-003
Evening service
undated
Other papers
Box/Folder Accession
6/1 2784-003
Libretto: "Joseph the Dreamer"
undated
Speeches and writings of Goldfarb
Box/Folder Accession
6/2-8 2784-003
Miscellaneous
1916-1970, undated
7/1 2784-003
Instruction curricula for Hebrew schools
1966, undated
Speeches and writings of others
Box/Folder Accession
7/2 2784-003
Bar Mitzvah speeches (Goldfarb, instructor)
1935-1970, undated
7/3 2784-003
Miscellaneous
1927-1969, undated
Box/Folder Accession
7/4 2784-003
Notes - program plans
1964-1973, undated
7/5 2784-003
Itineraries
1955-1962, undated
Membership lists
Box/Folder Accession
7/6 2784-003
Junior Choir
1961-1967
7/7 2784-003
Sisterhood Choral Group
undated
Box/Folder Accession
7/8 2784-003
Lists
1956-1956, undated
7/9 2784-003
Legal document
1949
7/10 2784-003
Programs
1928-1979
7/11 2784-003
Prayerbook- Prayers for the New Year
1937
7/12 2784-003
The Torch yearbook, Temple de Hirsch Religion School
1953
7/13 2784-003
Temple Tidings newsletters
1950-1968
7/14-7/15 2784-003
Clippings
1923-1978, undated
8/1 2784-003
Ephemera
1927-1979, undated
Subject series
Box/Folder Accession
8/2 2784-003
"Come Let Us Sing" (L'Chu N'Rah N'Nah) - proposed book
1970
8/3 2784-003
Halevy Singers
1931-1936, undated
8/4-8/5 2784-003
"I See an America"
1963-1971, undated
8/6 2784-003
20th anniversary with Temple de Hirsch
1950
8/7-8 2784-003
25th anniversary with Temple de Hirsch
1955
8/9 2784-003
35th anniversary with Temple de Hirsch
1965
8/10 2784-003
Retirement
1968
8/11 2784-003
80th birthday
1971
8/12 2784-003
Golden wedding anniversary of Earl H. and Billie Spero
1972

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Children's songs
  • Choral conductors--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Choral conductors--Washington (State)--Seattle--Interviews
  • Dramatic music
  • Instrumental music
  • Jewish American composers--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Jewish American composers--Washington (State)--Seattle--Interviews
  • Jews--United States--Music
  • Jews--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Jews--Washington (State)--Seattle--Interviews
  • Music teachers--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Music teachers--Washington (State)--Seattle--Interviews
  • Music--Instruction and study--Juvenile
  • Music--Instruction and study--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Sacred vocal music
  • Songs
  • Synagogue music
  • Vocal music
  • Personal Names :
  • Goldfarb, Israel, 1879-1967
  • Goldfarb, Samuel E. (Samuel Eliezer), 1891-1978--Archives
  • Goldfarb, Samuel E. (Samuel Eliezer), 1891-1978--Interviews
  • Corporate Names :
  • Temple de Hirsch (Seattle, Wash.)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • correspondence
  • ephemera
  • oral histories
  • Sheet music
  • Songbooks
  • Sound recordings
  • Speeches, addresses, etc
  • transcripts
  • writings
  • Other Creators :
    • Corporate Names :
    • Washington State Jewish Archives (University of Washington)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)
  • Other Creators :
    • Corporate Names :
    • Washington State Jewish Archives (University of Washington)