ACC Announces the Dr. Jack Gottlieb Memorial Concert Fund and Choral Series

The estate of Dr. Jack Gottlieb (z”l) through the Theophilous Foundation has bestowed a gift of $270,000 to fund both a Dr. Jack Gottlieb Memorial Concert Fund and a Dr. Jack Gottlieb Memorial Choral Series, according to American Conference of Cantors (ACC) President Steven Weiss.

The purpose of this fund is to endow a regular concert to be performed at the Conventions of the ACC in honor of Dr. Jack Gottlieb’s years of dedication to the American Cantorate and as a living testament to his love of Jewish music. This Memorial Concert Fund will allow members of the ACC to learn and sing Gottlieb’s original and collected music and to expose this music to the larger Reform Jewish community.

The inaugural concert is being held on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at Congregation Ner Tamid, Henderson, Nevada. Dr. Gottlieb’s piece “Roll Call” (from the 1976 musical Sharing the Prophets) will be performed as part of the performance.

The fund will also endow the publication of an annual subscription of Jewish choral music through Transcontinental Music Publications (TMP), which will be named for Dr. Gottlieb. TMP, which has been publishing Jewish music since 1938, was acquired by the ACC in July 2015. Its industry-leading sheet music and songbooks include music for worship, informal settings, and concert performance by renowned Jewish composers. Long known for its choral publications, the establishment of the Dr. Jack Gottlieb Memorial Choral Series will ensure the continued publication of Jewish sacred music for generations to come.

Composer, teacher and author Jack Gottlieb, who died at age 80 in 2011, was an internationally renowned expert on the Jewish roots of American music. A past president of the American Society for Jewish Music and the first full-time director of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, he was perhaps most famous for his longstanding working relationship with the composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. In addition to his memoir about working with Bernstein, Gottlieb’s 2004 magnum opus Funny, it Doesn’t Sound Jewish, remains a groundbreaking work in the field of 20th century American music history.

Gottlieb’s considerable catalogue of compositions include a strong emphasis on music for the synagogue in many genres, including Hebrew psalm settings, cabaret, song cycles, secular art songs to English and Hebrew texts, choral works, music for piano and symphony orchestra, operas and chamber works.

Through his relationship with the composer Max Helfman, he was inspired to write Jewish music that is sung in synagogues around the world. His other influences include Aaron Copland and of course, Leonard Bernstein. Dr. Gottlieb was an honorary member of the ACC and was a charter member of its affiliate, the Guild of Temple Musicians.