Israel Rabinovitch was born in Biten, Poland and educated in traditional religious schools.
He began playing tambourine and violin in a Klezmer band at the age of 13. His involvement
in music also led Rabinovitch to his start in writing, composing poetic lyrics for his band.
Rabinovitch immigrated to Montreal in 1911 and for the next seven years worked in a clothing
factory while continuing the composition of music in Yiddish. Rabinovitch began to contribute
articles to the Keneder Odler and eventually was named editor of the Yiddish daily, a position
he held for over four decades. His tireless work for the newspaper included contributions of
commentary in a regular daily column, world news, arts and culture, pieces on music and also
Jewish education. Rabinovitch's deep involvement in the Montreal and Canadian Jewish community
is illustrated through his long-time involvement with the Keneder Odler, an institution that had
a profound impact on the development of the Montreal Jewish community and the intellectuals that
helped to define it.
In addition to his work for the Keneder Odler, Rabinovitch published two historically significant
works: The Jewish School Problem in Quebec (Montreal, 1926) and Muzik bay yidn (Montreal, 1940).
The latter work was translated into English,
Jewish Music: Ancient and Modern, by Governor General
Award winning poet A.M. Klein.
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