For my latest lesson video on Jewish Music Toronto, I did the song Shoshanat Ya'akov. I'm really happy with how the video came out, especially because I got to reference the Mi Yodeya community a couple of times (I even took the time to plug the community (2:48)).

However, I published the video still not knowing who composed the particular melody that I covered. I'm still gathering resources, but my current (and usually extremely helpful) go-tos - Zemereshet, HebrewSongs, and Zemirot Database to name a few - were only helpful for finding the composers of other versions.

I felt like I got close with some of the information I found (which I included in the video), but without it being definitive, it doesn't feel complete. Does anybody here in the community know, or know where I find a resource that would tell me, who composed this tune for Shoshanat Ya'akov?

Here's the video, for reference.


2 Answers 2


The following is lightly adapted from an email I received from Cantor Sherwood Goffin:

In 1950, Mr. Harry Coopersmith published his “Magnum Opus” – Songs We Sing – I believe in collaboration with the Bd. Of Jewish Educ. Of NY (I have to look at the title page). In it he has this Shoshanat Yaakov. He credits himself with using various “folk song sources” for the melody ("Adapted from Folk Tunes by H. Coopersmith.") As far as I know, that is the origin of this tune. He obviously arranged it much earlier in his career as a renowned music educator, but it appeared here first.

That book became the “Bible” of Jewish Music for Hebrew Schools and Days Schools of its time. I have many of his books, publications, children’s choral works, etc. He also published More Songs We Sing, a smaller version of the first, and here again adds this Shoshanat Yaakov – this time credited “Folk Sources” without saying that he compiled it.


My recollection, based on conversations, is that it is attributed to one of the chazanim in Sanz, Reb Abish Meir Bransdorfer. I don't know when the tune would have been composed, but Reb Abish Meir was made a chazan by the Sanzer Rov, Rav Chaim Halberstam (d. 1876). I do not have a source for this attribution, except for the likelihood that certain chasidic groups are not likely to sing tunes unless they've been "accepted", and this tune is common among such groups.-

Correction: A conversation with a friend reminded of the correct attribution. The tune was composed by R' Ezriel (or Azriel) Mandelbaum, a Bobover chasid who was killed during WWII. He also composed a tune commonly used for Kol Mekadesh and Lecha Dodi, as well as a tune I've seen used for Mizmor L'David and as a wedding march.

It is quite possible that Mr. Harry Coopersmith's 1950 album (mentioned in this answer) was indeed the first time the tune was published.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .