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.


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.

  • 1
    I know that I expressed this yesterday in reply to your comment on the song, but thank you, so much! I really appreciate the fact that you took the time to look into this. Thank you so, so much!
    – Eli Green
    Mar 16 '16 at 18:02

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