Notes from the Archives: Sound Recordings & Jewish Collections

by Nancy Noble, MHS archivist/cataloger

You may be surprised to know that in addition to all the other materials we collect, we have sound recordings! Thirteen are catalogued so far – check our Minerva catalog under “Dewey Call Number” for “Sound recordings.” You’ll find great stuff from B-Z: “Bert and I” to the “Zimel Brothers.”

Shaarey Tphiloh ark, Portland, ca. 1949

Who are the Zimel Brothers?? you may be asking. Sol and Paul Zimel were the sons of Cantor Samuel Zimelman of Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh, in Portland. One of our sound recordings by the Zimel/Zimelman family is titled: “From generation to generation: Cantor Samuel Zimelman, a family rejoices” and it includes the following sons of Cantor Zimelman: Mr. Milton Zimelman (New York, NY), Mr. Ralph Zimelman (Syracuse, NY), Rabbi Sidney Zimelman (Schenectady, NY), Cantor Sol Zimel (Queens, NY), and Cantor Paul Zimel (New York, NY).

Another recording by Sol and Paul Zimel is “The Zimel Brothers sing Chassidic melodies: modzitzer and other nigunim.” This must be a later recording as Samuel Zimelman’s name is now shorted to “Zimel,” like his sons.

In fact, you can see the progression from Zimelman to Zimel to Zim, in a recent addition to Maine Memory Network of a 2004 poster, which advertises a performance by Paul Zim, “The Jewish Music Man,” and his Simcha Klezar Band (contributed by Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh).

These sound recordings are part of our Maine Jewish History Collection.

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