About Sidor Belarsky's Daughter, Isabel
Isabel Belarsky was born June 26, 1920, in Leningrad Russia. She came to the United States as a young girl in 1930. In June 1975, when her father Sidor died, and was still remembered by a vast audience, Isabel decided to dedicate what was to be the next three decades of her life to popularizing his life and his art.
There is a new book at Barnes & Noble called, "Ellis Island Interviews" (Immigrants Tell their stories in their own words) by Peter Morton Coan. In this book, Mr. Coan has written about Isabel's arrival in America. At the present time, Peter Coan is writing a Children's Book which will come out shortly with illustrations called, "The Isabel Belarsky Story: Journey to America" with family photos and artifacts. Isabel appeared on the History Channel documentary of Ellis Island and made ten to twelve documentaries about Ellis Island. Isabel Belarsky is presently engaged in collecting memorabilia and archives about the life of her father, Sidor.
The performance of Yiddish and Hebrew songs has evolved in interesting ways over the decades. Some innovators have infused the songs with jazz, for example, or have leaned toward the latest in popular tone, rhythm and phrasing. Perhaps in these artistic expressions there has been an attempt to reach a broader public who may respond more readily to the familiar modern sounds.
Yet to hear the intense power and beauty of the songs it is important to know how they were originally performed, since it is this music that expresses the soul of the Jewish people. My father, Sidor Belarsky, among the greatest singers of his time, was able to offer the gift of such expression. I hope to preserve the purity of this music, so that we do not lose a feeling for the vibrant culture that gave rise to it.
For that purpose, since my father's death in 1975, I have been dedicated to keeping his name and music alive. I have made his recordings easily available and have given tributes to him with concerts devoted to the songs he performed for enthusiastic audiences worldwide. Support for these concerts came from the Israel Histadrut Foundation, the Israel American Foundation, The Workmen's Circle, the Lucy Moses School at Merkin Hall, the Sholem Alechem Institute at Queens College and a tribute by the United Nations. I also have set up a Sidor Belarsky Scholarship at the Abe Goodman, Lucy Moses School.
Sidor Belarsky (1898-1975) In Memorial Of 30 Years Since Sidor's Passing