Akiva Ostrovsky

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Akiva Ostrovsky (born 1914 in Jerusalem, Palestine - died 2006 in Silver Spring, Maryland) was a cantor and mohel at Temple Beth-El in Birmingham for 36 years.

Ostrovsky was the son of Rav Mordechai and Rachel Ostrovsky. He studied liturgical singing under Zalman Rivlin, Vitorio Weinberg and Leo Low, as well as his own Cantor, Zawel Kwartin. He was the first cantor for Young Israel in Jerusalem, appointed by Chief Rabbi Avraham Isaac Kook.

Ostrovsky emigrated to the United States in the 1940s and served congregations in Lima and Toledo, Ohio before moving to Birmingham. His mastery of the requirements of Jewish law made him invaluable as a mohel (circumcisor) as well as a teacher and leader. He headed the men's Chevrah Kadisha and his home served as a center for the traditions of welcoming guests and visiting the sick.

After retiring from daily service, Ostrovsky was made an "Honorary Life Cantor" at Temple Beth-El. He moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he continued to serve as cantor and mohel for the orthodox Congregation Beth Jacob. He retired again in 1999 and moved to Maryland to be closer to family. He passed away in 2006.


  • Chernin, Renee (August 13, 2008) "A Full Circle" Shabbat Shalom