Max Fuchs, G.I. Cantor in Historic Battlefield Service, Is Dead at 96

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The American Jewish Committee had made the service possible, locating Sidney Lefkowitz, an Army corps chaplain, to preside. The division had no cantor at the time, so Private Fuchs volunteered to fill the role.

“Since I was the only one who could do it, I tried my best,” he told The Times.

Charlotte Bonelli, the chief archivist for the committee, while researching the history of its radio division, found the recording of the service at the Library of Congress and commissioned a short documentary on it. It was presented at the American Jewish Committee’s annual meeting in 2005. She posted a film of the service on YouTube.

Mr. Fuchs had never given his name to the NBC correspondent. But another of his daughters, Hana, arranged for him to be cited online. Over the years, the recording has been seen and heard by tens of thousands.

In December 2007, Mr. Fuchs sang as part of the rededication of the 19th-century Eldridge Street Synagogue on the Lower East Side, which had fallen into disrepair and was renovated as a museum, an event space and a functioning synagogue once more. His wife, Naomi Fuchs, who attended the rededication with him, had worshiped there with her family as a child, when she was known as Naomi Groob.

In April 2018, Mr. Fuchs was interviewed for the PBS documentary “GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II,” which was presented in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Mr. Fuchs worked in the diamond district into his 90s, occasioning The New Yorker to interview him in 2014.

“You can take a diamond that’s, let’s say, a broken diamond, and you bring it back into shape. … It’s a masterpiece — like Picasso,” he said.

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