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Emma Lazaroff Schaver

Opera singer Emma Lazaroff Schaver was profoundly affected by giving concerts to Holocaust survivors in displaced persons camps, an experience that shaped the rest of her life. Born in Russia, Schaver was raised in Detroit, where she studied at the Detroit Conservatory of Music and made her debut at sixteen at the Detroit Opera House before training at the Juilliard School in New York. She became a soprano soloist, performing with a number of companies including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and touring from Canada to South America with her husband, Morris Schaver, whom she had married in 1924. Schaver joined the first cultural mission to Europe after WWII and saw the impact of singing Hebrew and Yiddish songs to Jewish survivors. She and her husband helped found the Harry S. Truman Institute of Peace at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and endowed a chair for Yiddish studies at Bar Ilan University while also funding Jewish libraries in Michigan and a music building at Wayne State University. Among the many honors she received for her philanthropy, she was given the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanities Award from the State of Israel Bonds.

Emma Lazaroff Schaver
Full image
Photo of Emma Lazaroff Schaver courtesy of the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan.
Date of Birth
March 15, 1905
Place of Birth
Date of Death
February 4, 2003

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Emma Lazaroff Schaver." (Viewed on December 19, 2018) <>.


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