Cantor Yaakov Motzen is a native of Tel Aviv and the fifth generation of a family of Cantors. He attended the Kol Torah, Be’er Yaakov and Ponovezh yeshivot in Israel and studied music and vocal technique with the late Yosef Goland, the principal baritone in the Berlin opera in the late 1920’s. He also studied liturgy with the renowned Cantor Yitzchak Eshel, obm. Additionally, he served in the Israel Defense Forces.
Yaakov served as vice president of the Nachala organization from 1973-1978, which was dedicated to entertaining wounded soldiers. Cantor Motzen held the position of Chief Cantor in Givatayim, Haifa, and Ramat Gan, and sang on Kol Yisrael radio and television.
In 1978, Motzen went to Montreal to take the position of Cantor of Congregation Shomrim Laboker-Beth Yehuda-Shaarei Tefillah for nine years, and then became the Cantor of the Adath Israel Poalei Zedek Congregation for the next ten years until July, 1997. From 1997 to 2005 he served as the Cantor of Shaarei Shomayim Congregation in Toronto, Canada. In November of 1987 and 1988, he joined several other outstanding cantors in a historical tour behind the Iron Curtain, organized by the American Society for the Advancement of Cantorial Arts and the Gila and Haim Wiener Foundation. Since 2005, Yaakov has been the Chazzan at The Shul of Bal Harbour, Florida. Yaakov Motzen has performed in concert in many parts of the world, and with his heartfelt davening and singing, as well as his engaging personality, has become a favorite of guests of Kosherica Cruises, TourPlus and Roga kosher vacations, and Royal Passover.
Yaakov is a father of six, and a proud saba to seventeen (ken yirbu) grandchildren. When not “on the road”, he and his wife Marsha reside in Englewood, NJ.