Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach was born in 1925 in Berlin to a highly esteemed dynasty of Rabbis.
His family wandered to Austria, and from there to Lithuania, where he learned with some of the greatest scholars of his generation. From there moved to New York, where he learned with Rabbi Aharon Kotler, from which he received his Semicha.
Carlebach looked to reach out to those that were far away from any connection to Judaism, especially during the 60s and 70s with the hippy culture estranging Jewish youngsters at campuses from everything that resembled tradition and conservatism. He started his career as an emissary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe but went beyond the boundaries of the strict interpretation of Halacha and was therefore “banned” from the Chabad movement. He showed the ‘hippy generation’ that many of their ideals were to be found in Jewish sources.
A group of followers centered around him both in the US and in Israel. Later his focus and influence moved beyond the hippy circles and he became involved deeply in the fight for Soviet Jewry. His influence on the general public was felt mostly in the special prayer style, involving music as much as possible.
Rabbi Carlebach passed away in 1994 on a flight to Canada and was buried on Har Hamenuchot in Jerusalem. Having given all his property to charity he died pennyless. After his death his fame and influence become even greater and there are today many hundreds of Carlebach-style synagogues, besides the fact that almost all synagogues from different denominations and Nusach use tunes of Carlebach in their prayers. On his Matzeva it says: “Mamash a gevalt, the sweetest of the sweet“