Nashirah Presents Inspired Classic and New Masterpieces of Jewish Repretoire

Join us for our 15th Anniversary Season Concert! Nashirah: The Jewish Chorale of Greater Philadelphia will present a program of classic and new Jewish melodies from around the world, exploring a wide variety of cultures and styles.

$18 General Admission / FREE for Students (bring your student ID)

Julia Zavadsky, Artistic Director
Soyeon Ki, Accompanist
Steven Hoffman, Conducting Apprentice

This concert is produced by Steven Hoffman.

For tickets go to the Eventbrite page. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

Grahame Lesh: Growing Up Grateful Dead

Join Grahame Lesh, son of Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh, for an acoustic performance filled with stories of growing up around the Grateful Dead and about how music promoter Bill Graham impacted his life.

The National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) is co-hosting this event with the Ardmore Music Hall, where Grahame Lesh will perform in the evening. The purpose of this event is to highlight NMAJH’s current exhibition, “Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution.” After escaping Nazi Germany as a child, Graham immigrated to the United States and grew up to become one of the most influential concert promoters in history, playing a pivotal role in the careers of iconic artists, including the Grateful Dead.

Tickets are $10 each, but are free for NMAJH and Ardmore Music Hall members. Tickets also include access to the “Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution” exhibition.

Grahame Lesh’s appearance at the museum is a sneak preview; he will be performing again at 8 p.m. that evening at the Ardmore Music Hall with the John Kadlecik Band and Midnight North. Click here for information and concert tickets.

Jewish Heritage Festival

Congregation Hesed Shel Emet in Pottstown, PA presents its 2nd Annual Jewish Heritage Festival – Sunday, May 22, 2016 from 11 am – 5 pm.  The Festival features kosher favorites such as brisket, corned beef, hot dogs, knishes etc.  We also offer dairy favorites such as kugel, lox and bagels, and blintzes.

Admission and parking are free. Enjoy entertainment for kids by Music Monkey Jungle, and for all ages – back by popular demand – Klezmer with Class.  Rabbi Ira Flax will offer Torah Talks and Jack Wolf will present a history of the Jewish Community of Pottstown.

Vendors and crafters will also be on site, as well as a robust basket raffle, and lots of goodies to take home from our bake sale.

 

Leonard Bernstein Concert Draws Large Audience in Elkins Park

From left to right, some of the cantors who organized the concert: Cantor Joshua Gordon, Cantor Amy Levy, cantorial soloist Rebecca Schwartz, Hazzan Jeffrey Weber, Hazzan David Tilman, Cantor Elena Zarkh

From left to right, some of the cantors who organized the concert: Cantor Joshua Gordon, Cantor Amy Levy, cantorial soloist Rebecca Schwartz, Hazzan Jeffrey Weber, Hazzan David Tilman, Cantor Elena Zarkh

The coming 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth was the occasion for a concert of his music at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel. The concert was produced by the Kehillah of Old York Road and cosponsored by the Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

Under the direction of Hazzan David Tilman, cantors, other soloists and a chorus of forty voices delivered Bernstein music from his show “West Side Story,” from his operetta “Candide,” and from his more serious symphonic work “Mass.” The concert concluded with a full performance of the three movements of “Chichester Psalms.” Solo performers included Hazzan Jeffrey Weber, Elizabeth Weigel, Rebecca Schwartz, and in the performance of “Chichester Psalms,” boy soprano Owen Yoder, who brought the audience to its feet with applause.

The Kehillah of Old York Road is comprised of Congregations Adath Jeshurun, Beth Am, Beth Sholom, Keneseth Israel and Kol Ami, all located in Elkins Park. The event marked twelve years of joint activity by the Kehillah and attracted about eight hundred guests.

A Musical Legacy: Nelly Berman, 1938-2015

Nelly Berman

Nelly Berman

Nelly Berman, the Russian-Jewish pianist from Odessa, Soviet Union, who created a premier classical music school in Haverford on the Main Line, which has trained some of Philadelphia’s top young musicians and provided scholarships for their serious studies, died Monday night. She was 77 years old.

During the 35 years her school existed she touched the lives of many generations of young people through music, inspired them to reach beyond and above their comfort level and to seek beauty, depth of emotions and perfection in music performance.

Despite suffering a stroke in 2011, she continued teaching and molding young talented students, passing to them her immeasurable technical performance skills and profound love of classical music. Four days before her death, she applauded her students at a concert at the Nelly Berman School of Music and taught her last student the day before her death following serious heart surgery. She said to her daughter “If I get better after this surgery, I am planning to start teaching more talented children who are serious about music.” As she was driving to the hospital for the surgery, she was discussing the pieces her students will learn during the interim of her recuperation.

The story of her emigration from the former Soviet Union and subsequent integration into the American society reads almost like a fairy tale. Being an immigrant, her life was full of hardship. It was extraordinary that she was able to overcome the staggering pitfalls in her path, as well as to become a trailblazer for many who came to her for help. She became a great mentor, friend and supporter to the students and the teachers at the school. Their lives were forever enriched by this talented, intuitive, fiery, optimistic, generous, and inspiring woman.

The values she had sought in all of the Nelly Berman School students were great beauty of sound, tenderness, passion, and in her ability to touch all hearts through music. She sought and persevered with all of her being to realize her vision for the creation of a non profit corporation, the NBS Classical Music Institute, which awards talented students scholarships to realize their potential in music performance.

Nelly teaches her two-year -old daughter Elena.

Nelly teaches her two-year -old daughter Elena.

Nelly Berman has been a passionately devoted mother, wife and a friend. She is survived by her husband, David Lefkovitz, children, her daughter Elena Berman-Gantard, and her son Dmitry Berman. She is beloved and mourned by her grandchildren Emma, Armand and Jacob, her niece Faina Lushtak, her cousins Emma and Mara and their spouses, her Russian childhood friends Rachel, Bella, Vladik, Luda, Mila, and her American friends Andrea, Elaine and Marina, and many more dear relatives, friends, students and colleagues. The family thanks all their friends and relatives for their support and love.

Alumna Anna Claire Lynn-Palevsky, shared the sentiments of many of her fellow students:

I can’t imagine my life without the Nelly Berman School of Music, and I can’t imagine a world without Nelly in it. She had the most incredible gift for turning children into musicians through her passion for teaching, the joy she found and shared in music, and most of all, her constant faith in every single student who walked through her doors. The things I learned in her music school have shaped every aspect of my life. Thank you for all the love and trust you always showed me, Nelly. It’s one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given.

Her funeral will take place at Goldsteins, Rosenberg, Raphael Sacks, 6410 N. Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19126 on Friday, September 4 at 10:30 AM. Family viewing at 9:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Nelly’s foundation, her legacy to past and future generations of young musicians. For more information please contact Nelly’s daughter, Elena.

Philadelphia’s Contemporary Israeli Music Choir

— by Odaya Szulanski

From its inception in 1995, the composition and repertoire of the Philadelphia-based Chavurat Hazemer, “the singing group,” represented the ethnic mosaic of the Israeli society.

The Chavurah performs in different events of the local Israeli community and of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. Their musical appearances emphasize the bond between the Jewish people and their land, and the Jewish cultural heritage, history and traditions throughout the ages.

More after the jump.
The Chavura was started by a group of amateur Israeli singers, most of whom with past experiences in choirs, under the musical directorship of Curtis Institute of Music graduate Boaz Ben Moshe. It was sponsored primarily by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign affairs. The sponsorship of the Israeli ministry helped defray expenses, which were otherwise covered by the singing members of the Chavurah.

Following the departure of Ben Moshe and singer Rina Ben Yehoshua, Julia Zavadsky, a graduate of the Rubin Academy of Music in Israel and the Temple School of Music in Philadelphia, was appointed as musical director. She had recruited a professional piano accompanist and Rubin graduate, Michal Hefer, to rehearse weekly with the Chavurah.

Currently, the Chavurah counts with twenty members, three of whom soloists. The current musical director is Valerie Lomazov, and the professional piano accompanist is Rita Lomazov.

The Chavurah meets once a week for rehearsals. To join the choir or to engage them for an occasion, call Dalia Daskal at (267)882-7326 or Odaya Szulanski at (610)348-8495.  

The Les Misérables Special You Will Only See On Passover!

The Maccabeats sing the story of Passover in a perfectly adapted medley based on Les Miserables.

“Look down, look down. You’ll always be a slave…” Wait for the grand finale as they continue with “Do you hear the people sing? Say do you hear the distant drums, It is future that they bring when tomorrow comes.” The Maccabeats are unbeatabe on their new album – One Day More. Just sit back and enjoy!

Three Philadelphians Star in “Megillas Lester” Musical Comedy DVD

Akiba Hebrew Academy graduates Michael Bihovsky, Adam Levinthal and Andrew Davies star in the newly-released, full-length musical animated comedy DVD Megillas Lester, presented by EMES Productions, produced by Kolrom Animation Studios, and distributed by ArtScroll.

Bihovsky, who directed and starred in One Grain More and Fresh! now voices Doniel “Lester” Lesterovitch, an average boy in a Jewish elementary school. While directing his school’s Purim play, Lester gets a knock on the head from a fallen box of puffy paint and falls unconscious. Suddenly, Lester finds himself in the middle of the feast of King Achashverosh, and through a case of mistaken identity, it is Lester who is asked to go summon Queen Vashti to the party.

More after the jump.

Vashti decides to go, which prevents the story of Megillas Esther: Vashti is not killed, a search for a new queen is not required, and thus Esther never comes to the palace. That leaves nobody to save the Jews from the plot of Haman (voiced by Levinthal). Amid a sub-plot involving Bigsan (voiced by Davies) and Seresh’s murder schemes, Lester runs all over Shushan, trying to stay out of Haman’s way and set the Purim story back on track.


The Actors

Get to know the real live actors that are the voices of Lester, Bigsan, Achashverosh, Haman and more!

America the Beautiful – אמריקה היפהפייה

אמריקה היפהפייה

יפֵהפִיָה ללא גבולות
וּזְהב דגן גלִי
הרים סגוּלים
סְפוּגים בְּהוֹד
מישור עמוּס בִּפְרי
אמריקה אַת אֶרץ
שהאל בּרֵךְ בלי סוף
וּבְרית אחים נאמנה
תִשְׂרוֹר מחוף אל חוף


Responses from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert follow the jump.

“Israeli Rock Godfather” Arik Einstein Dies at 74


“You Can’t (Leave Me)” by Arik Einstein’s band, the “High Windows.”

— by Amir Shoam

The iconic Israeli folk singer and comedian Arik Einstein passed away suddenly at the age of 74.

Einstein introduced entire genres, including rock, to Israeli music. Imagining Israeli music without him is like imagining the NBA without Michael Jordan. He will be missed.

More praise for this Israel entertainment legend and videos of his music and comedy follow the jump.

Parody of Israeli immigration

Shawn Evenhaim, Chairman of the Israeli-American Council commented,

We are sad to hear about Arik Einstein’s death and send our condolences to his family, friends, fans, and to all Israelis. Einstein is an Israeli cultural legend and probably the greatest Israeli singer of all time, and we’re sure that every Israeli who lives in the U.S. today shares in the sadness of his passing. A major icon of Israeli culture has left us, but his memory and songs will stay with us forever.

International Bible Quiz parody

Song on Soviet invasion of Prague