KlezFest: A Celebration of Klezmer at Or Hadash

Please join us for a lively celebration of Klezmer music, featuring world-renowned Klezmer musicians the Strauss/Warschauer Duo and longtime Philadelphia favorites the Ken Ulansey Klezmer Ensemble. Opening for these two great acts will be Or Hadash’s own New Klezmaniax! Our evening will begin at 7:30 pm with a short Havdallah service and will feature a wide variety of Klezmer favorites. For more than 25 years, Deborah Strauss and Cantor Jeff Warschauer have been at the forefront of the international klezmer and Yiddish music scene. They are renowned worldwide for their depth of experience and knowledge, and for their innovative performances and workshops.  Penn Council for the Arts winner Ken Ulansey leads a versatile Klezmer ensemble that flavors its broad Klezmer repertoire with lively world-music nuances. In addition to all this delightful music, we’ll be serving complimentary wine and hard cider, courtesy of Stone & Key Cellars; and yummy desserts will be available for purchase. Admission is $35. For tickets, please go to www.orhadash.com or the direct link, www.goo.gl/PBW4uK .  Tickets also will be available at the door. For information, contact Lori Rubin, [email protected] . Come get your Klez on!!!

Six Israeli Freedom Songs for Passover

Passover is a great time to listen to songs on the subjects of slavery and freedom. With all due respect to George Michael’s “Freedom” and Idina Menzel’s “Let It Go,” Israeli music is filled with beautiful songs on these subjects and should not be ignored.

If you do not understand Hebrew, fear not: This article includes six of the best Israeli freedom songs, translated into English as accurately as the differences between the two languages allow.

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Leonard Bernstein Exhibit Inspires at NMAJH

At the press preview for the “Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music” exhibit at NMAJH. From left to right: Ivy Weingram, Alexander Bernstein, Nina Bernstein, and CEO and Gwen Goodman Director of NMAJH Ivy Barsky. Photo credit: Bonnie Squires

Maybe you thought you knew a lot about Leonard Bernstein — or maybe just the Broadway show or film “West Side Story.”

But you will learn a lot more about the legendary Jewish-American composer’s history and accomplishments after a visit to “Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music,” the  latest exhibit at the National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH).

Ivy Weingram, is the curator — or more appropriately, conductor — of the impressive exhibit, which is in tribute to Bernstein’s hundredth anniversary. Worldwide, countless events have taken place, and will continue to occur throughout 2018, to celebrate the deceased music icon. Philadelphia has already had its fair share of events honoring Bernstein, including “Lenny’s Revolution,” a concert conducted by Bernstein’s protégée, David Charles Abell, and the Philly POPS orchestra.

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Lenny’s Revolution: A Centennial Bernstein Celebration With David Charles Abell

By now you must have seen all the ads announcing Lenny’s Revolution: A Centennial Bernstein Celebration, with David Charles Abell and The Philly POPS. Maestro Abell, the principal guest conductor of the 65-piece Philly POPS orchestra, is flying back from London for the Leonard Bernstein celebration concerts, which will be held on February 2 – 4 at the Kimmel Center.

I was able to interview Mr. Abell (pronounced “uh-BELL”) by phone while he was in London. During our conversation, he shared his Philadelphia roots with me, and mentioned that he still has relatives who live in Chestnut Hill. [Read more…]

ROCK IN THE RED ZONE: DOCUMENTARY AND DISCUSSION

ROCK IN THE RED ZONE is an intimate portrayal of life on the edge in the war-torn city of Sderot. Once known for its prolific rock scene that revolutionized Israeli music, for thirteen years the town has been the target of ongoing rocket fire from the Gaza strip. Through the personal lives and music of Sderot’s diverse musicians, and the personal narrative of the filmmaker, who ends up calling the town home, the film chronicles the town’s trauma and reveals its enduring spirit.

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.