Jewish Summer Fest at the Shore

7th ANNUAL JEWISH SUMMER FEST AT THE SHORE

On Sunday, August 14th experience a taste of Jewish Culture through food, music and art. Participants will enjoy an exciting and entertaining evening of pulsating Jewish music featuring the Yellow Red Sky Band, hands on crafts, children’s rides games and face painting as well as a delicious kosher BBQ offering hotdogs, burgers, falafel and more. The event welcomes the entire community regardless of background or faith.

“We hope to offer children and their families an exciting evening while giving them a positive Jewish experience,” says Rabbi Avrohom Rapoport, the event coordinator.

The Jewish Summer Fest will take place on Sunday, August 14th, from
6-9 pm at the Beach at the Ventnor Library (Newport Ave. Ventnor, NJ).  Rides and craft badge is $12 donation per child.

For more information please call 609-822-8500 or visit www.jewishsummerfest.com .

The event is organized by Chabad at the Shore. Chabad is dedicated to ensuring Jewish continuity through educational and social programming.  

Open Letter to President of the Philadelphia Orchestra


— by Hannah Lee

Dear Ms. Vulgamore,

I write as a concerned music patron.  The recent decision to apply for Chapter 11 financial re-organization sets a troubling precedence in the music world and I wonder how Philadelphia would fare in the end?  Since that decision, I have been having weekly conversations with a source within the organization and I was moved to write by our latest chat yesterday.

Yes, we can be proud that the Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the top five in the nation (along with New York, Boston, Chicago and Cleveland), but I was amazed to learn that our orchestra also pays the highest salary of all these as well as the highest starting salary for the musicians (at $70,000, an unheard-of amount in the fine arts)!  Equally amazing facts to me are: the Orchestra does not perform or rehearse on Sundays; the 12-week vacations that some musicians enjoy; and the contracts that stipulate a full orchestra for each performance, necessitating substitute players and a huge substitute salary payroll.

More after the jump.
Yes, it does seem prudent to re-think these financial agreements, but what does it mean to throw all the previous years of labor negotiations out the window?  Could every other cultural organization take this “easy” way out of financial difficulties?  What obligations to your employees (and your paying patrons) remain?  But what about the unwieldy 60-member administrative staff?  And why are you still interviewing candidates for the following positions (as listed on your website): Director, Foundations and Government Relations; Institutional Giving Coordinator; Group and Corporate Sales Coordinator; Operations Coordinator; and Education and Community Partnerships Coordinator?  I do note that the part-time position as receptionist is non-paying.

How could you think of retiring Peter Nero, the energetic, two-time Grammy-award-winning pianist and director of the Philly Pops– under the same management as the Philadelphia Orchestra- for 30 years?  His much younger colleague, James Levine, has been suffering from debilitating back troubles, but he has been allowed the liberty and respect to choose when to withdraw from his multiple duties as conductor and music director of the Metropolitan Opera and the Boston Symphony.

I read in Sunday’s Inquirer that the Orchestra will have an abbreviated season at the Mann this summer, because of its previously planned European tour.  Add this fact to the uncertainty over whether there will be a fall season and you leave your patrons puzzled and frustrated.  Do remember that Philadelphia lies within an easy commute to New York and even Washington, so some of your music-loving patrons could choose to leave the city for their listening pleasure.

While I have your ear, could I also add that the Orchestra’s move to the Kimmel Center has about doubled the ticket prices beyond the affordability of the average family with children?  No wonder that your concerts as seen from the stage are often a sea of senior faces with glasses.  What are your obligations to your patrons?  To nurturing a music audience for the future?

If yours were a Jewish organization, I would say shanda for shame.  You are a world-class cultural institution, so conduct yourself with world class.

Sincerely,
Hannah Lee

Do you have a song in your heart for Israel?


Enter the Israel 63 Talent Competition and Compete for Cash Prizes

Musically gifted individuals and groups of all ages are invited to compete for $500 cash prizes and the opportunity to perform on stage at Penn’s Landing before thousands of participants in the Israel 63 Independence Day celebration on Sunday, May 22, noon to 5 p.m.  The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is sponsoring this Israel: A Song In Our Hearts contest and is soliciting entries now through April 1, 2011.  Go to www.jewishphilly.org/israel6 for contest rules and submission information.

“The competition will be interactive and exciting,” said Federation President Leonard Barrack,” explaining that all entries will be posted on Federation’s website and the public will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite between April 15 and May 5.  The three entries receiving the highest numbers of votes in each category will be deemed finalists and will be notified by email on May 10.  All finalists must be available to perform live at the May 22 Israel 63 celebration between 12:15 and 4:45 p.m. before a panel of judges who will determine the winners of the following four categories:

  • Individual performers 17 and under
  • Individual performers 18 and over
  • Multi-person groups-17 and under
  • Multi-person groups-18 and over

More details after the jump.
All entrants must live in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery or Philadelphia counties.  Each competitor may submit one song, no longer than two minutes, in either Hebrew or English.  Israel must be mentioned favorably in song lyrics which may not contain proselytizing or messianic messages.  Text of all song lyrics must accompany entries which may be submitted in either:  MP3, MP4, WMV or MPEG format.  Songs do not have to be original.

All submissions must be accompanied by an entry form signed by the competitor(s).  Competitors who are minors must have their entry forms consigned by a parent or guardian.

Entry forms and complete contest rules and regulations are available at www.jewishphilly.org/israel63 .  For additional information, please call Beth Razin at 215-832-0536.

Blank Rome LLP and the Jewish Exponent are sponsors of this community celebration, which will also include an Israeli marketplace, ethnic foods and refreshments, special children’s activities and booths highlighting the programs and activities of many local community organizations.