music

Lab/Shul’s Eclectic Musical Lineup

How does one get in the right frame of mind for the High Holy Days? For Shira Kline, bandleader and musical director for Lab/Shul’s High Holy Day service, the answer is obvious: music. “Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur have such beautiful liturgy,” Kline said. “To not engage participants through music is to miss a huge opportunity.”

Culture Foundation's New Commission: A Musical Sarajevo Hagaddah

The famous illuminated manuscript will become a multimedia musical presentation.

08/22/2013
Jewish Week Correspondent

The Sarajevo Haggadah, the famous illuminated manuscript, is the inspiration for the new multimedia art project entitled, “The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book,” the Foundation for Jewish Culture has announced.

A New New Month Tradition, At Drisha

For the new month of Elul, songwriter Elie Lichtschein introduces his “mysti-folk” version of Hallel to New York. Lichtschein has composed new melodies for the psalms that are traditionally chanted on Rosh Hodesh, the beginning of the new Jewish month.

Elie Lichtschein

Before Wagner Was Taboo

When Jews were inspired by the composer associated with Hitler.

07/30/2013
Associate Editor

The orchestral rolling thunder of Hitler’s favorite composer Richard Wagner is almost as taboo in Israel as Hitler himself. To even suggest that Wagner’s music be performed in Israel is to invite a maelstrom of outrage, as if “Der Ring,” Wagner’s operatic cycle (now being performed around the world in celebration of the bicentennial of Wagner’s birth), is morally indistinguishable from the Horst Wessel, the Nazi anthem. And yet, when Wagner died in 1883, the idea that his music would be virtually banned in a future Jewish state would have been baffling to Wagner’s Jewish contemporaries. The Jews of the 19th century thought his music was terrific and, OK, Wagner was anti-Semitic but who in Europe wasn’t?

Richard Wagner

A Showcase Of Arts And Texts

How does an Orthodox center for rich and rigorous Jewish learning reach out to self-styled artists who are often in the margins of communal life?

Noach by Rabbi Joanne Yocheved Heligman. Photo courtesy Drisha Institute

Jewish Soul Music For Tots

05/14/2013
Associate Editor

For many Park Slope tots, Saturday morning means jamming with Debbie Brukman at Temple Beth Elohim.

Brukman, a music teacher with a local coffeehouse following, regularly fills the Reform temple’s large social hall with her “Shir L’Shabbat” sing-alongs for young children and their families.

Brukman had already been teaching “Jewish soul” music in the temple’s nursery school six years ago when Rabbi Andrew Bachman encouraged her to develop a Shabbat program.

“Since bleary-eyed parents of young kids are looking for something to do on Saturday morning, we figured, why not invite them to a Shabbat party with Debbie Brukman?” he told The Jewish Week in an e-mail. “The woman has a heart of gold and we’re blessed to have her in the CBE family.”

Brukman’s Shabbat repertoire combines familiar Jewish preschool songs with Jewish melodies from Uganda, Israeli song festivals and her original compositions. Her band features mandolin, banjo, piano, and hand drums — and toddlers are encouraged to bring their own instruments.

Her fans include novelist Jonathan Safran Foer who frequently listens to her album (available on iTunes, Amazon and debbiebrukman.com) with his children.

“There are precious few CDs that bring a smile to all four passengers in our car,” he says in an album blurb. “These songs — these catchy and inspiring melodies, sung with such obvious and sincere enthusiasm — always lift our spirits. If our dog could smile, she’d smile, too.”

julie.inthemix@gmail.com

Shulamit Seidler-Feller

The 2000-Year-Old Hope

Not only is Hatikvah the national anthem of Israel, but Jews around the world have sung it for 135 years.

Auschwitz' Musical Geography

Auschwitz has a musical as well as physical geography, contends a Stanford University doctoral candidate in German studies. It helped the guards maintain control, and helped prisoners resist.

Using survivor testimonies and camp administration records, Melissa Kagen has mapped the music of Auschwitz: what was played, who played it and where.

A Stanford doctoral candidate has mapped Auschwitz' music: both forced and free.

Alicia Jo Rabins, Art-rocking the women of the Bible.

05/22/2012

Alicia Jo Rabins, 34

Twitter: @ohaliciajo, @girlsintrouble
www.girlsintroublemusic.com

Growing up, Alicia Jo Rabins never gave much thought to Jewish tradition. She was raised secular, in a mostly non-Jewish section of Baltimore.

Alicia Jo Rabins
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