Klezmer Swing Orchestra offers klezmer music for Jewish wedding and Bar Mitzvah


L’orchestre pour mariage juif Amsellem Swing Klezmer Orchestra joue des horot (Mazel Tov, Siman Tov…) pour animer cocktail de mariage, de Bar Mitzvah, cérémonie, Houppa et réceptions.
Les plus belles horas jouées par notre orchestre.

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The sounds of Jewish music – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Jewish Music festival 2017. (photo credit:Courtesy)

The fifth annual Days of Jewish Music festival will take place at Bet Hatefutsot in Tel Aviv February 28 to March 2.

The three-day event covers expansive musical and cultural areas, taking in a rich slew of intriguing concerts, workshops and seminars.

Festival producer Jeffrey Fisher has lined up a program that covers almost every aspect of Jewish music culture across the globe, kicking off with a Ladino music concert called From Andalusia to Saloniki. The sonic entertainment will be provided by a stellar cast of artists, including veteran oud player and violinist Yair Delal, along with percussionist Erez Monk, vocalist Bracha Kol, cellist Jacqueline Fay and wind instrument player Doret Florentin. The following slot takes the proceedings in a very different direction, with Megilla Lieder by Yiddish poet Itzik Manger performed by actors from the Yiddishpiel Theater (pictured), to music by Dubi Zeltzer.

Fans of Hassidic music, or anyone looking to get a deeper understanding of the genre, should enjoy the experiential Hassidic music workshop and tribute to legendary American nigun composer Ben Zion Shenker, who died last year at the age of 91.

Then the From Cairo to Morocco workshop, on the last day of the program, presents some gems from the Shaabi genre of singing practiced by Moroccan Jewry, fronted by singer-composer Ariel Cohen.

There is also room for a look at musical renditions of Psalms across the ages, with the Adi Young Israeli Choir, conducted by Oded Shomroni, and the last evening of the event features baroque music, with a rendition of Cristiano Giuseppe Lidartis Esther Oratorio, in Hebrew, by the Le Tendre Amour ensemble from Spain. There will be also be lectures at panel discussions with some of the Israeli classical music communitys leader members, such as celebrated composer and conductor Noam Sheriff and venerated musicologist Prof. Edwin Seroussi. For more information: http://www.bh.org.i

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February 27, 2017 – Forward

Klezmer, the Eastern European musical tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews, is constantly evolving. Played by musicians called klezmorim at weddings and other celebrations, it has enjoyed a world revival in recent years. The musician and researcher Walter Zev Feldman, an expert on Jewish and Ottoman Turkish music, is Visiting Professor of Music at NYU Abu Dhabi. As a performer, he has released the CDs Jewish Klezmer Music and Khevrisa: European Klezmer Music. His latest book, Klezmer: Music, History, and Memory is out from Oxford University Press. Recently Professor Feldman shared with The Forwards Benjamin Ivry some notions about what is, and what is not, klezmer:

**Benjamin Ivry: How much fun is authentic klezmer music? At an Ashkenazi wedding celebration, you describe music played before the chuppah as an invitation for the souls of the dead parents to come[an] almost necrophiliac fantasygiven even more scope when the community was facing an existential threat.

Walter Zev Feldman: In Eastern Europe among Jews, there had to be a balance of the serious penitential with the joyous, so a wedding among Jews in East Europe has very little to do with the concept of a wedding of Jews in America or Israel. It had to begin in a very sad and tragic way, otherwise it would have been considered ill-omened for the future. You had to earn your happiness; it wasnt just a given.

One klezmer tradition included a penitential song about how the brides happy life in her family home was over and responsibilities of marriage and childbearing were upon her. Was this gloomy prediction for women made because only males wrote and performed klezmer music at the time?

No, I dont think thats relevant. This is a confluence of rabbinic thinking about weddings with a penitential aspect in the old Ashkenaz tradition. There are also several gentile folk cultures from Turkey to Russia that emphasize sorrow for the bride. This question has never, ever been researched before, so it needs more study.

You explore what have been called moralishe niggunim or melodies of a high moral character, which although not as weepy as other klezmer tunes, nevertheless had plenty of high seriousness. Is the subject of klezmer inevitably somber due to the Holocaust and other factors and has klezmer become a funereal art for those interested in its past?

I did not mean to give that impression, actually. Its interesting that you read it that way. Klezmer: Music, History, and Memory is part one, the history of the music of the klezmorim into the Shoah, not about the immigration. My next book, Untold Stories, will show the aspect of the klezmer tradition which is actually kept alive. Its not entirely a dead thing.

You note that traditionally, klezmorim did not accompany singers and considered themselves superior to vocalists. Doesnt this contradict much of world instrumental tradition, in which musicians aspire to the expressivity of the human voice? What was wrong with singers?

There was nothing wrong with the chazzan. In Europe, the klezmer never accompanied the chazzan, a professional singer who performed with no accompanists. It was taboo because the rabbis forbade singing at weddings. The Ashkenazim were the only Jewish culture documented where women were not allowed to sing at weddings. That was obviously because of moral reasons, where rabbis for centuries were telling men they should not listen to the voice of women. But in other Jewish cultures, this was not taken as seriously.

The Argentine-born Israeli clarinetist Giora Feidman has claimed, Klezmer is not Jewish music. Would you agree?

I have no idea what he is talking about. Giora is a good musician from a klezmer family, but he has done zero research so you have to discount what he says, it has nothing to do with reality.

The Shirim Klezmer Orchestra released a klezmer-style version of Tchaikovskys Nutcracker Suite. If Tchaikovsky is added, can any room be left for klezmer?

I think that [crossover] fashion has ended. I dont think thats going anywhere. Klezmer music was one of the most stable features of Jewish music, with a class of professional musicians who developed it for 400 years. 400 years is no small thing.

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February 27, 2017 – Forward

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WATCH: Western Wall Bat Mitzvah Interrupted By Whistling Protest – Forward

A Western Wall bat mitzvah on Monday morning was interrupted by whistling protesters who sought to disrupt the coming-of-age ceremony.

Twelve-year-old Hod Hasharon native Noa Brenner celebrated her bat mitzvah at the monthly prayer service of Women of the Wall, a feminist group advocating for egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall holy site.

According to news reports, more than a thousand female yeshiva students were bussed in by Liba, an Orthodox Jewish group which opposes a government plan to create an egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall.

Some of the girls, who had been pulled out of school for the protest, heckled the prayer service, with one calling the worshippers animals, according to Haaretz. Others prayed silently.

Susan Silverman, Women of the Wall board member and the sister of American comedian Sarah Silverman, was reportedly kicked in the shin by one of the protesters.

It has been over a year since the Israeli government promised to create an egalitarian site at the Western Wall, which has stalled due to ultra-Orthodox opposition.

Contact Naomi Zeveloff at zeveloff@forward.com or on Twitter @naomizeveloff

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21 Savage Rocked a Co-ed Bar and Bat Mitzvah for a Hefty Check [VIDEO] – The BoomBox

21 Savage has now joined the ranks of rappers who perform at lavish Bar Mitzvahs. And he got a nice check for it, too.

TMZ is reporting that the Atlanta rhymer made a surprise appearance at Jake and Sydney Steingers lavish co-ed Bar and Bat Mitzvah at Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Fla., on Saturday night (Feb. 25). In the video above you can see the two 13-year-olds enjoying themselves on stage as Savage carefully spits the lyrics to his explicit song No Heart.

Surprisingly, well maybe not so surprisingly, the other kids in the audience know the song by heart. 21 Savage also allowed Jake to rock his Savage diamond-encrusted chain onstage.

According to TMZ, parents Janet and Michael Steinger paid Savage $1 million for his performance and flew him to Palm Springs on private jet. Not a bad way to make a living. Mazel Tov!

#21savage

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A Letter To My Daughter On Her Bat Mitzvah: On Adoption and Belonging – ChicagoNow (blog)

My dearest K,

Almost thirteenyears ago exactly, we held your baby naming. In fact, Cantor Howard, who is standing beside us today, was there on that occasion. You were five months old and had very recently joined our family. At that ceremony, as I held you in my joyful arms, I recited the following opening lines from Edwin Muirs poem, “The Confirmation”:

Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face. I in my mind waited for this long, Seeing the false and searching for the true, Then found you.

Yes, we had found you, and you were the right human face for our family. In retrospect, its easy to convince a baby she belongs with you, because you wear her next to your body in a sling, and your arms hold her in physical proximity to your heart. And it is enough.

What Ive learned from raising you is that the calibration of a sense of belonging is an imperfect calculation, especially in a family built through adoption. As you have grown, your differences from us have become more apparent, which can make you question if you belong.

My beloved daughter, what makes me so proud of you is how you are learning at such a tender age that it is okay to be different, that you can accept and honor your differences and still belong in the same family.

It is no surprise that our family loves watching Supergirl, a series that celebrates an adoptive family and the bond of love between sisters. Like Kara Danvers, you juggle two different worlds, two completely different families, and very few of us can relate to what that is like. And like Supergirl, you are learning to transform your differences into your strengths. You even look like Supergirl!

Today, we all come here together, your families, your friends, and your community of supporters, to celebrate you in all your uniqueness. Because we love you.

You belong to our family, you belong to your amazing birth family, you belong to the Jewish community, but most of all — you belong to yourself. You are funny and outspoken, amazing at entertaining younger children, always up for trying something fun, articulate, terrific at talking with grown-ups — something that not all kids your age can do – and you are a diligent, hard worker who deserves to feel proud of what you have accomplished here today.

It is your persistent hard work that makes you a successful student and a good swimmer, that allows you to encounter lifes challenges with resilience and boundless spirit. Watching you grow up (and up and up) is a miracle to me.

So, thirteen years later, I say again to you, with renewed conviction and the truest test of time, Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face.

I couldnt love you more for who you are.

Love, Mom

Thank you to Susan Ryan Kalina Photography for these beautiful images!!!

Carrie Goldman is an award-winning author, speaker, and bullying prevention educator. Follow Carrie’s blog Portrait of an Adoption on Facebook and Twitter

Are you looking for some awesome children’s Star Wars chapterbooks?The BRAND NEW second book in the Jazzy’s Quest chapter book series for adoptees is HERE!!! Be sure to get your copy of Jazzy’s Quest: What Matters Most, the sequel to Jazzy’s Quest: Adopted and Amazing!

Filed under: adoptees, adoption, adoption reunion, domestic adoption, open adoption

Tags: adoption, Bat Mitzvah, birth family, judiasm, open adoption, portrait of an adoption, Susan Ryan Kalina Photography

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Simone Hotter’s bat mitzvah address – St. Louis Jewish Light

Shabbat Shalom. This weeks parasha, Vayigash, tells of Jacob and his brothers while he is in Egypt.

The brothers have come to Egypt in search of food, due to famine in Canaan. Joseph asks for the youngest brother, Benjamin, to be brought to him in exchange for food, so the brothers return to Canaan. When they get back and try to bargain by saying that their father will die if Benjamin remains in Egypt, Joseph reveals his identity, and says he forgives them. The brothers go back again and tell Jacob that Joseph is still alive and he rejoices. Jacob vows to once again see Joseph before he dies.

Every Torah portion contains a valuable lesson. It is up to us to decipher and translate that meaning to be an asset in navigating ones life. Although quite transparent, this particular portion portrays a man, Joseph, in his highest, as far as success may go, but at his lowest, concerning the treatment of his family.

Joseph possesses negative features throughout his familial relations in the Torah. He is openly happy about the fact that his father treats him better than other siblings. He is not remorseful. Thus, when he is sold to slavery in Egypt, one somehow does not feel pity.

Upon Josephs successful economic rise to power and his ability to utilize his gifts for the better of the people of Egypt, it is as if Joseph absolves himself of his earlier negative actions. So, when the brothers are brought before him, begging for their welfare, Josephs bargaining chip brings back the egocentric character seen earlier in the Torah and reinstates him as a negative persona.

Josephs obvious indifference to the fact that losing another child by Jacob may be a misfortune points to Josephs inability to relate on a personal level to fellow family members. That trait is alarming. Putting ones own needs before those of loved ones goes against the basic foundation of humanity: to care for your brethren.

More than simply a story about family and the impact of ones actions on loved ones, the story of Jacob and his sons has a strong correlation to todays turmoil in our countrys political divide.

It is easy to pinpoint the traits of Joseph in many politicians. His obvious charm, popularity, ability to please the masses and inability to see the mundane are a staple of many leaders/public personas that drive the economic and social future of our land.

We value those traits as a mandate to lead. We strive to see them and relish in them to solidify our own faulty ideals of what the future will hold. It is a dangerous and unstable route to grow our young democracy.

Society that is based upon perceived traits may not evolve to actual standards. Perception is not enough of a foundation to base your plans on. It is a front that should be taken with a grain of salt.

Much like Joseph deceiving his brothers, our leaders at times do so, with charm and charisma veiling the truth in our reality. It is a not a path of mitzvah, but a path of human fault.

While today is only a step towards my becoming an adult and an active member of the Jewish community, here and around the world, it is also a moment when I take the teachings that have been collected and preserved by our many ancestors to heart. I take them with caution. I revel in their simplicity and innate purity. But, I also realize their potential strength in aiding the creation of character and maturity in a bat/bar mitzvah child, opening the conversation of a fundamental question: What is right & what is wrong? It is the basic foundation of any teaching, whether religious or secular. And, to me, it is a stepping-stone of understanding basic moral truths that I will carry forward, including the paramount importance of securing ones righteous path, without breaking others trust.

I leave you with this: Let others see you as you are, for any other self would be a false beacon.

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21 Savage Reportedly Took Home a Hefty Paycheck Performing at a Bar Mitzvah This Weekend – BET

Just days aftermaking the claimthat he’s the “richest new rapper of the year,”21 Savageput his money where his mouth was, reportedly earning a whopping$1 million this weekendalone.

Asreported, the Atlanta rapper put on a performance this weekend that was truly unlike any other he had done before, after being recruited to perform at a joint bar and bat mitzvah (also known as a b’nei mitzvah).

While rappers being booked to perform at the traditional Jewish coming-of-age celebration isn’t necessarily a new trend, withNicki Minaj,DrakeandFetty Wapall having done the honors at one point or another during their careers, this time around it was 21 Savage’s turn.

According toTMZ, the “No Heart” rapper and his crew were flown in on a private jet, with the performance and celebration taking place at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. It even was billed as a surprise for the guests of honor, Jake and Sydney Steinger, with the rapper even letting Jake rock his “Savage” chain on stage.

Additionally, the rapper adapted his set for the youth, even censoring his explicit lyrics, likely to keep the parents of the 13-year-olds in attendance happy.

“Its a lot of cuss words,” he said at one point during his set. “We had to cut em out for yall. We finna get turnt though.”

However, from the looks of it, the party definitely got lit, making for a truly memorable celebration for the Steinger family, 21 Savage and his bank account alike.

Take a look at some video footage of 21 Savage performing at the b’nei mitsvah courtesy ofTMZhere.

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12-year-olds walk tall to fund barmitzvah celebrations of Ethiopian boys – Jewish Chronicle


Jewish Chronicle
12-year-olds walk tall to fund barmitzvah celebrations of Ethiopian boys
Jewish Chronicle
A pair of north London 12-year-olds have gone the distance to fund the celebrations of two Ethiopian barmitzvah boys in Israel. Jude Garcia and Jake Lowy raised more than 2,000 by walking 13 miles from Winchmore Hill to central London for the MyIsrael …

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Celebrations as Passages – San Diego Jewish Journal

Some of my happiest days concerned my childrens simchas, their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. Days of delighted, focused preparation culminated at the synagogue where each of my three children chanted their portions as family and friends witnessed their endeavors. My minds eye still passes over my elder daughter as a confident young woman in a starched white dress with puffed sleeves, facing the entire congregation who waited expectantly, fearing a missed or garbled word. We held our collective breath, but there was no need.

Her father and I stood beside her, proud at the person she was becoming, the person we knew she was: beautiful, humble, and passionate.

So much goes into the making of a child. I think the first born has it hardest of all as parents foist their own personal dreams or missed opportunities on the child they want to give everything. The beaming girl celebrating her confirmation is merely the outer face, the radiant faade before the congregation.

At such celebrations, transformations between child and adult may not be totally evident, as unruly hair, gawkiness, unexpected burps often mar the slick appearance assumed by the adolescent. Yet rites of passage mark an official beginning and ending.

People once chortled, Today I am a fountain pen, gently mocking the once favored gift to the Bar Mitzvah, and underlying the fact that no 13-year-old is truly ready to traverse the world and commence their travails as an adult. Whether in Africa or America, the prescribed rites of passage are built into a societal need to monitor the education and development of its children.

This is the way of celebrations. They can assume the on-stage fantastic and lavish production that only occur when the backstage arrangements, the heavily thought out, worried-about, well-planned arrangements and overwhelming details have been carefully attended to.

For my sons Bar Mitzvah two years later, he again performed his portion flawlessly and when the after-lunch moment arrived to give his speech, thanking our guests, he started well, but then faltered. He had written his own words carefully, practiced, and was accustomed to public speaking. He decided to speak about my father who had passed away several months earlier. And yet, unlike his perfect recitation from the Torah, he was now stymied. He commenced his speech, but at the mention of my father, his words stuck in his throat. And so he paused. We smiled our encouragement and he tried again. But once again when he reached the section concerning my father, he gulped, had to pause, tears now rolling down his cheeks. And once more, he cleared his throat and made a valiant attempt.

And so, he dropped his paper, glanced at me, mumbled some thanks and abruptly sat down. The guests who had suddenly become one with the intense relationship between grandfather and grandson experienced an unexpected closeness with this man-child few really knew. Later one person confided, Everything was perfect until Jordan spoke, but his emotions made your simcha human.

Our younger daughter, when her turn came, effortlessly chanted her part as flawlessly as her siblings had, and the events of the day were as choreographed. The flowers were extravagant, the invitations again hand produced, the luncheon at the top on the thirty-third floor of the hotel delicious.

And just as I had hoped to reflect the attributes of my other children through the planning of the minutiae, I had encouraged her talent and passion for music.

Recently, I inquired of my youngest child, now 35, What do remember about your Bat Mitzvah? She wrote, Getting my hair done, wearing a flowered wreath, singing at synagogue and feeling like a rockstar. I kind of felt like a rockstar all day. It was a huge celebration for me, about me. People I didnt know knew me. For a Type-A extroverted teenager, it was a huge deal and I loved it. I remembered enough from my sibs that I felt it took forever to come. It didnt disappoint.

When my son married his sweetheart, my husband and I created a chuppa. I researched Jewish art, prayers, marriage symbolism, and designed a pattern, taking council from a woman who had created several for synagogues. I drew the pattern; he used graph paper to enlarge with fine sharpie pens while meticulously enshrining the Hebrew words of commitment on a backdrop of grapes, lions, lambs, doves and does. Then, every night after our work day for four concerted hours, my husband and I cross-stitched the six foot long pattern in silk and merino wool from September until August! In the end, it was one of the accomplishments of my life, and it has passed from my sons marriage ceremony to my elder daughters, to her sisters.

The simcha or celebration is the fulfillment of dreams that signifies an extreme moment of accomplishment. It shines brightly alone against the flurry of the ordinary, the hard work that has contributed to that stand-alone performance before loved ones.

This is the paradox of all things. We are part but also apart in our simchas. Individuals stand with their loved ones, but also alone: at the bima, but also in the arena with a congregation. These passages since the very beginning were established for an important purpose and that is why they have been handed down and endured until today. But intrinsically the ceremony itself is a proclamation of sorts with deep significance, for the Bar or Bat Mitzvah, wedding, bris, baby naming or funeral underlines difference from ordinary everyday activities, indicating the occasion as significant in the life of the participants.

Simchas are the most treasured and most recalled moments of our lives because they move our inner lives out onto a larger stage, joining the secular with the sacred. So we

stand together with our family and friends and demonstrate how our world, our community, our society will be taken forward with joy and confidence, with religious tradition but also with the knowledge that life changes and we must adapt, just as our parents and grandparents did before us, that change is good and we have contributed to the process. These simchas are the productions that comfort us when we are sad, the times we look to that brighten the darkness and remind us of the life cycles that mark our beginnings and endings.

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Lost Language of AJMF8 – Atlanta Jewish Times

Sarah Aroeste is passionate about two things, her love of Ladino music and sharing her culture with others. But thats not the only reason she was picked to perform five times during AJMF8. Aroeste brings so much to this years festival including her diverse cultural perspective, said AJMF Executive Director, Russell Gottschalk.

Aroestes life revolved around music throughout high school and college, where she trained in classical opera. However, it was not until she moved to Israel that her interest in Ladino music grew, thanks in part to her music coach, who shared her Sephardic background.

Upon returning to the United States, Aroeste continued to perform classical music while integrating Ladino music each performance. The outcome was a success. I had people come up to me and say that was their favorite part of the performance, said Aroeste. Thats when she realized Ladino music, not opera, was her true calling and decided to pursue it as a full-time career.

Ladino is a form of Judaea-Spanish or Judaismo language that originated in Spain. After the Castilians kicked out Jewish inhabitants in the fifteenth century, they immigrated to the Ottoman Empire and Ladino became frozen in time.

Aroeste receives her inspiration from various music genres including Israeli. I really like Israeli music because the artists understand how to navigate between their ethnicity and music. However, I was also brought up on American music, rock and roll, contemporary, electronica, jazz, and pop, said Aroeste. She is proud of her identity and attributes her passion for Ladino music to her ethnic background. Ladino contains a beautiful language and music, and I have been very fortunate to express myself through it for the past 15 years. said Aroeste.

Her concerts incorporate both entertainment and education as she informs audience members of her rich Sephardic background. You dont go into Ladino to become rich, but I love Ladino music and sharing it with people. Music crosses so many borders and Ladino is no exception. It is multifaceted and the language and themes are universal, said Aroeste. Ladino is not dead and the Jewish community can do so much to preserve it. After all, you cant understand Jewish history without Sephardic culture.

Aroeste is glad to be in this years Atlanta Jewish Music Festival. She will be performing at International Night, Ladino Shabbat Jam, Ladino Musical Purim Party, Purim Family Concert and at Epstein for a private event connecting children to Ladino and Sephardic music.

There are countless artists participating in this years AJMF and each one is sure to entertain. Gottschalk noted that planning the AJMF is very detailed, we have so many talented artists we would like to invite but have limited slots. In programming Aroeste we wanted to take full advantage of all she had to offer. Aroeste became a natural selection for Gottschalk due to her international background and recently released childrens album.

Aroeste enjoys working with Jewish and non-Jewish audiences and applauds Gottschalk for booking her for the AJMF. It allows various community members to gain exposure to so many different cultures and promotes the importance of Jewish diversity for everyone.

Sarah Aroeste is scheduled for five performances during the AJMF. (Photo credit: Dror-Forshee Photography)

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