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December 18, 1987 - Image 65

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-12-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ENrIERIAINIVIENF

GOING PLACES

WEEK OF DEC,. 18-24

MUSIC

DETROIT PUBLIC LIBRARY
5201 Woodward, Detroit, concert,
12:15 p.m. Thesday, free,
224-0580.

1. its

Elaine Serling conducts a children's program at the Jewish Book Fair

4A,K ,,,g' •

Sing and Celebrate

Musician-composer Elaine Serling teaches
children how to appreciate Jewish music

DEBBIE WALLIS LANDAU

Special to The Jewish News

IOW hen Jewish children
. light Chanukah can-
dles this year, they
may accompany the
ritual with these
words from Light the Lights:
Way back when it all began,
There was destruction in our ancient
land.
They would not stop, Judah had a
plan,
To hold steadfast, to the very last
man.
The
bittersweet
melody
celebrating Judah Maccabee's
triumph is just one of 22 original com-
positions Elaine Sering published in
her Jewish songbook Sing and
Celebrate. The book made its debut in
time for the Jewish New Year
5748/5749.
Local Sunday school classes and
families with attentive youngsters
listened and participated in some of
the beautiful selections Serling per-
formed at the 1987 Jewish Fook Fair

held at the Jewish Community
Center last month.
The vivacious Farmington Hills
resident has been many things to
many people throughout 30 years of
public appearances: singer, guitarist,
nurse, fitness instructor, Jewish
music director, wife, mother, Jewish
Community Center Festival Dancer,
behavioral nutrition instructor. But
composing is an avocation she em-
braced only a year and a half ago.
"A lifelong friend of mine —
Beverly Kent Goldenberg — en-
couraged me to submit a song to a
contest sponsored by Kol Yisrael (the
Iraeli broadcasting service). When my
entry, It Was a Dream won, it was
played during an Independence Day
program."
The idea to create a songbook for
use in Jewish music curricula follow-
ed that success. Serling was challeng-
ed to capture the beautiy and
timelessness of Jewish history and
tradition and present it in a way
which could make sense to contem-
porary students. The book also is
useful for family holiday celebrations.
As music director for Birm-

ingham Temple's kindergarten
through ninth grade classes for the
past five years and as the former
director of Adat Shalom Synagogue's
graduation cantata, Serling had often
contemplated what she called the
sameness of Jewish songs — melodies
she remembered learning during her
student days at the Sholom Aleichem
Institute.
"They were wonderul songs, but
why not introduce new ones?" As she
remarks in the forward of Sing and
Celebrate:
"Songs are like familiar, dear
friends. Judaism's beauty lies in the
fact that it isn't stagnant. It meets the
challenges of each new age and grows.
Being part of Judaism's growth has
been one of the purposes of my songs.
Joining the old and the new makes us
participants in the historical link
with our ancestors."
Was there a void in Jewish educa-
tion, a need she believed wasn't being
met?
"The lack that I personally
found," commented Serling, "was an
attempt to make events thousands of
years old have meaning to children in

tqgMivq<

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

65

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