Teens And Tunes
ometimes all those years of
music lessons pay off.
For first cousins Alan
Posner, 16, of West
Bloomfield and Justin Wedes, 17, of
Huntington Woods, the payoff is corn-
Combining a love of music with a
desire to earn some spending money,
they formed Just `Cuz last winter and
Special to the the gigs keep rolling in, including mile-
Jewish News stone birthday parties, restaurants and
With the encouragement and sup-
port of their parents — Ken and Gail Posner and Ken
Wedes and Sandy Posner-Wedes — they say they are
having a great time.
"I love it," says Posner, who plays saxophone. We get
paid for doing something we do anyway."
Wedes, whose keyboard rounds out the duo, agrees:
"We've been having a blast."
The two started playing together at holiday gatherings.
"Our families would always get together on Jewish holi-
days, and Justin and I would take songs we knew and start
playing them together," Posner says. "My aunt is a cantor
in Iowa, and she'd sing and we'd all get into it."
Posner started playing sax in fourth grade and stuck with
it because his talent made him stand out. "It wasn't until
ninth grade that I really began to appreciate music," he
"I am constantly surrounded by music at my high
school," says Posner, who attends Bloomfield Hills
Andover High School. Not only is he the band's drum
major, but next year four of his seven classes will involve
music, including choir. His band director, Robert
Ambrose, has been a major influence, not only challenging
him musically but also leading him to consider a career as
a band director.
For Wedes, who has been playing piano for eight years,
hat do the only broth-
ers in the U.S.
Congress — Michigan's
Sen. Carl Levin and
Rep. Sander Levin — have in com-
mon that the only brothers serving in
Israel's parliament — the Knesset —
Jo nquiam E st 'ill-ea c.ia-ipoiq sill !iaq
Alan Posner, 16, of West Bloomfield and Justin Wedes, 17, of
Huntington Woods are Just ruz.
music vies with math and philosophy as his major interests
at Berkley High School. Having left the school choir and
band behind him, he finds other ways to grow musically.
Wedes plays with the Kids Klezmer Band organized by
Cantor Stephen Dubov of Congregation Chaye Olam -in -
West Bloomfield and is president of the group. A few years
ago, he toured Europe with the Blue Lake International
Jazz Ensemble, a program of the fine arts camp near
"Whenever I try something new, I attack it," says
Wedes, describing his commitment to music, running
and swimming as well as his academic interests. "I want
to expand our repertoire and enjoy adding in blues and
jazz riffs when I play."
Last week at Mocha's Coffee Bar and Cafe on
Haggerty Road in West Bloomfield, their most regular
venue, the place was packed, the tip jar was overflowing
and the sounds of jazz, klezmer and "standards" filled
the air. And just like the new cafe, Just `Cuz was fresh,
comfortable and enjoyable. E
Catch Just `Cuz at the Avenue Gallery in Birmingham on July 17, or in West Bloomfield at Mocha's on July 25
and E.G. Nicks on Maple Road on July 26. Call (248) 855-1616 for schedule and booking information.
-maw FITT E sT uloTEA ptum Jaquiaul
lassaux "SlEJDOUIDC1 — kixecl cures
aTp Jo ipoq a..TE suTnaq aTIZ :JaAtiSUV
"Over the years, comic book charac-
ters have thrown back their hoods and
cowls to reveal a Jewish face. That this
colorful, often sensational, storytelling
medium has a Jewish connection is an
open secret. Jews have been creative
forces in the field since 1938 with the
first appearance of the now famous
"S," fueling imaginations and provid-
ing role models for generations of
boys and, yes, even girls."
— Leah Finkelshteyn in her arts stag,
"Thwak! To Our Enemies," in the sum-
mer issue of Hadassah magazine.
I've put my priorities right.
Whenever my hair looks a fright,
I say on the spot,
"Gefizirlach* it's not.
As deigehs** go, ain klainikeit."*
— Martha Jo Fleischmann
* seriously consequential
*** (idiomatic) big deal!
"When I light the candles, immediately it's time to sit back, relax and enjoy my family together. I
silently pray for my husband, my son and stepson, that we should be healthy and happy."
— Miriam Gunz Schwartz,- Oak Park, mother and volunteer
Sponsored by Lubavitch
To submit a candlelighting
message or to receive
and information on Shabbat
candlelighting, call Miriam
Amzalak of Oak Park at
(248) 967-5056 or e-mail•
Friday, June 13, 8:52 p.m.
Saturday, June 14, 10:06 p.m.
Friday, June 20, 8:55 p.m.
Saturday, June 21, 10:08 p.m.
Converted from one faith to another,
generally a Jew who is converted to a
Christian faith, rather than a gentile
who converts to Judaism; a marked
change in belief or conduct.
Source: From The New Joys of Yiddish
by Leo Calvin Rosten, edited by
Lawrence Bush, copyright 2001, by
the Rosten Family LLC. Used by per-
mission of the Rosten Family LLC.