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March 26, 2004 - Image 57

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-03-26

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

News & Reviews

Tenor Tribute

Jan Peerce and Jeffrey PicOn share the
same initials, strong tenor voices and a
love for a variety of musical styles. Soon,
they will share repertoire in a concert:
Picon will sing the late Peerce's best-
known songs.
The New York-
based vocalist will be
part of a Peerce tribute
Sunday, March 28, at
Temple Israel in West
Bloomfield. Cantor
Lori Corrsin, cantorial
soloist Neil Michaels
and instrumentalists
Jeff Picon
from the Ann Arbor
Symphony Orchestra
also will be part of the free program, a
Sarah and Harry Laker Memorial
Concert co-sponsored by Temple Israel's
Couples Club.
"I will be singing operatic and Jewish
pieces," says Picon, 30. "Jan Peerce was
one of the seminal tenors of the past cen-
tury, and I'm glad to be part of the trib-
ute that shows how he went back and
forth between the classics and ethnic
music with great ease."
Peerce, who changed his name from
Jacob Pincus Perelmuth, was the son of
Russian immigrants in New York, where
he sang in local synagogue choirs and
took violin lessons. His career advanced
with his work in radio, including the
Radio City Music Hail of the Air.
After appearing with conductor Arturo
Toscanini, he began performing with the
Metropolitan Opera and made his
Broadway debut in Fiddler on the Roof.
PicOn, who recently performed for a
Sephardic congregation, is not Jewish but
works as an administrative assistant in a
Jewish day school to support his growing
concert 'career. This-season has taken him
around the country for concert appear-
ances and roles in Don Giovanni for the

Lyric Opera of Kansas City and The
Secret Marriage for the Opera Theatre of
Saint Louis.
"I have sung on the Milken
Foundation recordings of Jewish music,
and I have worked with the Jerusalem
Symphony," says PicOn, a graduate of the
University of North Texas and the Curtis
Institute of Music, where he met and
became close friends with Michaels.
"I did my first solo recital in Michigan,
working with the Marquette Concert
Series, and I also was part of the Pine
Mountain Music Festival. I'm glad to be
returning to the state. E
— Suzanne Chessler, special writer

A "Tribute to Jan Peerce" will be
performed 3 p.m. Sunday, March
28, at Temple Israel in. West
Bloomfield. Free and open to the
public. (248) 661-5700.



10. • `.

Can We Talk?

Tovia Singer, rabbi and social worker, has
traveled to Michigan several times to
speak about conversion. The visits were
part of a national
effort to help peo-
ple, particularly
teens, confronting
groups and cults
targeting Jews.
Singer, for the
past two years, has
Tovia Singer
been visiting
Michigan three
times a week over
the Internet with a call-in talk program,
The Tovia Singer Show, dedicated to
Jewish issues and broadcast on radio in
Locally, the broadcast can be accessed
10 p.m.-midnight Tuesdays-Thursdays
through his Web site,

"I - I


vvvvvv.toviasingershow.com . Comments
and questions are taken live at
(800) 270-4288.
"I want people to be educated and
entertained, so we have lots of guests —
from attorney Alan Dershowitz to come-
dian Jackie Mason," says the 43-year-old
Singer, who is Orthodox. "We want to
hear from people tuning in, so we wel-
come calls."
Singer, who does his program in
English, started covering Middle Fast sub-
jects on a news-talk radio station in New
York but was canceled when the station
was threatened with Christian boycotts.
After the show was picked up by Israel
National Radio, he put it on the Internet.
"I've never been a rabbi of the pulpit,"
says Singer, whose religious studies were
at St. Louis Rabbinical College and social
work studies at Adelphi University "I
earn'my living by lecturing and selling
my book, Let's Get Biblical."
Singer runs toward controversy in cur-
rent subjects. The rabbi-communicator
has railed against Mel Gibson's The
Passion of the Christ, which he terms a
"dangerous piece of propaganda," and he
has commended Yasser Arafat for turn-
ing down peace initiatives because the
talk-show host believes Israeli and
American negotiators have been willing
to concede too much.
A visit to his Web site provides links to
past shows, Singer's viewpoints on vari-
ous issues and a chance to communicate
Singer thinks the media often shows a
bias against Israel, and he entered broad-
casting to given another point of view
"I think the mixture of well-known
guests and call-ins makes an interesting
program," Singer says. "I like when
there's a debate."
— Suzanne Chessler, special writer

Tovia Singer can be heard 10
p.m.-midnight Tuesdays-
Thursdays through his Web site,
wwvv.toviasingershow.com .

Invigorate Your Seder

Everyone wants a seder that's thought-
ful, inspiring and engaging. And just in
time for Passover, two new guides to
creating a meaningful seder experience
have been released.
Creating Lively Passover Seders: A
Sourcebook of Engaging Tales, Texts and
Activities (Jewish Lights; $24.99) by
David Arnow is an interactive guide to
help encourage fresh perspectives and
lively dialogue at the seder table; it offers
thematic discussion topics, text study
guides, activities and readings that invite
seder participants of all ages to encounter
central concepts of Judaism in thought-
provoking ways.
Suggested activities range from re-
enacting the march from Egypt to Israel
to biblio-drama opposing and defending
God's use of the plagues against the
Egyptians. Arnow, a psychologist by
training, also has created the Web site
www.livelyseders.com .
Family educators Rabbi Alan Abraham
Kay and Jo Kay have written Make Your
Own Passover Seder: A New Approach to
Creating a Personal Family Celebration
(jossey-Bass; 19.95), part of a new series
that will offer advice and guidance for
Jewish families in creating rituals that
both honor traditional values and cus-
toms and also encourage originality.
Each chapter of this book -- from rid-
ding the house of leaven-, selecting a
Haggadah and planning
Cfeath Lively
the menu to shopping
for food, setting the
table and conducting
the seder in 15 steps —
offers sidepieces in boxes
A Sot trz:et:t,
; /to:
labeled "Tip" (sugges-
tions to help personalize
the experience),
"Tradition" (highlights
from Jewish sources to
deepen understanding
of the seder) and
"Story" (personal anec-
dotes to illustrate fond
personal memories). ❑


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