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March 10, 2005 - Image 99

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2005-03-10

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Musical Celebration

Conferences, concert to explore new music in religious services.


Staff Writer


Sunday, March 20, program will introduce
local Conservative movement members to a
musical religious experience popular in other
parts of the country.
Titled "Shir Hadash: New Sounds in Jewish
Music," the program will include a day of learning
followed by "Cantors in Concert."
Bob Rubin of Huntington Woods, chairperson of
the program, and Linda
Goodman of West
Bloomfield started the ball
"I was at B'nai
Jeshurun in New York,
and the service made me
cry," Rubin said. "The
music just touched my
Rubin has visited other
synagogues around the
Bob Rubin
country where music is
significant to the service.
"I came back home know-
ing that the way to attract
more people to our services
in Detroit — especially
young people — is through
"I watch our Reform con-
gregations — like Temple
Israel — bring hundreds of
young people to their servic-
es by inspiring them
through music as a way to
Linda Goodman
open people's souls. In
other parts of the country,
Conservative synagogues do
it, too, and I want to see it
happen here."
So Rubin looked to Dr.
Richard Lederman, execu-
tive director of the Great
Lakes & Rivers Region of
the United Synagogue of
Conservative Judaism in
Warrensville, Ohio.
"Bob was really con-
Merri Arian
cerned about Conservative
synagogues not attracting
people to worship on Shabbat," Dr. Lederman said.
"In the past in America, we saw churches with gospel
bands bringing in crowds of people.
"In the Jewish world, we have the likes of Craig

Taubman and Debbie
Friedman and Merri Arian
doing popular Jewish music
to get people excited, but
mostly in Reform congrega-
tions. Bob's thought was that
if the fusion between tradi-
tional synagogue music and
popular, contemporary,
Jewish music works in other
Conservative synagogues in
engaging the congregation,
why not bring it to Detroit?"

Day Of Study

Dr. Lederman referred Rubin
to Cantor Earl Berris of
Congregation B'nai Moshe,
president of the Cantors
Assembly Tri-State Region.
Cantor Berris was already planning a regional can-
torial conference in Detroit. "I decided, 'Why not
turn our cantorial study day into a day of presenta-
tions and workshops for the general community,
with a cantorial concert at night?"' Cantor Berris
A separate conference for the cantors will take
place Monday, March 21, at Congregation Beth
Shalom, as will a joint meeting of the Michigan
Board of Rabbis, the Rabbinical Assembly's
Michigan Region, and the Cantor's Assembly Tri-
State Region.
"The [March 20] community program will
include something for everyone," said Cantor Berris,
who coordinated the day of learning, the concert and
the cantorial conference. "Sessions will be geared
toward teenagers, laypeople, professionals — almost
anyone who walks in will get something out_ of this
The learning program will begin with an intro-
ductory presentation for all participants followed by
breakout sessions, with a choice of topics.
Merri Arian, lecturer on music education and
conducting at Hebrew Union College Jewish
Institute of Religion in New York, will kick off the
afternoon with a session titled, "Nefesh: Songs for
the Soul." It will be followed by "Meeting the
Challenge: Musical Creativity in Conservative
Synagogues" presented by Cantor Stephen Stein,
executive vice president of the Cantors Assembly in
New York.
Cantor George Mordecai of Temple Beth Zion-
Beth Israel in Philadelphia will present a musical
journey featuring a soulful mix of Sephardic and
Carlebach repertoires, with "The Ever-Expanding
World of Synagogue Music."

Cantor George Mordecai

Workshops and interactive sessions range from
computerized and electronic music to creating youth
orchestras and services.
"Cantor Jeffrey Shiovitz, chairman of publications
for the Cantors Assembly, who was raised at Adat
Shalom Synagogue, will be a presenter," Cantor
Berris said. "He is the author of new Zamru Lo pub-
lication of Jewish melodies and is a very involved
Cantor Shiovitz is cantor at Congregation Sons of
Israel in New York.

Music Of The Night

The 7:30 p.m. March 20 cantorial concert at Adat
Shalom synagogue will feature 11 cantors, including
Berris, Stephen Dubov of Congregation Chaye
Olam, Daniel Gale of Temple Israel in Bay City,
Yevsey Gutman and Cantor Emeritus Larry Vieder,
both of Adat Shalom, and Michael Smolash of
Temple Israel in West Bloomfield.
"Ruach," the Adat Shalom Youth Choir directed
by Janis Braun-Levine, also will perform.


For information or to make a reservation to
attend the 12:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 20,
learning seminar and the 7:30 p.m. "Cantors in
Concert," contact Nancy Kaplan, (248) 737-
1931 or kolelmoshe@comcast.net
Cost for the seminar is $18; Cantors in
Concert, $10; both programs, $25; kosher box
lunch, $12:
Proceeds will benefit cantorial education at the
Shirley and Jacob Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center of
the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism in
Israel and youth programming in Michigan.




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