December 2014 — Kislev-Tevet 5775,  Volume 20, Issue 11

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Night of Music and Joy Celebrates Kol Hazzanim


Over 550 people were delighted during  the 2nd Biennial Night of Jewish Music and Joy,  held on Saturday, November 15 at Temple Israel of New Rochelle, (TINR),  presented by Westchester Jewish Council (WJC)  and   Kol Hazzanim—The Cantors of Westchester,  with grant support from UJA-Federation of New York/Westchester.


Kol Hazzanim President Hayley Kobilinsky thanked TINR Cantor Tanya Greenblatt, for bringing the event to the Temple and introduced Master of Ceremonies, Temple Israel Center of White Plains Cantor Emeritus Jacob Mendelson, who in turn presented Cantor Mark Lipson, with the ensemble,  rendered an extremely moving Havdalah Service.


“I know you think Havdalah means two quarters (half dollar),” Cantor Mendelson quipped.  “But really is separation of Light and Darkness, farewell to Shabbat.”


Other Cantors included Ellen Arad; Chanin Becker; Gerald Cohen; Melanie Cooperman; Ellen Dreskin;  Gadi Elon; Adina Frydman; Jamie Gloth; Ethan Goldberg; Margot Goldberg; Randy Herman; Robin Joseph; Fredda Mendelson; Tracey Scher; Alexis Sklar; Alan Sokoloff; Elizabeth Sternlieb; Meredith Stone; Star Trompeter and Sarah Zemel, accompanied by pianist Jonathan Comisar; Norberto Goldberg, percussion; Adrianne Greenbaum, Klezmer flute and Jared McInerney, violin. Mendelson performed the rousing “Tradition” from Fiddler on the Roof in stark contrast with “HaKotel Shaar,” the Western Wall of the fallen Jerusalem Temple, “stones made of tears—six million tears,” intoned by  Elon, Stone and ensemble.


Contemporary life was represented by “The Baseball Game” from Falsettoland, “watching Jewish boys who can’t play baseball—play baseball” and nostalgic look at life in Brooklyn by Mendelson from his upcoming show The Cantor’s Couch.  Sephardic music stood side by side with traditional Ashkenazi favorites.


Westchester Jewish Council  Associate Secretary Gary Trachten summed it up by saying, “It was truly a Night of Joy the Westchester Jewish community will not soon forget.”