7 p.m. Sunday, October 29, 2023
Jake Shulman-Ment and Pete Rushefsky: Old World Klezmer String Duo
Congregation Beth Israel is excited to present a concert featuring two of the most recognized names on the international Yiddish music scene: Jake Shulman-Ment and Pete Rushefsky.
Long before klezmer music encountered the sounds of clarinets and brass, the fiddle and tsimbl duo expressed the hearts and souls of Ashkenazim across Central and Eastern Europe. Jake and Pete have been performing this entrancing music throughout the globe together for over two decades. From rollicking dance tunes to old spiritual melodies, philosophical Yiddish folk songs and virtuosic original compositions, this will be a musical experience not to miss.
About Jake Shulman-Ment: Born in New York City, violinist Jake Shulman-Ment is “considered one of the finest klezmer fiddlers on the planet” (Jon Kalish, NPR). He tours and records internationally as a soloist and with Midwood, Daniel Kahn, Frank London, Di Naye Kapelye, Joey Weisenberg, and Duncan Sheik. He was featured in Csaba Bereczki’s full-length documentary film Soul Exodus, and performed on screen in HBO’s Succession and Martin Scorcese’s The Irishman. A widely sought-out teacher of the klezmer fiddle tradition, Jake has been a faculty member of KlezKamp, KlezKanada, Klezmer Paris, the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival, Yiddish Summer Weimar, Fiddle Tunes, Yiddish New York, and other festivals throughout the globe. He collected, studied, performed, and documented traditional music in Romania as a Fulbright scholar, and has lived and traveled in Hungary and Greece, learning traditional violin styles. In 2018 he received the prestigious NYSCA/NYFA Fellowship in Folk/Traditional Arts. Jake’s debut solo album, A Redele (A Wheel) (Oriente Musik, 2012) was nominated for the German Record Critics’ Award. His new group, Midwood, released its first album, Out of the Narrows, (Chant Records) in May 2018. www.jakeshulmanment.com/
About Pete Rushefsky: Pete is a leading performer, composer and teacher of the tsimbl (cimbalom), the traditional hammered dulcimer of klezmer music. He serves as executive director of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, which has worked to preserve and present immigrant performing arts traditions in New York City since 1968. He has performed internationally at major venues and festivals such as New York’s Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Town Hall and Symphony Space, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Paris’s Cité de la Musique, Cleveland’s Severance Hall, Krakow’s Jewish Culture Festival, Vienna’s KlezMore Festival, Fürth’s (Germany) International Klezmer Festival and Toronto’s Ashkenaz Festival. He has concertized and recorded with classical violinist Itzhak Perlman and with many of Jewish music’s leading performers, including Klezmatics fiddler Lisa Gutkin, Steven Greenman, Joel Rubin, Cantor Yitzchok Meir Helfgott, Andy Statman, Klezmer Conservatory Band, Alicia Svigals, Michael Alpert, Adrianne Greenbaum, Alan Bern and Jake Shulman-Ment.
Mosaic art now fills the walls at Congregation Beth Israel, courtesy of artist Linda Hirsh and the Programming Committee. The exhibition will be the first in a series intended to showcase the work of visual artists who are members of CBI.
The exhibition officially opened Friday, September 8. A free Artist Talk is scheduled for 1 pm on Sunday, October 1. It is open to the public.
Linda Hirsh has worked in a variety of visual arts media, and is the author of two books of poetry and a memoir about working as a reporter for the Hartford Courant. Read more about the exhibit, the artist, and the curator in the September/October 2023 issue of Shul Shofar.
Our current High Holy Day Machzor, Gates of Repentance, served Congregation Beth Israel well for more than 30 years. When it was first published in 1978, it represented exciting and progressive liturgical innovation. However, these books no longer serve many members of our congregation largely because they do not include transliteration of several of the sacred prayers.
For this reason we are ready to acquire new prayer books and have them ready for the High Holy Day season. The publisher of our regular Shabbat prayer book, Mishkan T’filah, offers a High Holy Day twin set called Mishkan HaNefesh. Making this update offers CBI members a common prayer book for all of us to enjoy with a multitude of approaches. Through updated translations, rich commentary, and a beautiful selection of poetry, Mishkan HaNefesh provides an environment for those of all backgrounds to find meaning in the High Holy Days.
With your support, we will be able to make this important change in the worship life of our congregation. Please consider donating toward our goal. Your donation will be acknowledged with a book plate either In Honor of or In Memory of your loved ones. (We plan to donate The Gates of Repentance to a congregation(s) who will pay the freight.)
The URJ is committed to ensuring that our environments are safe, equitable, and inclusive. As part of its ongoing work to create a culture that prioritizes safety and accountability, the URJ encourages every congregation to craft and adopt a congregational ethics code. In 2022, the CBI board approved a Code of Ethics and a Grievance Policy, which have served as models for other congregations in the URJ and beyond. The URJ is recognizing congregations that have completed ethics codes by listing them on the URJ website and providing this special logo for their own websites.
Congregation Beth Israel and Temple Beth Or in Everett are recipients of a joint grant from the SAMIS Foundation in Seattle for a new Israel studies pilot program, MASSA: A Teen Journey Toward Israel and Self-discovery. We are now registering post B’nei Mitzvah students who are interested in participating.
The program will meet once a month, October 2022 and through May 2024, during regular religious school hours. The curriculum will focus on Israeli history, geography, people and current events, including a significant focus on environmentalism and climate work being done in Israel. Students from both synagogues will hear from guest speakers and have opportunities to study and learn together.
Students who have participated throughout the entire program will have the option of traveling to Israel with the group in July 2024 for a two-week immersive experience.
Congregation Beth Israel, centered in Bellingham, Washington, stands with Jews all over the world in affirming the principles of equal justice and equal respect underlying the declaration that Black Lives Matter. Believing in the dignity of every individual, we deplore the structural racism that has denied people of color the rights and opportunities enjoyed by their fellow citizens. We strongly support the Constitutional right to peaceful assembly and condemn all forms of violence against peaceful protestors.
Our Bible and our sages, our liturgy and our vision of a just society, teach us the value of every human being. The centuries of defamation and oppression Jews have suffered help us understand the suffering people of color have endured in the United States from the founding of our country to the present day.
Those of us who are white Americans may have wittingly or unwittingly contributed to that suffering. We will work to eradicate any traces of racism in our lives as a congregation and as individuals, and will take any steps within our power to promote the equality our founding documents proclaim as the right of all people.
— Approved by CBI Board of Directors, Nov. 10, 2020