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Concert brings harmony to local synagogues
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Concert brings harmony to local synagogues

Internationally renowned Jewish singer/songwriter Debbie Friedman
Internationally renowned Jewish singer/songwriter Debbie Friedman

Singer Debbie Freidman will headline a concert celebrating “hope” — as well as harmony among eight New Jersey synagogues.

The synagogues will share in the proceeds of the Dec. 6 concert at Congregation B’nai Tikvah in North Brunswick. B’nai Tikvah’s Cantor Bruce Rockman said a concert by Friedman, whose folk-tinged melodies have entered into contemporary liturgy and Jewish life, is a fitting occasion for community-building.

“I can’t think of another artist in our times that has had the impact she has, not only in the liberal Conservative and Reform communities, but she has also been accepted by traditionalists because of her deep understanding” of prayer, said Rockman. “She’s a giant in our times.”

The concert is part of Friedman’s “Celebration of Hope” 2009 tour across North America.

Seven other area synagogues — East Brunswick Jewish Center and Temple B’nai Shalom in East Brunswick, Congregation Beth Ohr in Old Bridge, Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick, Highland Park Conservative Temple-Congregation Anshe Emeth, Congregation Etz Chaim Monroe Township Jewish Center, and Temple Beth El of Somerset — will be entitled to keep half the profits from each ticket they sell, said event chair Cindy Gittleman.

The third annual L’dor Vador concert is being presented through the L’dor Vador Endowment for the Arts at B’nai Tikvah.

“We wanted to make this a community event, but not just by inviting others,” said Gittleman. “We wanted to help them by sharing profits, which is something we would not be able to do if not for our wonderful benefactors.”

An all-teen committee chaired by Rebecca Shapiro is also encouraging young people to attend.

B’nai Tikvah can seat up to 800 and ticket sales have been strong, Gittleman said, adding that she hoped the concert “would start a movement” among synagogues.

“I have had such a good time working with the other shuls, and this has really helped to build community,” she said. “Others have been so appreciative and they are hoping to reciprocate at some time. And when you have hundreds of people in a room it really does feel like a Jewish community.”

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