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Music, art shine despite clouds
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Music, art shine despite clouds

Braving the elements, members of the band Pey Dalid entertain the festival crowd at the Chabad Center in Basking Ridge. Photos courtesy Chabad Jewish Center of Basking Ridge
Braving the elements, members of the band Pey Dalid entertain the festival crowd at the Chabad Center in Basking Ridge. Photos courtesy Chabad Jewish Center of Basking Ridge

In spite of the rain, about 600 people turned up over the course of the day Aug. 15 to attend the Jewish Music and Art Festival at the Chabad Jewish Center in Basking Ridge. It was double the number who came last year for the first such outdoor concert at the seven-acre property.

Seven-year-old Mendle Moully, son of the organizer, Rabbi Yitzchok Moully, put his best face forward, as did the other intrepid attendees. As the rain intensified, the 20-plus artists and craftspeople exhibiting their wares brought out plastic sheeting — and stayed put, as did the magician who entertained the kids and the musicians who followed him.

Four bands played, showcasing a Jewish take on a range of new music — Pey Dalid, King Django’s Roots and Culture, 8th Day, and LevYatan.

Where others might have seen puddles, Rabbi Mendy Herson, executive director of the center, claimed a silver lining. He said that to have that many people weather the weather “to sit and enjoy Jewish music and culture, that’s a win in my books.” Zachary Hopkins of Warren said, “In a way, the rain made it more fun.”

The date for the 2011 festival has already been set: July 10. To see more pictures of the festival, go to www.JMAFest.com.

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