Porgy and Bess: An Intersection of Black and Jewish American Theater History

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

The National Philharmonic’s 2017-2018 season at The Music Center at Strathmore is celebrating Black History Month with Jewish composer George Gershwin’s groundbreaking opera, “Porgy and Bess.” The simply staged concert opera, conducted by Philharmonic Chorale Artistic Director Stan Engebretson, features an all-African American cast in the major singing roles; this was an estate stipulation from Gershwin, who died in 1937, so as to forbid white singers from performing in blackface.

The Master Singer of His People

Written by Larry Shor on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

Moishe Oysher was a unique talent. His style, passion, and presentation all combined into a fiery and brilliant voice that thrilled audiences. Even today, 50 years after his passing, his talent resonates in today’s performers.

Get Together with Friends at Elli-Chai’s New Game Gallery

Written by Kol HaBirah Staff on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

Kemp Mill-area residents have a new gathering spot, thanks to Chaim and Elli Pauli of Elli Chai’s One Stop Judaica Shop in the Kemp Mill Shopping Center in Silver Spring, Maryland.

“We realized that we not only had the space to create a game room in our store, but the community also needed their own space to just chill together,” said co-owner Elli Pauli. So, the couple converted part of their store into a board game gallery.

Celebrating Israel Through Cinema and Song

Written by Malka Goldberg on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

This weekend offers two opportunities in Rockville, Maryland, to combine the spirit of Shabbat Shira (the Shabbat of Song) with celebration of the State of Israel. On Saturday evening, Jan. 27, Tikvat Israel will screen the Israeli film “Harmonia,” a modern take on the biblical love triangle among Avraham, Sarah, and Hagar, set against the backdrop of the Jerusalem Philharmonic. On Sunday afternoon, Jan. 28, the Foundation for Jewish Studies will present “LeArtzi Yesh Yom Huledet” (“My Land Has a Birthday), a concert featuring Chazzan Dr. Ramón Tasat, accompanied by five guest musicians, at Kol Shalom.

Sunday Nights at Seven

Written by Larry Shor on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

If I ever have the chance to meet Jerry Seinfeld, I have a question for him: Is he a fan of the old Jack Benny show? The two shows have many similarities, especially in structure. The idea of one central character surrounded by all kinds of strange and unique characters was a hallmark of “Seinfeld,” but decades before “Seinfeld” it was the basis for the Jack Benny show. It takes a particular talent to be able to pull it off. Jack Benny was such a talent, and so much more.

‘Hanna and the Moonlit Dress’ Captures the Imagination

Written by Gabrielle Burger on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

On Sunday, Dec. 10, approximately 210 people came together at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts at the JCC in Owings Mills, Maryland, to experience the magic of “Hanna and the Moonlit Dress.” “Hanna” is an interactive musical that brings to life the PJ Library story “Hanna’s Sabbath Dress,” based on a beloved Israeli fable by Itzhak Schweiger-Dmi’el.

To My Mother, Roslyn Shor, on Her 17th Yartzeit

Written by Larry Shor on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

The following is a reprint from the March 2, 2017 issue in honor of the author’s mother’s yartzeit (anniversary of her passing).

She was a unique personality, larger than life. She loved people and cared about them and made them the center of her universe. She filled up a room in a way that no one else could.

She was Roslyn Shor and she was my mother.

Har Tzeon-Agudath Achim’s Kol Ish Shabbaton is a Rousing Success

Written by Adrienne Suson on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

On Jan. 13 and 14, Har Tzeon-Agudath Achim Congregation in Silver Spring, Maryland, hosted the Kol Ish Shabbaton and concert in memory of Cantor Elija and Anna Olkon, z”l. A capella group Kol Ish led Friday night zemirot, Shabbat morning services, and performed at the Saturday concert. Over 150 people attended Friday night dinner and over 250 attended Saturday night’s concert. Meredith Altschuler chaired the event, with help from volunteers Chanie Beckman, Delores Berman, Janice Kaye, Aaron Leibel, Jessica Lubetsky, Phyllis Perlberg, Andrea Shindell, and Scott Wasserberg.

 By Adrienne Suson


RINA of Baltimore Offers Creative Outlet for Post-Seminary Girls

Written by Emma Michelsohn  on . Posted in Arts & Entertainment

Creative expression is arguably as important for one’s confidence and happiness as school and social outlets. In the Orthodox Jewish community, opportunities for young women to express themselves in a creative way are few and far between. When a girl graduates from high school and moves on to college and work, there is often little time left to focus on her personal interests and desire for self-expression.