Shirat Ha'Am: Songs of Our People Cantor Concert

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The grand re-opening of JCC MetroWest’s Maurice Levin Theater will be celebrated at Shirat Ha’Am: Songs of Our People, a very special concert featuring four of our area’s most distinguished and beloved Cantors.  They will lift their voices in song at a magical evening of sacred and secular works on Thursday, January 24, 7:30pm, at the Leon & Toby Cooperman JCC, 760 Northfield Avenue, West Orange.

Featured Cantors include Cantor Joel Caplan of Congregation Agudath Israel, Caldwell with his choir; Cantor Perry Fine of Temple Beth Shalom, Livingston with his choir; Cantor Erica Lippitz of Oheb Shalom Congregation, South Orange with her choir; and Cantor Lorna Wallach of Congregation B’nai Israel, Millburn with her congregation band.  The four Cantors will be joined by Russell Jayne, Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) Cantorial Student. Partial proceeds of the program will benefit the Oheb Beit Israel Cantorial Scholarship at JTS.

Cantor Joel Caplan conducts the Kol Dodi Community Jewish Choir (along with Cantor Erica Lippitz), as well as the Tov M’od Children’s Choir, the HaZamir NJ Teen Choir, and has served as conductor of the New Jersey Cantors Concert Ensemble. He has created choral arrangements of more than 100 Jewish songs, and has toured Europe and America as part of the Zamir Chorale of Boston. Cantor Caplan served for years on the staff of Camp Ramah and on the staff of the North American Jewish Choral Festival, and since 1994 he has been an instructor at the Jewish Theological Seminary's H.L. Miller Cantorial School in New York. 

Cantor Perry Fine is one of the co-founders of Voices in Harmony, an interfaith choral ensemble in Essex County, now in its 13th year. He served over 19 years at Congregation Beth El in South Orange where he taught lay people of all ages skills in chanting Torah, Haftarah and M’gillot as well as trained lay Sh’lichei Tzibbor (service leaders) through his innovative Sha’tz Club. He founded the congregation’s Chevra Kadisha, the first such Holy Burial Society for Conservative congregations in the MetroWest community. For the past fifteen years Cantor Fine has served on the faculty of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Cantor Erica Lippitz was one of the first two women invested as Cantor by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1987. As a member of the innovative folk-singing group Beged Kefet, she has recorded three albums and serves as back-up vocalist for other Jewish performers. Ever since she was hired by Oheb Shalom in 1987, Cantor Lippitz has woven together the strands of traditional prayer with the innovative sounds of American Jewish music. Cantor Lippitz is the co-founder and director of the 65-member Kol Dodi choir, as well as director of Oheb Shalom's adult and children's choirs.

Cantor Lorna Wallach is in her 14th year with Congregation B’nai Israel and previously served for 9 years as Cantor of Tifereth Israel Town and Village Synagogue in Manhattan.  She received her Diploma of Hazzan from the Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1991.  Cantor Wallach has performed with the SELAH vocal ensemble and as a soloist, both nationally and internationally, with the New York Zamir Chorale. Her moving rendition of Yerushalayim Ir Shalom can be heard on the Spirit of Israel CD, jointly produced by The Cantors Assembly and United Synagogue.

For more information on the Shirat Ha’Am: Songs of Our People Cantor Concert, please contact Carol Berman, Manager, JCC MetroWest Gaelen Center for the Arts, at 973-530-3421 (cberman@jccmetrowest.org).
Tickets:  $18 Member/Student/Senior • $25 General Public
       1-800-494-TIXS  www.boxofficetickets.com/jccmetrowest
       Advance Purchase Recommended

Maurice Levin Theater: Two years of planning have produced newly designed audience spaces which include new theater seats, theater aisle lighting, and 16 accessible places for patrons using wheelchairs (each place with an accompanying seat for a companion). There are more than 50 spaces accommodating participants with ambulation difficulties by allowing them to bring their “walkers” to their seats without interrupting other patrons.

JCC MetroWest is most grateful to the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey for their generous lead grant that paved the way for the redesign of the Maurice Levin Theater.  Additional critical support was provided by grants from The Wallerstein Foundation for Geriatric Life Improvement, The Russell Berrie Foundation, Essex County Community Development Block Grant Funds (CDBG), Rose Eckstein, and Anne Silberstein Cohen.







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