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Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission


One Hand, One Heart: An intergenerational celebration of Broadway and Yiddish Songs

Event details
Calendar   Commemorations
Location Zoom
Date Wed, Jan 20, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Duration   1h
Details In an event celebrating hope for the future, Wagner College music students will perform for the community an act of intergenerational joy and interfaith unity. On January 20th, 2021, 7 PM CST, the evening of the Presidential Inauguration, a multi-ethnic singing organization, Shir Levav (Sing from the Heart) joins Holocaust Survivor Arthur Spielman to perform music by Jewish composers of Broadway and a few favorite Yiddish songs. To mark Martin Luther King’s birthday, renowned vocalist and professor of Music at Wagner College, Anthony Turner, will do an unforgettable rendition of “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess. This uplifting event is co-sponsored by the Wagner College Chai Society and Holocaust Center and the Staten Island Jewish Community Center, Esther Grushkin Seminars in Adult Jewish Education (JCC-SAJE). There is no charge for this unifying event taking place on zoom; donations are encouraged.

This event will feature a surprising array of Broadway show tunes by Jewish composers, fostering an intergenerational connection through beautiful music that everyone loves. Our Host and 2nd generation survivor, Mickey Tennenbaum, Professor of Theater Performance, at Wagner College, will deepen our appreciation of their work. This event will feature music by the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, and others, including “I Got Rhythm,” “My Funny Valentine,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and much more. Wagner College Alumni and Students Ruth Kupperberg, Miles Wilkie, Andrew Kolar and Bethany Friedman will sing. Jan Martin, the first lady of Wagner College, will introduce the event and speak to the voluntary spirit of Shir Levav. Bella Smorgonskaya will introduce the JCC’s ambitious SAJE programs.

While the focus is on Broadway songs, we are honored to present Holocaust survivor Arthur Spielman, born in Krakow, Poland, who will recall and sing two folk songs of the folk composer of Krakow Mordechai Gebertig, including “Rejoice, Rejoice Kinderlech.” Arthur says: “I heard my aunts sing these songs in Yiddish around the house, when there was no radio and no television. I am so grateful that the next generation is interested to learn this music.” Beth Nivin and Fern Zagor, a 2nd generation survivor, will also sing familiar Yiddish songs. Bethany Friedman, founder of Shir Levav and a pre-law student, states: “I’ve learned so much from meeting these courageous survivors, it has changed my life. They have inspired me to give back and stay connected to each other. Leonard Bernstein’s song in West Side Story, “One Hand, One Heart,” spotlights a moment of peace, mutual respect and love that represents our hope for the future. ”

From March to August 2020, during COVID, the college students sang weekly on zoom for Egers Nursing Home. Shir Levav is an organization devoted to singing from the heart. Shir Levav creates intergenerational connections through the arts. Young adults bring joy to those young at heart, particularly Holocaust survivors, by singing, cooking, and other projects in person or on Zoom. Shir Levav developed from the work of the Wagner College Holocaust Center connecting survivors and youth.

Register here for this event at no charge. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email. For information, contact Professor Lori Weintrob via e-mail.

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