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Empowerment Through the Arts

‘With A Song in Your Heart’…

A crowd of 87 people smiled and sang their way through the afternoon at Beth Tikvah in Richmond presented by the JSA in conjunction with the Kehila Seniors on Monday afternoon.

June 16th 2014.
Serge Haber, President of the JSA, made the blessing over bread and those attending were treated to a delicious lunch, and enabled all to enjoy becoming acquainted with one another as well as with the performers. We felt as if we had been given glimpses into the backstage preparations.
Toby Rubin, Co-Executive Director warmly welcomed us, remarking on the large turn-out and enumerated the upcoming events at Beth Tikvah.
Shanie Levin, of the JSA added her welcome and introduced Bev Cooper, Co-Convener, who informed the audience that Claire Cohen, her Co-Convener, an artist and art therapist, had some of her paintings on display for sale, which were all on the theme of music.
Marilyn Berger – as narrator then ‘set the stage’ by introducing the format in which Fiddler on the Roof would be presented which was as a reading along with an improv style. Arnold Selwyn, with his magnificent voice was Tevye and creative Debbie Cossover was his ‘loving’ wife. The 5 daughters all entertainingly played were: Tamar Cohen, Shoshana Sandelson, Bernice Dorfman, Sara Engelberg, and Sally Posternack.
Serge was an exceptional surprising ad libbing Motel, Len Cohen, skillfully acted as Laizer Wolfe, Shanie Levin brought Perchick to life.
All were clever and quick to contribute lines of their own when called upon. The chorus of well known and beloved songs in ‘Fiddler’ lifted our hearts in nostalgia, when sung both by performers and the audience all excellently accompanied by Marshall Berger on the piano.
Marilyn Berger was amazing as Narrator, Director, Producer, with scarves hats appearing like magic for necessary scene changes, who kept the story appearing in front of our eyes.
This was a story of eviction and a daunting attempt to survive, leaving their homes for the unknown, some for ‘AMERIKA’, which Marilyn Berger reminded us was a gamble as to which country would prove to be the safest in which to continue the lives of the family.
The afternoon concluded with a marvelous duo of Jeni Wright and Andrea Engel in beautiful harmony with renditions of a variety of selections – from Copper Kettle – to Yerushalayim shel Zahav, Nova Scotia and Dona Dona and ended with Oseh Shalom.
Jeni Wright’s warm inviting personality shone throughout and encouraged all to join in. Shanie Levin joined in to sing the Yiddish version of Dona Dona – thus truly illustrating Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s quote-

Bev Cooper thanked all attending and Kehila Society for acting as hosts…
We really did go home ‘WITH A SONG IN OUR HEARTS’.

Binny Goldman

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