Wade in the Water: The Possibilities of Black Music in the Synagogue

Saturday, March 9, 2024    
1:30pm - 3:00pm

The idioms of Black music are a profound element of American expression, history and culture. Even so, does that necessarily mean its sounds have a place in American Jewish prayer spaces? What is its relationship to American Jews and the music already heard in American synagogue spaces? And what about issues of tokenizing, appropriation and theology? In this session, through conversation, exploration and singing, we will attempt to find out.

Anthony Russell is a multidisciplinary artist specializing in Yiddish culture. His album “Convergence,” with klezmer trio Veretski Pass, is an exploration of a century of African-American and Ashkenazi Jewish music. Kosmopolitn, his recent release with Dmitri Gaskin, features their original settings of Yiddish modernist poetry for string ensemble.

A past Hadar Rising Song Fellow and current Mandel Institute Cultural Leadership Fellow, Anthony has expanded his work into cultural activism through collaboration with the Workers Circle and as an essayist in a number of publications, including The Forward, Tablet Magazine, JTA, PROTOCOLS, Ayin Press and Jewish Currents.

This event will be in person at Beth El and on Zoom. Preregistration required — click here to register and get the Zoom link.