Music & Culture

Adult Volunteer Choir

This talented all-volunteer choir leads the congregation in prayer and shares the rich heritage of Jewish music with the congregation at Shabbat services (once a month), High Holy Day services, and special temple events throughout the year. Composed of men and women, this group is open to all members who love music and enjoy singing. No previous choral experience is required. Come join us and "sing unto God a new song."

The Choir rehearses three times a month on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Please contact Ed Alstrom, our Choir Director at edalstrom@aol.com, or Cantor Meredith Greenberg at cantor@nertamid.org if you are interested in joining.

TNTGlee

TNTGLEE is an ensemble for musically talented teens (ages 12 and up), performing sophisticated arrangements of liturgical and, occasionally, secular music. Under the direction of Cantor Cathy Lawrence they rehearse on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 and perform for Shabbat and holiday services, concerts, and community events. TNTGLEE models community service by young people; participants develop poise and self confidence, and experience the satisfaction of bringing a beautiful and joyful element to the functions their music enhances. The emphasis is on cultivating a deep knowledge of the texts performed, and an understanding of what it means to lead and facilitate worship. Participation is by audition only; instrumentalists and singers are encouraged to apply. Please contact Cantor Lawrence at clawrence@nertamid.org.

Purimspiel

Every spring Temple Ner Tamid members compose and perform the story of Queen Esther in a unique way. Parodies of songs made famous by a certain artist, or from a certain time period or genre, are used to act out the Megillah the story of how Esther saved the Jews of Persia. Each production integrates the tone and style of that time period, or that singer/composer, to make that Megillah a reflection of that particular body of work.

Over the past two decades the Purim story has been told through the music of Broadway, Frank Sinatra, Disney, the Beatles, Motown, Cole Porter, My Fair Lady, Elvis, Woodstock and Country-Western, Guys and Dolls, Burt Bacharach, Disco, Disney (again), Jersey Boys, songs made famous by women, Academy Award winning songs, and Billy Joel. The cast includes more than 40 congregants of all ages, while many other temple members play in the band or work backstage. Several families use this as a cross-generational shared experience since it provides appropriate roles for all ages and appeals to different family members in different ways. Others just attend the performance for the pleasure of watching their friends on stage. Whatever the level of commitment, the evening is enjoyed by all.

Anyone who would like to be involved can contact Brian O’Reilly at boreilly45@gmail.com.

Klezmer Band

The Klezmer Band, a revival-style band specializing in traditional Jewish folk melodies, is open to any Temple member with an interest and ability to play musical instruments. (A little rhythm wouldn't hurt either.) The band can often be heard at our Simchat Torah and Hanukkah celebrations. Anyone interested should contact Larry Degenshein at ldegen16@comcast.net.

Tarbut/Culture Committee

The Tarbut Committee is focused on bringing a diverse program of cultural events to the Temple community. Among our most successful programs has been the Havdalah Café, an evening of wonderful music set in an informal setting with a havaldah service. Past cafés have included the Klezmer Conservatory Band, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, the Afro-Semitic Experience and our own homegrown Hav-Dylan Café (songs from Bob Dylan-era performed by temple members). Additionally the Tarbut Committee has sponsored the showing of films such as a Rocky Horror-style presentation of Fiddler on The Roof, Ferry Tales and Trembling before God.

In the upcoming year we plan to continue offering diverse cultural events, some of which will be:

  • havdalah campfire night
  • cooking series
  • film series
  • artist showcase
  • youth temple band
  • youth dances
  • music series (including the Havdalah Café)

Anyone who would like to be involved can contact Bob Mellman at rbmellman@aol.com.

We meet every 6 weeks and plan 4 to 6 events a year.