Tag Archives: Kol Tzedek Chanukah party

New video: Kol Tzedek’s Chanukah party

Owing to a perfect storm of technical difficulties, this post has been a long time in coming–but check out the videos of the kickoff of the community side of the Philly Sher Project at Kol Tzedek‘s Chanukah party on December 13, 2009.  The first clip shows the community lighting Chanukah candles, saying blessings and singing traditional songs.  The second and third clips show Naomi Segal teaching the sher; the fourth and fifth clips show the community dancing the sher to the sounds of the Kol Tzedek Klezmer All-Stars featuring Susan and Elaine Hoffman Watts.  You can see all of the clips on our video page.  Thanks to Kol Tzedek member Greg Scruggs for manning the video camera.

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New audio: December 13 Chanukah party

And now, the pièce de résistance that you’ve all been waiting for–recordings of our first performance of the sher at Kol Tzedek‘s annual Chanukah party are up!

The first clip is of the band warming up (including special guests Susan and Elaine Hoffman Watts and Dan Blacksberg).  What I find most interesting about this clip is how two groups of people who aren’t used to playing together (i.e., Susan, Elaine and Dan, and the Simcha Band) find out ways to integrate sound, personnel, and equipment fairly rapidly.

The second clip is a recording of our Chanukah blessings and songs.  The whole assembled congregation joins in and contributes what they can musically (whether improvised on an instrument, or vocally), which I think is a nice metaphor for how Kol Tzedek works.

In the third clip, founding member Naomi Segal teaches everyone how to dance the sher.  I like how she combines straightforward instruction with jokes and personal interpretations of each step.  Furthermore, she adapts the dance to the needs of the community at the time–encouraging small children to sit on their parents’ shoulders and “silly moves.”

The fourth clip is of the “real deal”–the full performance of the sher with band and dancers.  We sounded good and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  We came a long way from our September 22 lesson!