Hallelu-YAH! Jewish Music Like You’ve Never Heard Before

Am Yisrael Congregation (Northfield) and Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation (Chicago) proudly announce “Hallelu-YAH! Jewish Music Like You’ve Never Heard Before”, a joint concert featuring Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken’s choir and Am Yisrael’s Cantor Stuart Simon on Sunday, April 24 at 3:00 p.m. at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.

Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken has been on Chicago’s southwest side since 1918 and has been led by Rabbi Capers Funnye since 1991. The only Jewish congregation in the Chicago area that is comprised of primarily African Americans, Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken has warm connections with Am Yisrael, a Conservative Jewish congregation that was founded in 1968 by Rabbi William Frankel. Rabbi Frankel was a trailblazer and in 1990 hired a woman Rabbi, Debra Newman Kamin to serve as Assistant Rabbi. The congregation embraced Rabbi Newman Kamin and when Rabbi Frankel retired in 1994, the congregation named her as his successor. Rabbi Newman Kamin was one of the first women to serve as a pulpit Rabbi in the Conservative movement. These two congregations and two pioneer Rabbis forged a friendly and genial relationship that has grown over the years.

Cantor Simon has been leading prayers at Am Yisrael for more than 25 years and he is the voice of the congregation. He has been heard elsewhere, however. He performs regularly in the area and in celebration of his 25th anniversary with the congregation, arrangements were made for him to sing the National Anthem at a White Sox ball game. In spite of the ongoing Sox versus Cubs rivalry at the congregation, Cantor Simon was cheered on by more than 100 congregants at that game. Cantor Simon has been a devoted friend to Rabbi Funnye and has led many “field trips” to BSBZ to attend services.

Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken’s Choir presents spirited and infectious music that is sure to have everyone dancing in the aisles. The choir uses musical instruments and is explosive and energetic. They sing from their hearts and with talent and enthusiasm that is unlike anything to which most Jews are accustomed. This concert is appropriate for all ages and will run approximately ninety minutes.

Tickets for Hallelu-YAH!, which is a benefit for both congregations, cost $25 for adults and $12.50 for children under the age of 13. Additional donations are welcome. To order tickets, please call Am Yisrael at 847/446-7215 or visit www.amyisrael.org


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