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Music

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Mathilde Schechter

Mathilde Roth Schechter was both an essential support for her husband’s work as president of the Jewish Theological Seminary and a force in her own right as founder of the Women’s League.

Betty Robbins

Betty Robbins spent her life breaking gender boundaries in the Jewish community even before she made history as the first woman cantor in 1955.

Roberta Peters

Roberta Peters made a remarkable debut at the Metropolitan Opera which led to a career spanning more than half a century as one of the Met’s most popular sopranos.

Bette Midler

Unapologetically bawdy, Bette Midler used elements from earlier brassy entertainers like Sophie Tucker in her comedy and music, but with a style that was all her own.

Sophie Maslow

Sophie Maslow blended classical, modern, and folk traditions in her dance and choreography and drew inspiration from politics and modern folk music to create vibrant new pieces that engaged audiences in new ways.

Rosina Lhévinne

Rosina Lhévinne preferred to keep her husband in the limelight, but her talents as a pianist and a teacher of some of the most famous musicians of her time made her noteworthy in her own right.

Shari Lewis

Shari Lewis won twelve Emmy awards for her children’s programming which featured puppets on variety shows and children’s shows, including Lamb Chop’s Play-Along.

Carole King

Carole King not only wrote many of the best-loved songs of the 1960s and ‘70s, she was a performer in her own right, winning several Grammys for her music.

Alma Gluck

Alma Gluck began her career as an opera singer, but it was her love of American folk songs that made her a bestselling musical artist.

Dorothy Fields

Dorothy Fields wrote songs for a wide variety of musicals that became dearly loved classics of American culture, from “Hey Big Spender” to “A Fine Romance” and “The Way You Look Tonight,” which won an Academy Award in 1936.

Edna Ferber

In her novels, short stories, and plays, Edna Ferber captured the rich variety of life in America, from the Mississippi River in Show Boat to the wilds of Alaska in Ice Palace.

Judith Kaplan Eisenstein

The first American girl to publically celebrate a bat mitzvah, Judith Kaplan Eisenstein went on to become a Jewish educator, composer, and musicologist.

Sonia Delaunay

Through her art and work, Sonia Delaunay blurred the lines between poetry, fashion, and fine art.

Betty Comden

Betty Comden wrote lyrics and librettos for enduring and beloved musicals like Singin’ in the Rain and Peter Pan, winning some of the industry’s highest honors.

Lina Abarbanell

Lina Abarbanell’s expressive voice inspired more than one light opera, but even after she retired from the stage, her talent for casting and directing other performers shaped powerful performances like the world tour of Porgy and Bess.

Naomi Weisstein

Naomi Weisstein’s career ran the gamut from feminist rock musician to groundbreaking psychologist to stand-up comedian.

Savina Teubal

Savina Teubal created space for Jewish women to participate in holidays and rituals, and created a powerful new tradition to recognize her own rite of passage from adult to elder.

Debbie Friedman

Debbie Friedman’s music transformed prayers for Jews across the movements.

Shannie Goldstein

Shannie Goldstein used her creativity to outsmart the KGB, bringing information to and from refuseniks in the Soviet Union.
Sarajevo Haggadah

The Many Faces of Freedom

by  Velda Shaby

I recently experienced the multi-media performance The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book composed by the Bosnian-born Merima Kljuco, which expressed freedom at so many different levels and with such fervent passion. History was recast through a dialogue of accordion and piano, synchronized with artistic renditions of corresponding historical events. The 12 movements started with the creation of the Haggadah just before the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, to Venice in 1609 where Jews were confined to the ghetto, to Sarajevo in 1941 where Hitler’s goal was to establish a “museum of an extinct race” and a Muslim imam hid the book until the war was over, through the siege of Sarajevo in 1992, finally ending with the Mother’s Benediction in Ladino when the Haggadah ends up back home.

Topics: Passover, Music, Theater

Linda Eastman marries Paul McCartney.

March 12, 1969

Photographer and animal rights activist Linda Eastman marries Paul McCartney.

Louise Azose

Born into a rabbinic Sephardic family in Bursa, Turkey, Louise Maimon followed her parents and siblings to Seattle in 1927 after her father was called to serve as a rabbi for Sehpardic Bikur Holim congregation. Married in 1929 to Jack Azose, they raised four sons and one daughter. Long active in Seattle’s Sephardic community, Louise was a living treasure of the traditions, history, recipes, faith, and folksongs of the Sephardic people she loved. Louise’s conversation and memories were filled with Ladino [Judeo-Spanish] words and phrases spoken within Spanish-Sephardic Jewish cultures.

Singer-songwriter Regina Spektor is born

February 18, 1980

Regina Spektor gets "lost in the sounds."

Singer Shirley Cohen Steinberg records the beloved Passover song “One Morning”

February 23, 1951

Singer Shirley Cohen Steinberg records the beloved Passover song One Morning.

Death of singer and casting agent Lina Abarbanell

January 6, 1963

Lina Abarbanell's career spanned from Die Fledermaus to Porgy and Bess.

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