Now that was a Joyful Noise!
Sunday night - audience, orchestra, soloists, and conductor - together, we all helped to build connections to the Cantorate. Connections to the Divine within ourselves, each other and that which is greater than us all.
Thank you to so many people for making this experience possible.
This month has been a Tour de Force of innovative and interesting programming and fundraising essential for the success of shul. Thank you to the Israel at 75 Steering Committee - you have worked tirelessly for months, especially the co-chairs Mel Simon and Ken Malley. Thank you to the Concert Committee for all of your behind the scenes work. Thank you to Regina Miller for all of her support and work on the program. Thank you to Pam Simon for her collage and design work for our invitations and program and to Pam and intrepid team for hosting us so beautifully at the dessert reception. The space looked beautiful and joyful, and I must have eaten three eclairs! Thank you to our many volunteers, especially Mark Wolfberg, who ran our lights. Thank you to Rabbi Small for being an essential sounding board in this process and especially for valuing and supporting art and music at The Emanuel. Thank you to our beloved Rabbi Philip Lazowski for your invocation. You framed the evening beautifully. To our Synagogue Board President for just a few more days, Ken Simon, thank you. I cannot begin to list all the hats Ken has worn and pieces of the puzzle he has taken on in putting together Sunday’s program. So, I will simply say thank you from the bottom of my heart!
This concert was not just a fun event; it was an important fundraiser. Thank you to our sponsors, especially Fierston Financial Group for sponsoring the reception; LAZ Parking; and Andy and Suzanne Pinkes for their generosity. Thank you to all our donors large and small. This concert could not have come together without your financial support. Thank you to Executive Director Kobi Benita for your able operational leadership. To our entire office staff, especially Lisa Lenkiewicz, and to our custodial team led by Joseph Ward, you work day in and day out to make everything run smoothly.
Cantor Joseph Ness put together an amazing group of musicians making up the Beth El Orchestra and Choir. We are so lucky to be in a community in which we can collaborate and build something so much greater than the sum of our parts. Cantor Ness arranged and orchestrated nearly every piece on the program as well as hiring, rehearsing, and conducting the orchestra. The entire West Hartford community is enriched by his skill and generosity. Thank you Cantor Ness. I am so lucky to have such amazing friends and colleagues in Cantors Matthew Austerklein, Eliana Kissner, and Danny Mendelson. I hope you all enjoyed their performances as much as I did!
I would like to thank Beth Polebaum for allowing all of us to share in the experience of hearing the late Hazzan Sandy Cohn’s voice raised in beautiful, recorded song. I am so grateful for the brief time I had with Hazzan Cohn. His musical legacy will live on in all of us who knew him.
It is our people’s tradition to make music together since before the Levi’im sang at the Temple in Jerusalem. I feel privileged to have had the honor of creating Joyful Noise! I hope the thrill of Sunday night’s concert inspired you, and I look forward to many more musical adventures together.
Chag Shavuot Sameach and Shabbat Shalom!
Hazzan Daniella Risman