The excitement is mounting at Temple Beth Sholom as the Reform congregation gets ready for a special installation weekend celebrating Cantor David E. Reinwald. All of the celebration, entitled “Sing unto God a New Song,” will take place at the temple. It will involve talented musicians from inside and outside the congregation.
Reinwald, who joined Temple Beth Sholom in July 2010, believes that “music can do amazing things as a catalyst for our lives, a capsule for our emotions and a builder of community in the many ways it brings us together.” The Chicago native holds a bachelor’s degree in music and Jewish studies from Indiana University – Bloomington and was invested as a cantor by the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City.
Considering himself a music aficionado, Reinwald loves music of all styles. He is inspired by Jewish and cantorial music that is both classic and contemporary, and also has a specialization in music written and performed during the Holocaust. Out of his master’s thesis research, he created an hour long transformative experience and performance entitled “Cabaret of the Holocaust: Notes of Satire from the Stages, Cafes, and Streets of the Ghettos.”
The installation weekend, slated for January 21 to 23, will have three parts. “A Time for Rejoicing” on Friday, January 21, will include a festive Shabbat dinner at 5:30 p.m., a multigenerational service at 7 p.m. and a chocolate extravaganza oneg. On Friday evening, congregant Don Robinson will be on bass, Josh Friedman will be on piano and April Akiva, MAJE, director of religious education, will duet with the cantor on the “Elohai N’tzor.”
On Saturday, January 22, the weekend will continue with “A Time for Blessing.” There will be a Shabbat service and study session called “Two Rabbis, Two Cantors, Two Tablets,” and then sealing of the covenant with Cantor Reinwald, along with Rabbi Heidi M. Cohen (spiritual leader of Temple Beth Sholom), Rabbi Ben Sternman and Cantor David Serkin-Poole, followed by a Chicago Dogs lunch.
Reinwald is delighted to have “two very special friends, Rabbi Ben Sternman, a former colleague of mine, as well as Cantor David Serkin-Poole, my friend, colleague, and mentor” participating in the installation weekend. He is also gratified to be working with other musicians.
Sternman had a successful career in the corporate world before deciding to become a rabbi. After ordination in 2003 from the New York Campus of Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, he became the assistant rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel in Austin, Texas. In July 2008, he returned to New York to become a rabbi at The Community Synagogue. Rabbi Sternman’s areas of particular interest include teaching of all ages at all levels, Talmud and rabbinic literature, and making stained glass panels.
Serkin-Poole has served Temple B’nai Torah as cantor and educator since 1980. His commitment to peace and justice is exemplified by his work throughout the Greater Seattle area as well as nationally and in Israel. He is the recipient of the Rodef Shalom Award from Brit Tzedek V’shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace as well as being a founder of the Religious Coalition for Equality and the Interfaith Alliance of Washington State.
The weekend will culminate with “A Time for Music” at 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 23. Sponsored by the Maxine Horwitz Cultural Series, the concert of cantorial and Jewish music is open to the public. Cantors Reinwald and Serkin-Poole will perform along with Tali Tadmor on the piano and Cameron Stone on the cello.
The music for this program was conceived the two cantors for a concert they performed in Chicago. It includes cantorial and Jewish music in Hebrew, Yiddish and English and will also feature a couple of pieces by composer Ernest Bloch, presented by Tadmor and Stone.
Tali Tadmor began her musical career at the age of six, when she enrolled in Tel Aviv’s Israeli Conservatory for Music. Currently Ms. Tadmor is on the faculty of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) after having earned her doctorate in Keyboard Collaborative Arts from the University of Southern California (USC). Additional professional engagements include work with Los Angeles Opera’s Education and Community Programs and numerous performances collaborating with a wide variety of musicians, including her debut recital at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in June of 2009 alongside soprano Courtney Huffman.
Cameron Stone began studying the cello at the age of 3. He began with classical cello literature, then took a left turn to play or record with Tracy Chapman, Melissa Etheridge, Green Day, Guns and Roses (another), Elton John, Jewel, Henry Mancini, Maurice Jarre, the Doobie Brothers, Michael Jackson, Depeche Mode, Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, David Foster, Avril Levigne, Robert Downey, Jr., and numerous movies. He taught at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music for 10 years while going to USC and CSULB and doing sessions, starting at the age of 16. One of his great joys in life is to play music for people in real time and give in to the moment.
“We are excited to share music that is both classic and contemporary, as well as introducing a few pieces by a new and upcoming Canadian composer, Peter Pundy,” Reinwald said. “We are also sure to top off the program with a few musical theater and pop songs. We surely enjoy singing in a variety of different genres and styles, and are so happy that there is such a great wealth of music to choose from today.”
A dessert reception will follow the musical program. The cost is $9 for adults and $5 for children. RSVP to www.tbsoc.com/events.