Welcome to July’s JMI Newsletter.

I’m writing to you from deep in rehearsals for the sold-out Gala Performance of our new commission created by Jocelyn Pook, Emma Bernard and Dragan Aleksic ‘Drawing Life’ to celebrate JMI’s 30 Year Anniversary.  I am so excited to take this time to reflect on JMI’s incredible 30 year history and to celebrate the brilliant team that we have today, continuing the work started by Geraldine Auerbach.

We are also getting set for our summer school programme and finalising the line-up for everybody’s favourite day out – Klezmer in the Park. I look forward to seeing many of you over the summer.

All good wishes

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Gala Performance

Following the success of the Drawing Life preview at the opening night of Jewish Book Week, JMI is proud to present the Gala Performance followed by a celebratory supper with the artists. Drawing Life is a new multimedia performance piece co-created by Jocelyn Pook, dramaturg Emma Bernard and visual artist Dragan Aleksic and is inspired by the collection of poems and drawings made by the children imprisoned in the Terezin concentration camp. This rare opportunity to see our latest commission on stage at JW3 is now sold out. For more information on Drawing Life and the story behind the commission please see here

Date: Wed 2nd July
Time: 7pm
Venue: JW3 


Yiddish Language Summer School

Discover JMI's famous full immersion courses in Yiddish Language, Song and Culture for people of all  ages, levels and backgrounds, where even complete beginners learn to speak, read, write, sing and even dream in Yiddish in a week. Ot Azoy Yiddish language classes are held at 4 levels, led by world renowned Yiddish Lecturer Helen Beer and her distinguished team of fellow Yiddishists, Sonia Pinkusowitz-Dratwa, Annick Prime-Margules, Lily Kahn and Barry Davis. Shura Lipovsky, Director of The Golden Peacock (Goldene Pave), will also teach a daily session of Yiddish through song. This year we are pleased to welcome to the faculty Annick Prime-Margules of The Medem Yiddish Institute in Paris. Last summer the course was full, attracting participants  from countries as diverse as Canada, Sweden, Germany, Lithuania and Scotland, so we recommend early booking. We also have an interview podcast with course director Dr Helen Beer and UK celebrity Yiddishist David Schneider which you can listen to here

Date: Sun 10th - Fri 15th Aug
Venue: SOAS
Price: £145-245


Yiddish Song Summer School

Our annual summer song school returns this year with the addition of new faculty, courses and syllabus. Once again the course will provide complete immersion in Yiddish song and song culture. Each day will start with a repertoire class and will be followed by teaching classes on roots, modality and traditions. The change comes during the afternoon when following repertoire classes also attended by Ot Azoy students, there will be a master class with our esteemed international faculty of acclaimed Yiddish singers, Shura Lipovsky, Polina Shepherd and 2014 Songlines Awards Nominee Karsten Troyke. Singers will also be taught Yiddish for Singers with Helen Beer and no day will be complete without joining in Polina's Yiddish Choir. There are also social events, Yiddish Theatre, Film, Concerts and much more, so do not delay and book your place early. Listen to some of this years faculty talk about what's in store for the course this summer, here


Date: Sun 10th to Fri 15th Aug 
Venue: SOAS
Price: £145-245





Line-up announced

We are pleased to announce the line up for Klezmer in the Park 2014. Come on down for a fun-packed afternoon for all the family in one of London’s most beautiful parks with special guest presenter BBC Radio 3 DJ Max Reinhardt.
The line up for this year is:
12.15 JFS Klezmer Band & Children’s Klezmer Dance Parade
13.00 Shir
14.00 Tantz
15.00 ‘Drawing Life’ – Extract from JMI’s new commission
15.30 Alan Bern’s UK Klezmer Allstars
16.30 The Turbans
17.30 She’ Koyokh

We are happy to confirm the following activities for this year's KIDS ZONE

JMI’s Klezmer Krafting, Face Painting from JMI, JW3’s Family Fun, Spiro Ark’s Hoopla with Hebrew, Balloon Band.

This is a FREE EVENT.

Date: Sun 7th Sep
Time: 1215-6pm
Venue: Bandstand, Regents Park
Price: FREE






We are pleased to showcase to the public the collective talents of our esteemed song school faculty. We are inviting the public to sample the Golden Peacock summer school experience with an opening concert by our international faculty, including special guest musicians. There will be recitals of classic and modern Yiddish repertoire as well as instrumental and this will be a unique opportunity to meet the faculty and to experience first hand the quality of Yiddish song that is taught every year at The Golden Peacock. Featuring Shura Lipovsky, Polina Shepherd and Karsten Troyke. More details on the concert and ticket can be bought here

“Rebels, strikers and anti-fascists of the Jewish East End”.

A 2-hour walk led by David Rosenberg, author of Battle for the East End, looks at the people and movements who fought for better lives in the East End from the 1880s to the 1930s. Find out about the greatshnayders strike, the Arbayter Fraynd newspaper, and the Princelet Street riot; visit the place where Emma Goldman and Eleanor Marx spoke and where the East End’s first Yiddish theatre stood; and learn about how the East End united against Mosley’s fascists. The walk ends on Brick Lane (convenient for Aldgate East or Liverpool St tube).
Optional Brick Lane curry after the walk. More details on this walk, including how to book can be found on the Goldene Pave event page at the footer here


We are very honoured to have Yiddish actor Rafael Goldwaser, who among other things founded, "Der LufTeater" in Strasbourg which is dedicated to the support of Yiddish literature and language. He will be performing a selection of monologues and recitals in Yiddish.

Sholem Aleichem "Monologue"
Aron Lutski, "Jazz"
and a monologue from Samuel Becket's "Waiting for Godot".

For more details on Rafi and the event, please see here

The performance by Rafael Goldwaser will be followed by Yiddish Cinema with a screening of a Yiddish film. This will be preceded by an introduction from our Ot Azoy faculty and celebrated Yiddishist Barry Davis. For further details please click here

Date: Sun 10th and Tues 12th Aug
Venue: SOAS
Price: Various


Join our Yiddish Choir

Led by Polina Shepherd, one of Europe’s leading musicians in the field, JMI’s Zingt! The People’s Chorus at JW3 is open to all. Participants learn traditional and new Yiddish songs, nigunim and specific ornamentations of this singing style. They sing Yiddish songs in 1-4 parts with and without sheet music, and nigunim mostly accompanied by piano but also a cappella.

Date: 15th July
Time: 645-845pm
Venue: JW3
Price: £10


David Aaron Carpenter 
World famous violist David Aaron Carpenter has been described as ‘The Hottest Violist of the 21st Century’ by Norman Lebrecht. He has performed with Joshua Bell, Nicola Benedetti, Pinchas Zukerman and Vladimir Ashkenazy. He has played at every major concert hall around the world.
David will be playing at Central Synagogue, along with soloists from the New York Salome Chamber Orchestra. The concert ‘Music of the Jewish Diaspora’ will feature Jewish music from around the world, from Mendelssohn and Gershwin, to stunning reworking’s of Russian Jewish folk melodies.

Date: Tue 8th Jul
Time: 7pm
Venue: Central Synagogue
Price: £20


Future Music
This summer, MyIsrael is bringing the Musicians of Tomorrow from Israel for a UK tour that includes performances in Leeds, Manchester and London. The Musicians of Tomorrow are a group of child musicians who were each discovered and trained by Anna Rosnovsky, a retired first violinist from the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. These musically gifted children, mostly from tough socio-economic backgrounds, are aged from seven upwards and travel from all over the North of Israel to attend daily music lessons. The tour, sponsored by Donna and Trevor Leigh in memory of Erica Lane will be the first time that many of the youngsters have been to the UK. There will be two performances on July 6th at LJCC's Ivy House in Hampstead - a 3pm interactive concert for families and a separate evening programme from 8pm. There will also be a further programme at Wimbledon Synagogue on the following day. Please see the event link for more details. We also interviewed the programme's benefactor Trevor Leigh and MyIsrael's Hayley Sussman on this exciting project and that podcast can be heard here

Information on both venues and booking details can be found at this page here

Date: 6th and 8th July
Time: 3pm & 8pm
Venue: LLJCC, Ivy House and Wimbledon Synagogue


Once again, we are delighted to announce that booking is open for the 9th Annual European Cantors Convention in Budapest 10 – 14 July 2014 at the Bethlen Square Synagogue. Budapest has some of the most beautiful synagogues in Europe and an outstanding musical tradition. This year's theme is "The High Holydays: Inspire and Be Inspired". Organised and hosted by the Central and Eastern European branch of ECA and headed by Rabbi/Cantor David Schwezoff and Cantor Laszlo Fekete. In a recent statement the ECA said, "We are honoured to have as our guest teachers this year, the revered cantors, Asher Hainovitz of Jerusalem and Yaakov Motzen of Florida. They will be supported by Toronto’s Eric Moses and others. Sessions include nusach and davening as well as masterclasses and a session on ‘Leadership, Goal Setting, and Job Satisfaction’." This is a must for all cantors and those involved or with an interest in synagogue music. If you would like to hear Central Synagogue Chazen Steven Leas talk about last year's conference and how he feels that music is central to worship, please listen here

Date: 10th-14th July
Venue: Dohány Street Synagogue, Budapest
Price: £145-245


Learn Klezmer with Ilana Cravitz 
Come and discover the joys of klezmer with fiddle player Ilana Cravitz one of the UK’s top teachers and performers. Over the course of the week you’ll learn how to play the soulful and celebratory music of Jews from Eastern Europe from the last century. We’ll be looking at tunes, ornamentation and accompaniment, as well as dance steps to go with the melodies that form this rich & enjoyable musical tradition.
Open to all instruments and ages. Minimum instrumental proficiency Grade 5 or equivalent; no klezmer experience necessary. To hear a podcast with Ilana that we recorded for last years course then please go here
In association with the Jewish Music Institute and SOAS Music department.



Date: 7th to 11th Jul
Time: 7pm-9pm
Venue: SOAS
Price: £70-90


Klezmer Masterclass

We are very proud to welcome Alan Bern as the next international master musician to play in our masterclass series.
Master accordionist Alan Bern is the musical director of Brave Old World and remains one of the leading lights in the teaching and revival of Yiddish music in the United States, Canada, and Europe since the early 1980s. He has played with the Klezmer Conservatory Band, Andy Statman, the Klezmatics, Kapelye, Theodore Bikel, and many others and is currently part of a duo with accordionist Guy Klucevsek, a trio with trumpeter Paul Brody and guitarist Michael Rodach, a quartet “Brave Old World”, with Michael Alpert, Kurt Bjorling and Stuart Brotman and a septet with Aaron Alexander, Paul Brody, Alex Kontorovich, Cesar Lerner, Martin Lillich, and Marcelo Moguilevsky.
Since the 1990s he has been a consultant/faculty member at many international Yiddish festivals and workshops and is currently the Program Director of Yiddish Summer Weimar. His contributions to Yiddish music have been cited in important books on the revival of Jewish music, such as American Klezmer by Mark Slobin, The Essential Klezmer by Seth Rogovoy, and Virtually Jewish by Ruth Ellen Gruber.
Minimum instrumental proficiency Grade 5 or equivalent.

Date: Mon 8th Sep
Time: 630-830pm
Venue: SOAS, Russell Sq.
Price: £10-15


Come and see London's very own Shir play Klezmer, Israeli, Yiddish, Sephardi, Mizrachi, Ladino and Simcha music in Golders Hill Park.
 With different musical backgrounds the five musicians of Shir create a spontaneous, energetic and souful musical experience.  They draw on the original Klezmer, Traditional, Yiddish and Sephardi repertoire, while at the same time catering for more “up to date” tastes in Jewish music with popular Israeli folk and dance tunes. This is a chance to preview the band before their performance at Klezmer in The Park.

This event is in association with City of London and the LJCC


Date: Sun 20 Jul 
Venue: Golders Hill Park
Price: FREE


Wot No Fish!
Danny Braverman's acclaimed performance returns to London for a three week run.
Battersea Arts Centre
1st-19th July
Details here

Klezmer, Balkan and Eastern European from the one of the UK's most popular klezmer bands.
2 dates to look forward to:

6th July
Parkers Piece
Details here


17th July
Details here

Swing de Gitanes
Gypsy Jazz and Django Reinhardt by way of the Israeli cultural melting pot with support from Yaakov Hoter
10th July
Le Quecumbar
Details here

Tantz + DJ Jamie Renton 
Infectious mix of hyper-Klezmer, dub and balkan beats, this is a chance to preview Tantz ahead of their performance at this year's Klezmer in the Park. Support comes from Filter Coffee and DJ Jamie Renton.
11th July
Details here

Amir Katz
Israeli concert pianist of the Munich and Israeli Philharmonics performs a recital of three works by Schumann
13th July
Wigmore Hall
Details here

London Klezmer Quartet
London's very own Klezmer band, celebrated in the UK and all over the world give you three chances to catch them this month.

Klezmer Jam
6th July
The Harrison, Kings Cross

The Woodburner (featuring Bulgarian Choir)
8th July
Dalston Curve Garden

Clapham Omnibus
13 July
South London

All details can be found here

Don Kipper
Infectious, very rhythmic Klezmer band featuring clarinettist Dan Gouly, bring their upfront sound to East London.

23rd July
Details here

Shattered Cabaret: The Songs of Kurt Weill

Quebec's iconoclastic L'orchestre d'hommes-orchestres (LODHO) adapts the music of Kurt Weill.
'Undeniably fantastic fun' **** (The Guardian)

Purcell Room
29 July - 3rd August
Details here

JMI radio brings you two features in one show as host Gil Karpas interviews a range of guests including Golden Peacock course director Shura Lipovsky and her colleagues Polina Shepherd and Rachel Weston. Plus we talk to compere, comedian, playwright and actor David Schneider about his brilliant new play 'Making Stalin Laugh' at JW3.
The whole show and its constituent podcasts can be found here