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Ozzie Nogg

Event benefits the Seth Rich Memorial Camp Scholarship Fund

Beth El Synagogue’s annual Cantor’s Concert, scheduled for Sunday, March 26, will feature Rising Stars of American Jewish Music: Banot Band and Noah Aronson. The event begins at 4:00 p.m. and benefits the Seth Rich Memorial Camp Scholarship Fund.

“This year’s concert is especially significant as it is dedicated to the memory of Seth Rich, a vital and promising young man who was senselessly slain in Washington, DC, last summer,” said Hazzan Michael Krausman of Beth El. “Seth had a deep relationship with Camp Ramah and a passion for Jewish summer camp in general, so we selected artists that produce the kind of music popular with Jewish campers, but resonates with all generations. Seth was a rising star in his political career. He worked to make sure all citizens had equal access to voting rights and a voice in the future of our country.  It’s very appropriate that proceeds from the Rising Stars of Jewish Music Concert will help ensure that all of our youngsters have access to Jewish summer programs.”

BANOT (Hebrew for daughters) is gaining fans in the New York musical scene, across America and internationally. Co-founded by Berklee School of Music graduates Yonit Spiegelman, Tali Rubinstein, Ella Joy Meir, Michal Weiner, and Marian Gomez Villota, BANOT seeks new ways to interpret traditional Jewish music and modern Israeli music. “Their love of music and community inspire these talented musicians to create an exciting new sound that draws on their diverse musical backgrounds,” Hazzan Krasuman said. “The BANOT flavor is derived from the worlds of jazz, R&B, classical and folk. The result is a unique pallet that sheds brand new light on popular, well-known tunes. These five young women really love to play and sing together.”

Joining BANOT is another rising star, Noah Aronson, singer and songwriter. Renowned for his unique and engaging style of prayer leadership, Aronson had the distinct honor of leading over 5,000 people in Shabbat worship at the 2013 URJ Biennial. In 2015, Noah partnered with Behrman House, the largest distributor of Jewish educational materials, to create an innovative, music-based curriculum entitled Hebrew in Harmony. His compositions are now sung in progressive communities and summer camps worldwide and have been included as part of the cantorial curriculum at the Hebrew Union College Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music in New York City.

Noah serves on the faculty of the annual Hava Nashira and Shabbat Shira workshop in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, and the Shirei Chaggiah workshop in London, England. He is currently the Creative Director of Sacred Music NY, a non-profit organization that organizes concerts and events around New York City, bringing together spiritual musicians from diverse backgrounds to inspire interfaith dialogue and social change.

“Noah Aaronson will perform in our concert and also bring his unique vision and energy to our annual Hebrew School retreat at the 4H Camp in Gretna, NE.,” Hazzan Krausman said. “Noah will share his joy and enthusiasm with our BESTT students, grades 3 to 7, and teach the kids songs that they will perform at the concert. Noah will also offer a workshop for adults in the Chapel on Sunday before the concert, so all who are interested can benefit from his inspiration and have the opportunity to perform a number at the Rising Stars Concert. It will be my pleasure to join BANOT in song, too.”

The need for Jewish summer experience scholarships is on the rise, as more and more families want to provide a positive, nurturing Jewish summer environment for their children. “We can help insure that identity remains strong by encouraging our kids to attend Jewish Summer camp, and by making sure that each and every student who has a desire to go to camp has the means and opportunity to do so,” Hazzan Krausman said. “Here at Beth El we take a unique approach to Jewish camp scholarships. We have established a Service Grant Program where by all students, regardless of need, can receive a camp scholarship in return for a pledge to provide a service to the synagogue when they return. The services include reading Torah and leading prayers, helping out with the Religious School, and assuming a leadership roles in our USY and Kadimah Youth Groups. Not only does this instill a sense of pride in our students, but it gives them a venue to foster the skills and values they acquired during their camping experience. Last year we granted scholarships to over twenty-five youngster,” Hazzan Krasman continued. “The Jewish camp scholarships and Service Grant Program are wonderful investments in growing our future leaders. Of course, funding scholarships is only possible through the generosity of the members of our Beth El family and our friends in the Omaha Jewish community. We thank you for your support. ”

Concert Chairs for Rising Stars of American Jewish Music, a benefit for the Seth Rich Memorial Camp Scholarship Fund, are Mary and Joel Rich and Pam and Bruce Friedlander. Individual tickets and sponsorship opportunities are found at http://bethel-omaha.org. All giving levels include at least 2 concert tickets at no extra charge. Donations are tax deductible. For more information, please contact Hazzan Michael Krausman: hazzankrausman@bethel-omaha.org or call the Beth EL office at 402-492-8550.

A feature article about Omaha children involved in Jewish camping will appear in an upcoming issue of the Jewish Press.