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Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Lunch and a Musical Program

Bringing Musical Light into the Darkest Nights of the Year

Cantor Alane S. Katzew
Claire Lee, piano

Cantor Alane S. Katzew was the featured performer at Northern Hills Synagogue's monthly HaZaK luncheon on Wednesday, December 18. Her program, "Bringing Musical Light into the Darkest Nights of the Year," included popular, Hanukkah, and other Jewish-themed songs – mostly in English. Since the Winter Solstice is December 21, the title is especially befitting. She was accompanied on the piano by Claire Lee.

The program began with a delicious buffet lunch at noon and was followed by the performance. Cantor Katzew sang a variety of songs, giving a brief introduction and background to each. The audience enjoyed Jewish themed arrangements of Nigun, Halleluyah, and Psalm 92: Tov L'Hodot. Some songs with Jewish content were "Listen" by Doug Kotler and "Meditation" by Rabbi Marshall Pornoy. "Shaker Hymn" was written by Aaron Copeland, and "L'Dor v'Dor" by Josh Nelson. After the crowd pleaser "Wonder of Wonder, Miracle of Miracles" from "Fiddler on the Roof", Cantor Katzew sang a selection of Hanukkah songs, including "i am a Latka" by Debbie Friedman and the Ladino favorite, "Ocho Kandelikas", concluding with a rousing "Maoz Tzur/Rock of Ages".

Cantor Alane S. Katzew is the Director of Pastoral at Cedar Village Care and Community. In this capacity, she serves as the spiritual leader of the Abrahamson-Goldman Temple, as well as a Board Certified Chaplain to all residents of Cedar Village. Alane is a mentor to Hebrew Union College Rabbinic students who serve Cedar Village, learning about pastoral care, through its Jewish Foundation Fellowship program.

The Music and Memory program which she introduced at Cedar Village in 2015 serves as a nexus of music and elder care for Cantor Katzew. By creating personalized mini-iPods for residents with memory loss, this spiritual/emotional health tool makes it possible to reach the emotional center of patients who suffer from dementia and restore memories that are otherwise lost.

Ordained at the Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute for Religion, New York in 1981, Cantor Katzew has been a pioneer among women cantors. The first female to serve as cantor in the State of Israel and on the faculty at the Jerusalem campus of HUC, she has witnessed first-hand the historic transformation of modern Judaism during her nearly four decades as a cantor. During her career, Cantor Katzew has proudly introduced seniors, adults and young people to Jewish sacred music, as part of her lifelong commitment to Judaism, community service and social justice.

Claire Lee is a graduate of University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music with a Master of Music degree in Piano Accompanying. She is a free-lance accompanist and entertainer and accompanies the Broadway series of student concerts at Hebrew Union College, where for many years she was the organist. Claire plays flute in the UC Community Summer Band and the New Horizons Band, and keyboards for the New Horizons Dixieland Band and the Queen City Klezmorim. At Northern Hills Synagogue she directs the High Holiday choir and is a member of the Kabbalat Shabbat instrumental ensemble.

HaZaK which stands for Hokma (wisdom), Zikna (maturity), and Kadima (forward) provides monthly programs for people 55+ from September through June at Northern Hills Synagogue. It is an accessible facility.

Photography by Gayna Bassin.

Harriet Freedman shows Barbara Goldstein all the gluten-free foods.

The lunch buffet included a blintz souffle and tuna pasta casserole.

Rabbi George Barnard led HaMotzi and Birkat HaMazon.

Bobbi Handwerger, Hazak Chair, introduced Cantor Alane S. Katzew and Claire Lee, piano

Bobbi Handwerger also talked about the next Hazak on Jan. 15: "The Road to Morocco",
a PowerPoint presentation with photos from the trip that Sonia Milrod, Connie Hinitz,
and Bobbi Handwerger took in 2019.

Cantor Alane S. Katzew and Claire Lee, piano
Cantor Katzew introduced each song with entertaining stories.

Applause, applause!

Bobbi Handwerger, Claire Lee and Cantor Alane S. Katzew.


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