Dear The Mums,
Remember when you went to the URJ Biennial in Orlando in 1999 and how, when you told one of your friends it was your first trip to Florida, she asked, “Are you sure you’re really Jewish?!”
I was reminded of that exchange recently because Alan Mason, one of my friends, is, for the fifth time in as many years, directing what has become an incredibly popular and nationally known Jewish music concert in Miami. Alan’s the program director of the Winter Jewish Music Concert, an annual event that began four years ago as a tribute to him on his 18th anniversary as the director of music at Temple Israel of Greater Miami.
Since then, it has grown exponentially in size and popularity. This year’s Winter Jewish Music Concert will be held on Saturday, January 19 at 8 p.m. in the Bertha Abess Sanctuary at Temple Israel. That night, more than 25 singers (cantors, cantorial soloists and musicians) will, accompanied by Alan on the piano, come together from throughout South Florida and beyond to perform a lively mix of tap-your-foot, sing-along Jewish music, including liturgical, pop, jazz, folk, Israeli, Yiddish, Ladino, cantorial, beat box, magic and illusion, as well as other styles. A capacity crowd of more than 700 will, as in the past, pack the sanctuary, while countless others will watch the first-ever live broadcast of the concert on Jewish Life TV.
Although I’ve never made it to Miami for the concert (or for any other reason, in fact), I’ve seen video clips from previous concerts and I can tell you that you and I would love a pair of seats in the sanctuary.
In an ideal world, we’d take a mid-winter, leave-it-all-behind mother-daughter jaunt to Miami to fill those seats. Of course, this isn’t an ideal world and the best I can do this year is tune in to Jewish Life TV next Saturday night to watch and listen virtually. I’m not sure what kind of electronics set-up you’ve got in your yeshivah shel mal'ah (or, come to think of it, if, given where you are, you even need video equipment to see and hear the concert!), but I hope you, too, will tune in—in whatever way works best—to hear the music and feel the enthusiasm. You will love it! If you need more information, there’s lots of it here on the concert’s website.
As always, I miss you lots and wish you were here. Enjoy the music, The Mums.