Monthly Archives: March 2017

Your Guide to Great Singing Opportunities in New York and Beyond, Part 1

Friends, family, acquaintances, and future friends,

In the article that follows, I have detailed occasions and events for communal singing in New York and beyond, most of which I have personally attended. Please email me if you know of others – benkramarz@gmail.com

Part 1: Minyanim and Synagogues (Jewish Prayer Spaces) in Brooklyn

Continue reading Your Guide to Great Singing Opportunities in New York and Beyond, Part 1

Finding Common Ground Through Song

The great Pete Seeger once said,

When strangers meet and find they like the same song, then there is one more connection made for the future world network. And when eventually we have a world of peace and justice, the songs and those who sing them will be some of the millions of reasons why.

A few days ago, I bicycled over to the Guitar Center at Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn to pick up some new acoustic guitar strings. After carefully considering the merits of coated versus non-coated strings I decided to forego the $16-a-pack coated strings and settle for an $18 3-pack of plain-ol’ strings. As is my custom, I took a few minutes after making my purchase to wander around the store and check out the stock of guitars. Strolling past the rows and rows of electric guitars, I eventually made my way into the acoustic guitar room. As I closed the door behind me, I heard some unusual music coming from another smaller room that housed the high-end classical guitars. Following my ears, I peered through the glass door and, to my surprise, found two young Chasidic men dressed in traditional black and white garb singing and playing a Hebrew song together. Only in Brooklyn! I thought to myself. I immediately opened the door, pulled out my phone, and asked them if I could take a video. “Definitely,” they replied.

When they had finished the song, I put my phone away and stepped into the inner room to invite a conversation. “Do you know any Carlebach?” the larger Chasid asked me, referring to the music of Shlomo Carlebach, perhaps the most famous composer of Jewish music in the last 100 years.

Continue reading Finding Common Ground Through Song