A world-class humanitarian aid concert
The 125-voice First AME Church Gospel Choir with the L.A. Jewish Symphony, under the direction or Dr. Noreen Green will join with noted artists, Ilan Davidson, tenor, Alberto Mizrahi, tenor, Alisa Pomerantz-Boro, and David Propis in a concert of world music celebrating unity and peace.
The prestigious KindredSPIRITS Humanitarian Award will be presented to celebrity honorees: Dahlia Rabin and P.M. Yitzhak Rabin, z’I and corporate honoree: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd.
- Dahlia Rabin
- Yitzhak Rabin
Walt Disney Concert Hall
The 2,265-seat auditorium with natural lighting in which the audience surrounds the orchestra was designed to look and feel like a ship’s hull. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is wheelchair accessible and Phonic Ear sound system headsets for the hard of hearing.
From the stainless steel curves of its striking exterior to the state-of-the-art acoustics of the hardwood-paneled main auditorium, the 3.6-acre complex embodies the unique energy and creative spirit of the city of Los Angeles and the Resident Companies that call the Concert Hall home.
Magen David Adom
The organization became affiliated with Magen David Adom and worked to upgrade MDA’s emergency medical and blood services. The assistance provided to MDA by ARMDI in those first years was crucial in the latter years of the British Mandate of Palestine and in the struggle with the Arabs.
Today, MDA and its team of trained volunteer and professional medical responders depend on AFMDA support to provide the entire nation’s pre-hospital emergency needs, including medical, disaster, ambulance and blood services. The MDA National Blood Services Center, located in Ramat Gan, provides 100% of the blood requirements of the IDF and 95% of the blood needs for Israeli hospitals and the general population.
Unlike all previous Israeli Prime Ministers, Rabin was a sabra, or a Jew born in emergent Israel. Rosa Cohen, Rabin’s mother, who emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1917 and became one of the Yishuv’s most active pioneers, took little time from her revolutionary life to bear Rabin on March 1, 1922. Within a week, she returned to helping the poor, building schools and defending Jewish rights, inaugurating a lonely childhood that would shape Rabin’s personality. Cohen and Rabin’s father, Nehemiah, rarely spent time with Rabin and his sister, Rachel. They raised the children to believe fervently in the Zionist cause and the values of Spartan labor that defined the Jews in Britain’s Palestinian mandate.
At the age of six, Rabin began attending Beit Hachuch, the elite School for Workers’ Children that stressed freedom of thought. In an effort to promote the fraternity and cooperation that characterized the kibbutz lifestyle, the school allowed the children to skip classes and study subjects that interested them. One of Rabin’s most influential teachers, Eliezer Smoli, took students on frequent field trips, on one memorable day showing his charges an Arab village and imploring them to accept the Arabs as peaceful neighbors. Despite these lessons, religious tension ran through the British mandate, and in a 1929 Arab riot over the Wailing Wall, Rabin and Rachel watched alone and afraid as their mother administered care to the over 130 Jews dead or dying. Rabin’s peers at Beit Hachuch remember him as a quiet, serious child, self-conscious about his ginger hair and freckles — smart, but not necessarily a future leader.
When Rabin graduated from Beit Hachuch in 1935, he hoped to establish a quiet life, aiding Israel by making her arid deserts bloom with agriculture. He attended classes at Kibbutz Givat Halosha and then advanced to the Kadouri Agricultural School. In 1937, Rabin’s mother died, and he dedicated himself to honoring her memory, establishing a tenacious work ethic that emerged from his formerly unimposing demeanor. This vow became increasingly complicated to uphold when the agricultural school came under infrequent but heavy Arab fire. Nonetheless, Rabin finished top in his class in 1940, while also managing to meet and impress Hagana fighter Yigal Allon, who recognized the city boy’s analytical aptitude. As the formerly shy Rabin became increasingly involved in Allon’s raids and defense, he struggled between the choice of pursuing agricultural studies at the University of California, Berkeley, or remaining in Palestine and defending the Jewish community.
Fate intervened in 1941 while Rabin waited to hear from Berkeley. Allon helped form a special underground commando wing of the Hagana, the Palmach, and asked Rabin to participate. Rabin agreed, tabling his passion for agriculture in favor of a sense of duty to his people. Despite mixed British support, the Palmach successfully thwarted Nazi communications in the Middle East, but, more importantly, developed into a cohesive defender of the Yishuv. Within this transformation, young Rabin quietly grew, too, building an unsurpassed knowledge of guerilla warfare, and falling in love. On leave from the Palmach in Tel-Aviv in 1944, Rabin spotted 16-year-old Leah Schlossberg, the daughter of upper-middle class German industrialists, in Whitman’s ice cream shop. Quickly becoming a powerful, positive influence in Rabin’s life, Leah joined the Palmach in 1945, and no one was surprised when she asked to be placed in Rabin’s First Battalion.
While the Allied Powers rejoiced over the end of World War II, Palestine’s Jews realized that their war was just beginning. Britain’s Ernest Bevin planned to overturn the 1917 Balfour Declaration that secured a Jewish homeland, choosing instead to side with Arabs in immigration and land disputes. The Yishuv wanted to create a safe haven for the thousands of refugees pouring in from Europe, countering Bevin’s decrees through guerilla warfare. During these raids, Rabin impressed his superiors with his tactical prowess and dedication to the cause.
After her retirement from the Knesset, Dahlia Rabin took on the task of furthering the work of her late father, while building and opening the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Israel.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. is a global pharmaceutical company specializing in the development, production and marketing of generic and proprietary branded pharmaceuticals as well as active pharmaceutical ingredients. Teva is among the top 20 pharmaceutical companies and among the largest generic pharmaceutical companies in the world.
Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical Idustries Ltd., is the leading generic pharmaceutical company, marketing products from a wide range of therapeutic areas including analgesic, anti-infective, cardiovascular, oncology, CNS, dermatological and anti-inflammatory. Dosage forms include extended and immediate release tablets and capsules, injectables, creams, ointments, solutions, and suspensions. Teva USA products are marketed to chains, wholesalers, distributors, hospitals, managed care entities, and government agencies.
The KindredSPIRITS Humanitarian Award will be presented to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. at our event on June 5th, 2008 at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
2008 Concert Performers
- Cantor Ilan Davidson
Cantor Ilan Davidson has been pleasing audiences with his singing since before he could read. At age five, he began singing with his Cantor, Philip Moddel, and hasn’t shut up since. At ten, he made his Operatic debut with the Fullerton Civic Light Opera’s production of Bizet’s Carmen, as a street urchin. Since then, he has performed roles in and scenes from Die Zauberflote, Don Giovanni, Gianni Schicchi, L’Elisir D’amore, Les Pecheurs du Perles, and Manon, to name a few.
Besides his Operatic experience, Cantor Davidson also has extensive background, performing and directing theatre. He has performed such roles as Benny Southstreet in Guys and Dolls and Tony in Westside Story, and has produced many one man musical theatre reviews. Ilan has also been the musical and artistic director for many children’s theatre productions.
Among his many accomplishments, Cantor Davidson is also known as a contemporary Jewish songwriter and performer, having delighted audiences all over the world, including Israel and Lithuania with the soulful sounds of his music. As the owner of Davidsound Productions, the Cantor has produced many recordings, including his first original album, Stained Glass, in 1995. Most recently, Ilan’s band, The Moody Jews, released In A Hanukkah Mood. The Moody Jews are working on two more recordings in 2009, including Still In A Hanukkah Mood, a CD of new, original Hanukkah melodies.
After making the choice in 1991 to pursue a career in Jewish Education, Youth Work, and the Cantorate, Cantor Davidson left the stage and in 1995 joined the Temple Beth El family, in San Pedro, where he has brought many new programs and much enthusiasm to the community. In 2007, Cantor Davidson founded KindredSPIRITS, a non-profit humanitarian organization that inspires and educates diverse communities to support its global partners. The inaugural event premiered June 5, 2008 at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Whether it is Hazzanut, Pop, Opera, Musical Theatre, or Folk music, Cantor Ilan Davidson shares his soul and genuine love in every note.
When asked about his finest accomplishment, Cantor Davidson invariably responds, “After all the great concerts, services, and roles, my finest role in life is that of husband to my beautiful wife, Jodi, and daddy to my gorgeous daughters, Jordan and Zoe.”
- Dr. Noreen Green
DR. NOREEN GREEN, LAJS Founder, Artistic Director and Conductor, is also music director at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California, a renowned lecturer on Jewish music, and an accomplished educator. She is known world-wide for her knowledge and skill in presenting music with Jewish themes.
Green has received public recognition for her outstanding contributions to the multi-cultural musical scene in Los Angeles by Congressman Brad Sherman and by the Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life. She has received the “Jewish Cultural Star” award presented by the National Foundation of Jewish Culture at The Jewish Image Awards, the “Golda Meir Award” from The State of Israel Bonds, the “Hall of Fame Award” from the National Association of Women Business Owners and the “Women of Significance Award” from Adat Ari El Sisterhood. She has been a featured speaker for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Upbeat Live series and conducted at the opening ceremonies of the 2001 Maccabi Games in Philadelphia. Dr. Green has been guest conductor for Jewish Music concerts with the Rubin Academy Orchestra in Tel Aviv, the Johannesburg Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Symphony at the new performing arts center in Herzliyah and the R’aanana Symphonette . Under her baton, LAJS has performed in concert with Hollywood personalities including Billy Crystal, Tovah Feldshuh, Leonard Nimoy, Randy Newman, Theodore Bikel, Laraine Newman, Valerie Harper, Pat Boone, Lainie Kazan, Fyvush Finkel, Dave Koz, Marvin Hamlisch, Roslyn Kind, David Benoit and others.
During her tenure with the LAJS, Green, along with Education Director Ilizabeth Gilbert, has developed education programs initially funded by the New and Innovate Grants division of the Jewish Community Foundation. Several of these programs have gone on to receive funding from the Righteous Persons Foundation, the Maurice Amado Foundation, the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, the Leonard and Susan Bay Nimoy Foundation and the Tel Aviv/Los Angeles Partnership. LAJS received a substantial education grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for its Patchwork of Cultures program which uses music to show the cultural bridge between the Sephardic Jewish and Hispanic communities.
Green received a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Choral Music from the University of Southern California and a Master of Music Degree in Choral Conducting at California State University, Northridge under conductor John Alexander. From 1981 to 1990, she was the conductor of the American Jewish Choral Society. As West Coast Music Director of the David Nowakowsky Foundation from1992 to 1998, Green presented an annual concert series of the Nowakowsky Chorale. She wrote her doctoral treatise on the music of Nowakowsky, and went on to edit many of his works, ten of which have been published by Laurendale.
From 1986 to 1992, Green was an Assistant Professor at CSUN and in the summer of 1993, she worked with conductor Murry Sidlin at the Aspen Music School. With his support and encouragement, she developed the concept for and founded the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony.
- Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi
Greek-born tenor, Alberto Mizrahi, one of the world’s leading interpreters of Jewish music, is Hazzan of the historic Anshe Emet Synagogue, Chicago. He has thrilled audiences worldwide in recitals, symphony concerts, and opera. Affectionately known as the “Jewish Pavarotti,” Mizrahi’s repertoire, spanning nine languages, makes his performances unique in the field. He is featured in the PBS gala USA/Europe televised performance of CANTORS: a faith in song, from the Spanish Portuguese Synagogue, Amsterdam, as well as with the legendary jazz pianist, Dave Brubeck, and his quartet, in “Gates of Justice”, recorded for the Milken Archive. Mizrahi has sung with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Radio Television Orchestra of Spain, New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, N.D.R. Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Houston Symphony, Pacific Symphony, L. A. Jewish Symphony, Washington Choral Arts Society at the Kennedy Center, D.C, Lithuanian National Symphony and Sinfonia Warsawia.
Having just performed at the White House Hanukah celebration and with Genesis at the Crossroads in a televised concert in Casablanca, Mizrahi has also recently sung Days of Remembrance (Capitol Rotunda), KAVANAH: tradition and transformation, a seven city Modern Music tour throughout The Netherlands built around him by the Korzo Theater, The Hague; the Krakow Festival (with Theo Bikel), and concerts in Geneva, Switzerland with the Gerard Edery Ensemble, Los Angeles Disney Theater, Bet Shirah (Miami), Cuban Hebrew (Miami Beach), (Bethesda, MD), Temple Beth-El (Birmingham), Temple Israel (NYC), Ahavath Achim (Atlanta), Beth Sholom (Las Vegas), Valley Beth Shalom (Encino), the HALLELU Festival program (Fox Theater, Atlanta) and in Bet El (Mexico City).
Upcoming performances include CANTORS: a faith in song (Ft. Myers, Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro), BIKEL/MIZRAHI at the Harris Theater (Chicago), Israel 60 with the Zamir Choral Fdtn. (Carnegie Hall) and the Cairo Opera House (Egypt).
Alberto’s extensive discography numbers over 25 CDs including six for the Milken Archive on Naxos, ANSHE EMET LIVE, BIKEL & MIZRAHI: OUR SONG, and ALBERTO MIZRAHI: my world, ALBERTO MIZRAHI AT MENUHIN HALL and the AFRO-SEMITIC YIZKOR with the Afro-Semitic Experience.
- Hazzan Alisa Pomerantz-Boro
Hazzan Alisa Pomerantz-Boro grew up on Mercer Island, Washington, in a rabbinic home, instilled with a love of Judaism and music. From an early age, she knew she would continue the long family line of rabbis and cantors. Hazzan Alisa Pomerantz-Boro holds a BA in Near Eastern Studies and Music from the University of Washington and a degree in sacred Jewish music from the Cantors Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. At her investiture as a Hazzan, she was awarded the Jacobson Memorial Prize in Hazzanut.
As a cantorial student, Hazzan Pomerantz-Boro held the position of assistant cantor at New Yorks prestigious Park Avenue Synagogue. Upon investiture, she served as the Hazzan at Tifereth Israel Synagogue in San Diego for 13 years and came to Congregation Beth El in 2004.
Hazzan Pomerantz-Boro was among the first 12 women to be inducted into the Cantors Assembly, the professional organization of Conservative cantors, where she has served as the co-chair of the Western Region and on the National Executive Council of the Cantors Assembly. She is the co-chair of the International Convention in 2006.
- David Propis
Throughout his childhood, music played a significant role in the life of Canadian-born and Philadelphia raised Cantor David Propis. At the young age of five, he was the featured soloist in the High Holiday choir of his late father, the distinguished and internationally known Cantor Dov Propis. Cantor David Propis’ love of Jewish and Chassidic music has familial origins. His father’s influence, as well as that of his cousin, Aaron Propis, who founded the Zimriyah (the original Jewish Choral Festival in Israel, later to become the Internationally acclaimed Chassidic Song Festival), have left an indelible mark on him. Cantor Propis was trained in the traditional Cantorial style (Hazzanut) by his father and internationally renowned Cantor Chayim Eliezer Hershtik of Israel. He also studied voice with Opera Diva Elena Nikolaidi and Dr. Steven Smith of the Houston Grand Opera.
Cantor Propis is an active member of the Cantors Assembly, Inc., the largest and most prestigious governing body of Hazzanut in the world. He has held several officer positions including Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer on the International Board. He is a charter board member of the Holocaust Museum Houston, an Education Center and Memorial Museum to the Holocaust. He has received numerous awards for his fund-raising efforts and entertainment for organizations such as Israel Bonds, Hadassah, ORT, B’nai Brith, JNF.
Cantor Propis has performed with numerous entertainers including comedians Yaakov Smirnoff and Jackie Mason. He has sung in prestigious concert halls ranging from the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv to Carnegie Hall. In 1993, Cantor Propis performed in concert and led Sabbath services in Vilnius, Lithuania as part of the 50th anniversary of the liquidation of the Kovno and Vilna Ghettos. In 1995, Cantor Propis conceived and co-starred in sold-out performances of “The Three Cantors™ ,” a cantorial symphonic concert event with his good friends Cantors Meir Finkelstein and Alberto Mizrahi. Co-produced by Cantor Propis and Richard Brown, for the past 8 years, they, along with new member Cantor David Katz, have performed with numerous world-class symphony orchestras around the United States including the Houston, Atlanta and Pacific Symphony Orchestras. Their guest conductors have included Marvin Hamlisch, Yoel Levy, Carl St. Clair and Mati Lazar. The much anticipated “The 3 Jewish Tenors – Live!” CD, which Propis produced, was released in April 2003.
Cantor Propis was recently recognized by CNN as one of the year’s best for his powerful renditions of the “Star Spangled Banner” at numerous national sporting events. His stirring rendition of the memorial prayer for Israeli Space Shuttle Astronaut Col. Ilan Ramon was broadcast on every major television channel in the country. He has also been invited by fellow Texans President George Bush and Fred Zeidman, chairman of the National Holocaust Museum, to chant the memorial prayer at the Rotunda in Washington D.C. for the National Day of Remembrance. His international concert appearances continue to thrill audiences around the globe.
Cantor Propis recently released his latest recording, “Visions Of Shabbat” – more traditional prayers in contemporary settings composed by Meir Finkelstein. He is joined by his beautiful and talented daughter Dena, composer Finkelstein, and Cantor Alisa Pomerantz-Boro. Other popular recordings include: “Thank God It’s Shabbat” with Allan Naplan, a new, vibrant Friday Night Alive Service that many congregations across the country are emulating today; “Inspirations – Memories of Home” for the Holocaust Museum Houston’s Tribute to the Survivors, as well as “Visions in Prayer,” Traditional Prayers in Contemporary Settings, also composed and arranged by Meir Finkelstein.
Cantor Propis is the producer of a series of CDs for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Cantors Assembly entitled “The Spirit Series.” 2001-2002 produced volume 1 – “The Spirit of Shabbat.” 2002-2003 produced volume 2 – “The Spirit of Israel,” with a special tribute to Israeli Astronaut Col. Ilan Ramon, and 2003-2004 will introduce volume 3 – “The Spirit of the High Holidays,” due out the spring of 2004.
He is the Cantor of Congregation Beth Yeshurun in Houston, Texas, the largest Conservative congregation in the United States.
- Special Guest: Ed Asner
Versatile, committed, eloquent and talented are all adjectives that describe actor/activist Edward Asner. Perhaps best known for his comedic and dramatic crossover as the gruff but soft-hearted journalist Lou Grant, the role he originated on the landmark TV news room comedy The Mary Tyler Moore Show and continued in the newspaper-set drama Lou Grant, which earned him five Emmys and three Golden Globe Awards. Asner received two more Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for the mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man and Roots. His prolific and much honored acting career demonstrates a consummate ability to transcend the line between comedy and drama.
One of the most honored actors in the history of television; Edward Asner has been the recipient of seven Emmy Awards and 16 nominations, as well as five Golden Globe Awards and served as National President of the Screen Actors Guild for two terms. He was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1996. Asner received the Ralph Morgan Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 2000, presented periodically for distinguished service to the Guild’s Hollywood membership. In March 2002, he was again honored by The Guild as the 38th recipient of the prestigious Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment, presented annually to an actor who fosters the highest ideals of the profession.
In addition to his professional versatility, Edward Asner has consistently served and committed himself to the rights of the working performer in addition to advocating for human rights, world peace, environmental preservation and political freedom. A passionate and informed spokesperson for the causes he supports, Asner is a frequent speaker on labor issues and a particular ally for the acting industry’s older artists. Some of the many honors he has received throughout his career include the Anne Frank Human Rights Award, The Eugene Debs Award, Organized Labor Publications Humanitarian Award, ACLU’s Worker’s Right’s Committee Award and the National Emergency Civil Liberties Award.
Edward Asner has more than 100 TV credits, which include starring in the series Off the Rack, The Bronx Zoo and Thunder Alley. Numerous guest appearances include roles in Curb Your Enthusiasm, ER, Arliss, The Practice and a recurring role on Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip. Besides commercials and numerous books on tape, he has lent his voice to popular cartoon shows such as The Simpsons, Spiderman and Boondocks. Asner’s dozens of motion pictures include They Call Me Mister Tibbs!, Fort Apache the Bronx, JFK, and the European production of Giovanni XXIII – the highest rated television mini-series in the history of Italian TV as well as the box office hit, Elf with Will Farrell and James Caan. Asner has done several Hallmark movies and was nominated for another Emmy for The Christmas Card in addition to his Emmy nominated guest appearance on CSI/NY and was the lead voice of Carl Fredricksen in Pixar’s 2009 box-office-hit UP!, which won Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Score -Motion Picture, at the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards as well as 2 Academy Awards. Presently he is touring the country to sold out theaters and standing ovations in his one man show about FDR.