Greenfield Notebook: April 4, 2024

Temple Israel at 27 Pierce St. in Greenfield is hosting two events this week.

Temple Israel at 27 Pierce St. in Greenfield is hosting two events this week. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Published: 04-03-2024 2:40 PM

Two events on tap at Temple Israel

GREENFIELD — Temple Israel at 27 Pierce St. is hosting two events this week.

Doina workshop

First, on Thursday, April 4, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Margot Leverett will teach a workshop on how to play a doina.

The Jewish doina expresses the range of the musician’s emotions. It has no fixed meter, speeding up and slowing down according to the klezmer’s mood. It is often used as a forshpil (introduction) to a faster dance tune, or as an introduction to and interspersed within the singing of the badkhan (traditional wedding singer) at the kaleh bazetsn (seating of the bride). The doina is played by a solo melody instrument, but there is also space for accompaniment and chords.

Classically trained at Indiana University School of Music, Leverett was involved in avant-garde music when she first heard klezmer, the dynamic East European music traditionally played at Jewish weddings. She was a founding member of The Klezmatics in 1985 before moving on to launch a solo career. Her first CD, “The Art of Klezmer Clarinet,” is a tribute to classic Klezmer of the 1920s and ’30s, and was released in 2001. She tours internationally and has performed and taught traditional and original klezmer music at festivals and workshops around the world.

Tuition, according to what attendees can afford, is $10 to $30. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Additional donations to the Temple Israel Music Fund are welcome. The event is partially funded by a grant from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.

Shabbes evening service

Then, on Friday, April 5, at 6 p.m., the community is invited to join The Wholesale Klezmer Band for a Shabbes evening service, which pairs prayers with traditional Ashkenazi melodies, klezmer tunes and Yiddish songs to welcome the Sabbath, accompanied instrumentally by members of the band, clarinetist Margot Leverett, accordionist Aaron Bousel and flutist Peggy Davis. Cantor Yosl “Joe” Kurland and Reb Simcha Halpert-Hanson will share leadership of the service.

The service will be followed by a catered dinner and the singing of Yiddish and Hebrew zmires (table songs). A song booklet will be provided.

This event is partially funded by a grant from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, the Temple Israel Music Fund and the Kiddush Fund. Donations to replenish the two funds are welcome.

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RSVPs are recommended, but not required, by emailing or leaving a message at 413-773-5884 so organizers will know how much food to order. Attendees are welcome to bring vegan or dairy desserts, but are asked to label the containers with ingredients so those with food allergies know what they can safely eat.