Monday, August 4, 2008

London calling....

8/3 Sunday - It had been about 10 years since I was in England, when Kol B'seder sang here for the "Festival of Reform Judaism" in the late '90s. In '95 I was invited to teach and perform at Limmud, which then was just a British phenomenon but is now world famous. Over the years, through Caje, Limmud, and Hava Nashira, many strong friendships have developed among music leaders from the American and British Jewish communities. Personally, it is very gratifying to be welcomed so warmly, and to find that so many of my songs (along with those of Debbie Friedman and others) have been embraced by the Jewish community here. There is also special meaning in being able to sing my own music - so much of it inspired by the Beatles - in the land of Sgt. Pepper.

EJ Cohen is known to many for her sign language interpretations at Caje and other Jewish events. Having just signed on as Education Director for Finchley Progressive Synagogue, she took the bull by the horns and, along with Rabbi Neil James, organized a Sunday morning brunch/concert for me at which over 100 people came. This all took place the day after my flight and some 12 hours after landing at Heathrow. The concert was splendid, with lots of singing, a great deal of laughter, and a real feeling of spirit in the room. To top it off, nearly 300 pounds was raised to support the Israel Reform movement (in dire financial straights at the moment due to the sick dollar) and that amount will be doubled by the British Liberal and Progressive synagogues.

Tomorrow I'll be visiting Camp Kadima in Sussex to sing with a very large group of kids!

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