Passover songs the whole family can enjoy

By , March 22, 2010 2:38 pm


Why is this night different from all other nights?

On this night  we celebrate the gift of freedom with special foods, stories and song. On this we night we have a seder!

To help make your Passover even more festive, the JSA has compiled this special mix of holiday songs. This year’s Passover Music Mix includes familiar traditional songs and also many children’s tunes that educate as well as entertain.

Click here to hear all 19 songs or to listen to your favorites.

These songs were selected from albums on the JSA website.  They are for your listening pleasure only.  They may not be copied, reproduced or sold.

All of the songs in this music mix can be heard on the JSA website all year long. Selections from the following albums were used to create this 2010 Passover Music Mix.

Around the Table – A User-friendly Haggadah by Gadi Elon

Chag Sameach/Happy Holiday by Judy Caplan Ginsburgh.

Celebrate with Cindy by Cindy Paley.

Haggadah Songs by Chaim Parchi.

Menorah’s Little Seder by Gladys Gewirtz.

Mostly Matzoh by Fran Avni.

Mother Goose Rhymes for Passover can be found in the KTAV record label collection.

The Passover Collection by Safam.

Passover Seder Service by Cantor Samuel Malavsky and the Family Choir.

Passover Sing-a-long can be found in the Children’s Village record label collection.

A Singing Seder by Cindy Paley.

Seder by Cantor Moshe Koussevitzky.

Canciones de Pesah/Passover Songs by Gaston Bogomolni can be found in the JSA participating performers collection.

Submitted by Maxine Schackman, JSA  assistant director.

FAU’s Kultur Festival highlights the work of JSA

By , March 15, 2010 3:28 pm

Between March 6 and 11, 2010 the Boca Raton campus of FAU became a celebration of Jewish music and culture. It was the FAU Library’s second Kultur Festival. Events ran the gamut from klezmer concerts to cultural diversity forums. Two of these events highlighted the work of the Judaica Sound Archives.

The Man Who Spoke to God

Tues., March 9 : Dr. Jerry Glantz

The voice of the legendary Cantor Leib Glantz was one of the first to be heard on the JSA website. The importance of his compositions, the beauty of his voice and his unique ability to create an other-worldly spiritual experience for his listeners propelled him to prominence during the first half of the 20th century, also known as “The Golden Age of Hazzanut.”  We are exceptionally grateful to Dr. Jerry Glantz for allowing the JSA to showcase his fathers bountiful talents.

Dr. Glantz discussed his book, The Man Who Spoke to God,  a biographical loving tribute to his father, explained his father’s innovations in the field, and shared his father’s voice with the audience through recorded pieces. Especially dramatic was Cantor Glatntz’s rendition of Shema Yisrael. Dr. Glantz told the audience that because his father believed in improvisation the Shema was a new creation each time he sang it.

All of the recordings by this great cantor are available on the JSA website.

Yiddish Zingfest

Wed., March 10 : Phyllis Berk

There’s just something about Yiddishkeit that can fill you with a mixture of longing for days gone by, nostalgia, and concern about the future of Yiddish culture. When Jews immigrated to the USA from Eastern Europe, Yiddish was the language that they shared with each other. It was the language they spoke, read, wrote and sung. It was the language that expressed their struggles and their triumphs.

The JSA is committed to collecting recordings that express the Yiddish culture through music and humor. It is only through phonograph recordings that future generations will be able to hear for themselves what Yiddish sounded like in the early 1900s.

JSA Participating Performer, Phyllis Berk did an amazing job of bringing back the “old days” in this performance. Singing songs from her CD (Coming of Age)  like Shpilzhe Mir a Lidele, Unter Beymer, Grine Kuzine and Mein Shtetele Belz, she not only entertained her large audience, she led them down memory lane and roused them to sing along as well.

There are currently 167 Yiddish song albums on the JSA website that you can listen to at any time.

Submitted by Maxine Schackman, JSA Assistant Director

JSA ingenuity brings new life to old Jewish radio programs

By , March 3, 2010 2:27 pm
Ben Roth with turntable & Vistas 015 Ben Roth-Aroni poses with a 16-inch Vistas of Israel radio broadcast recording and the revamped turntable that will allow him to digitize it.

In the early half of the 20th century, Yiddish speaking audiences often connected with their roots and culture by listening to Yiddish radio programs produced in the USA. In 2004 the Judaica Sound Archives received a gift of 70 recordings of radio broadcasts produced in 1949 from the Jewish Museum of Maryland.

These broadcasts were recorded on 16-inch discs. Special equipment is needed to play such large recordings. Unfortunately, the JSA did not have the right equipment.  So the recordings sat in storage.

Over time, the JSA was given about 30 more 16-inch recordings, including 14 produced by Vistas of Israel.

As our collection of 16-inch records grew so did the pressure to find a turntable that could handle them. “I suddenly remembered that my employer had given me a large turntable in the 1970’s” said JSA Sound Archivist, Ben Roth-Aroni. Digging through items that had been in storage for over 30 years, Ben was able to eventually unearth the turntable.

But, when he put the first 16-inch disc on the turntable he realized that the tone arm bumped into the record. The tone arm needed to be raised so that the needle was above the record. Working with spare parts, he was able to solve the problem by raising the tone arm base.

Tone arm base before elevation

Tone arm base before elevation

Tone arm base after Ben elevated it.

Tone arm base after Ben elevated it.

Some of these 16-inch recordings are quite unique.  For example, “some of them have grooves which spiral from the inside toward the outside instead of the conventional outside toward the inside. Also some have a “vertical cut.” That means that the needle rides up and down over the grooves instead of the usual “lateral cut” where the needle moves from left to right.” Ben said.

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I asked Ben if a special needle was required to play these recordings. “Sometimes we need a special needle but often a 78-rpm stylus will work fine as long as we have a specially wired cartridge that works for the lateral cut discs.”

The JSA currently has over 400 Vistas of Israel radio broadcasts.  These programs were produced by the state of Israel from the 1950s through the 1970s. Fourteen of the broadcasts in the JSA collection were produced on 16-inch discs. We are currently involved in an extensive digitization project so that all of these Vistas of Israel broadcasts can be heard on the JSA website. With the addition of our newly revamped turntable these broadcasts can be included in this exciting digitization project.

Submitted by Maxine Schackman, JSA assistant director

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