A letter to mother - A Brivele der Mamen

 Directed by Joseph Green

Classic Yiddish film from 1939 with music by Abe Ellstein. In this film music is integral to the development of the plot and in addition to the film's central melody that acts as a leitmotif throughout the film, a Passover seder is also featured and a few non-religious Yiddish songs are sung during the course of the film. 

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Photo taken from the National Center for Jewish Film at Brandeis University

Contemporary Ashkenazi Synagogue Music in Israel: Some Aspects of Change in a Relocated Tradition


Adapted from a lecture given at the 14th WCJS, 2005, this article is not a conclusive statement of findings but rather as a provisional report of research currently being done on Ashkenazi prayer nusach in Israeli synagogues. A few examples of musical change are given and analyzed in terms of their musical and social meaning. The wider context of the encounter between eastern and western European traditions in Israel is also referred to.

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Articles in Journals


Documentary. 28 min.
Beer Sheva's chamber orchestra is comprised primarily of Russian Jewish immigrants. The film documents the establishment of the orchestra, the attitudes of citizens of Beer Sheva and the feelings of the musicians about their new life in Israel.

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Samuel Vigoda


Born in Dobrzyń, Poland. Studied with his father and later with Yossele Rosenblatt. Vigoda officiated as cantor in Budapest, and in 1933 immigrated to the US, where he continued in cantorial offices in New York (taking Rosenblatt's position at the Oheb Zedek synagogue) and in Washington. He is one of the star cantors of the cantors' "golden age."