Song has always played a central role in Jewish life, both secular and religious. From niggunim (wordless melodies) to piyutim (liturgical poems set to music), Yiddish labor movement songs to Ladino folksongs, Jewish singing traditions carry the stories and yearnings of the Jewish people throughout time.
The Minnesota JCC is thrilled to announce Bo’u Nashir, a new series of intergenerational Jewish communal music experiences in the Twin Cities that will connect our diverse community through song and story, roots into Jewish musical traditions from across the diaspora, and celebrates local contemporary Jewish music.
Over the course of two weeks, Bo’u Nashir will bring a diverse set of communal music experiences with opportunities for reflection and storytelling woven throughout.
Communal singing has a remarkable ability to bring people together and foster a sense of community. Personally, singing with others, especially songs that help me connect to my culture and my ancestors, has helped me find grounding, community, and hope through both joyful and hard times. Research has shown that communal singing boosts mental health, and that’s absolutely been my experience. Nearly all of us have experienced isolation over the past three years, and Bo’u Nashir is an opportunity to come back together.
Bo’u Nashir welcomes all who are interested – from experienced musicians to self-proclaimed “shower singers” to those who think they can’t carry a tune. Whether you are Jewish or not, Bo’u Nashir invites you to share in cultural space together – whether you sing, hum, clap, or just listen. Thanks to the support of local and national grants, all events for this year’s Bo’u Nashir programming will be free or donation-based.
Rather than relying on outside talent, Bo’u Nashir focuses on celebrating the thriving local Jewish music scene here in the Twin Cities. Featured artists include song leader Sarina Partridge, Yiddish and Klezmer music educator and performer Sarah Larsson, husband-and-wife recording duo Berek and Amanda Awend, Voices of Sepharad artistic director David Harris, The Longfellow Village Band, lead rabbi of Shir Tikvah Rabbi Arielle Lekach-Rosenberg, Swiss Jewish international touring actress and singer Lea Kalisch, Hebrew and Yiddish song solo artist – Maggie Burton, and Klezmerson a Mexico City-based quartet presenting modern klezmer, rock, and jazz music.
This year’s festival is made possible, in part, by Making Music Happen, a community grant initiative from the Pertzik Fund for Arts and Culture at JCC Association of North America and Rimon: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council, an initiative of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation. The Minnesota JCC hopes it will be only the beginning of Bo’u Nashir programming.
As we’ve seen already in our communal singing events with Sarina Partridge and this summer’s pre-fest Yiddish Folksong Series with Sarah Larsson, our community is hungry for these intergenerational, unique, uplifting ways to be together and celebrate Jewish heritage and culture.
Whether you’re looking for a Yiddish sing-along, Sephardic music workshop, family program or happy hour, Bo’u Nashir has something for you. Check out the full schedule and RSVP HERE.