Hazzan Joanna Dulkin swears that her friends that comprise the “Divas on the Bima” are anything but divas. The quartet that makes up the group — Conservative movement cantors Jen Cohen, Magda Fishman, Alisa Pomerantz-Boro, and Elizabeth Shammash – will be performing at Adath Jeshurun Congregation’s annual benefit on May 30.
“They are all sweet, wonderful people,” said Dulkin, the hazzan at Adath. “They are all full-time cantors and each had their own unique paths to the cantorate.”
Brown is a Yale graduate who moved to Nashville to try and make a career fronting a band; Fishman served in the Israeli Army Orchestra as a vocal soloist and trumpet player; Shammash performed with several opera companies; Pomerantz-Boro is the only one who grew up in the clergy.
“Our passion is to bring people closer together and music is a vehicle,” Pomerantz-Boro said. “It’s mostly meaningful Jewish music that can reach people differently. It’s very different than shul.”
Pomerantz-Boro said the group first performed at Cohen’s synagogue, which is just a mile down the road from hers in New Jersey. Since then, they have traveled the country and perform around 10 shows per year.
“We get a lot of requests, but we have to be selective,” Pomerantz-Boro said. “I became president of the Cantors Assembly and we got written up in Hadassah Magazine, and as a result of that, it exploded us a little further. We try to limit how many we do. But for Joanna….”
Shammash said that audiences have received the music well.
“We’ve so much enjoyed performing and taking to new places and audiences and continuing to craft how to best serve the Jewish community.”
Over the nearly 10 years the group has performed together, Shammash said the show has not been static.
“We change solos often, and we’ve added new arrangements,” she said. “One thing we’ll do is an arrangement of the 4 Israeli pop songs that won Eurovision. The arrangement is brand new and brings us together musically in a special way. One thing we strive for is keeping it pretty
The Annual Benefit will be honoring Norman and Dorothy Pink for their years of service and leadership to the Adath community.
Norman twice served as Adath board president – including at the time the synagogue voted to move from 34th and Dupont to its current Minnetonka location – and served on the first Adath Foundation committee. Dorothy was active in the Adath Women’s League, assisting in community events, and served on the parents’ association when their children attended the Adath Jeshurun Preschool.
“The Adath community has been one that we have always felt close to,” Dorothy said. “The Adath has been a sense of community for us, and has been a factor in raising our children and grandchildren.”
To buy tickets, and for more information, check out the Adath website.
This article is sponsored content through FolkMedia Consulting.