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The Future of Jewish Music in Poland: Polesye & Shofar; Intro by Ruth Gruber
Berkeley Repertory Theatre Thrust Stage
Berkeley, CA
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The Future of Jewish Music in Poland: Polesye & Shofar; Intro by Ruth Gruber
7:00 pm Pre-concert slide show / discussion with Ruth Ellen Gruber, author of Virtually Jewish: Reinventing Jewish Culture, National Geographic Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe; and more. She has served as UPI's chief correspondent in Warsaw and as a contributor to the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Boston Globe. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities and is the recipient of Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit, awarded by Poland, September 2011 for her press coverage at the height of the Solidarity movement.

8:00 pm Concert
Polesye  Jewish Folksongs from the Shtetl

Direct from Poland and Israel
Polesye was the ancient cradle of the Slavic peoples and a center of Hasidism. This unique project is inspired by the repertoire of Mariam Nirenberg, a pre-War Jewish folksinger born in this multicultural region. It was first recorded in the 1970s by eminent folklorist Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett. Vocalist Olga Mieleszczuk provides modern arrangements to Nirenberg's repertoire, accompanied by Israeli clarinetist and guitarist Ittai Binnun, violinist Cookie Segelstein and accordionist Josh Horowitz.

"The multilingual and multicultural nature of Nirenberg's repertoire is typical of the eclecticism of traditional Jewish singers in Eastern Europe. Her repertoire is a result of a delicate balance between intercultural contact and cultural independence, factors that played so important a role in East European Jewish culture as a whole." (Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett)

Direct From Poland

This mix of Hasidic, cantorial nigunim (melodies) and free jazz puts a Polish twist on Jewish music. The concept behind Shofar is to carry on Jewish musical traditions that are still alive in Poland, while also searching for a common denominator shared by Hasidic music and free jazz. The band consists of three leading Polish musicians: Mikołaj Trzaska (saxophone, bass clarinet), Raphael Rogiński (electric guitar) and Macio Moretti (drums).

Co-presented with the Polish Cultural Institute New York. Co-sponsored by the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture, in association with the Israel Center (SF), the Consulate of Israel (SF) and the Consulate of Poland (LA).


Berkeley Repertory Theatre Thrust Stage (View)
2025 Addison Street, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94704
United States


Music > Experimental
Music > Folk
Music > Global

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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