Beth Israel Meets Broadway

Beth Israel Meets Broadway

From the desk of Rabbi David Lyon

If I were a Broadway critic, I’d have only one word to say, “Tremendous!” If I had two words to say, I’d say, “Bravo! Brava!” Congregation Beth Israel’s “Telling Our Stories: Where Tradition & Broadway Intersect” was a stellar accomplishment. Underwritten by the Carrolyn Fleishman Fund, it was the perfect combination of song, narrative, inspiration, and soulfulness that made the audience feel in step with their American culture, their Jewish journey, and the ways they’ve always intersected.

 “Bravo” to David Scott for composing the script and for organizing the performers,  including Javier Munoz and Emmy Raver-Lampman, from the cast of “Hamilton”; Cantor Daniel Mutlu (extra Bravo!), our “Forever Friend,” as I described him Saturday night, and Senior Cantor of Central Synagogue of New York City; Rabbi Adrienne Scott (Brava!) for her debut as a singing and performing sensation, in addition to being a beloved member of our clergy team; and Mark Vogel, our Music Director, whose able hands play piano brilliantly all the while conducting an A-Team of musicians.

The flood of emails and texts following the performance echoed my own experience and something more. It appears that the event was a real gift, not only to Carrolyn Fleishman from her family but also to us. We’ve been locked down, holed up, and overly protective, just to survive the past two years. The burst of life on Saturday night was a complete release of everything we’ve been holding onto, including stress and fear. We saw friends and mingled with congregants and community members. We sat back in our chairs, clapped for joy, sang behind our masks, and cried tears of happiness and gratitude. Then when we walked out of the room, we allowed ourselves to believe that tomorrow will be better than we thought, and the months ahead will be filled with potential for good health and happiness, too. If you couldn’t attend the performance, there will be an opportunity to see a recording. Stay tuned for news about a date soon.

Congregation Beth Israel is a house of worship, study, and community gathering. It’s also a House of Hope where the human spirit is tended to with compassion. Almost everywhere else we anticipate a challenge — the cleaners, the bank, the airport — but it shouldn’t be the case when you come to Beth Israel. We’ve created a team that focuses on each person and family, aims for “Yes,” and distinguishes itself by being at its best for you.

I trust you’re still tapping your toes and talking about the big event. Keep tapping and talking and know that Beth Israel is a place where Jewish living is all this and much more. Welcome back and welcome home!


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