Praise 2010


Cantors present their best at annual concert 

By Sergio Carmona, Jewish Journal Staff Writer

February 16, 2010

Last month, Alan Mason, the music director for Temple Israel of Greater Miami, directed and accompanied local cantors and soloists for the second annual "Greatest Cantorial Concert in South Florida History" at the synagogue's Bertha Abess Sanctuary.

The spectacle he directed was a sensational delight that brought on both a spiritual presence and an upbeat atmosphere in the room. The audience was treated to the best that 32 musical artists consisting of 29 cantors and soloists, a percussionist, a flutist, and Mason as the pianist had to offer through a diverse range of Jewish songs that includes Ladino, Israeli, folk, Yiddish, pop, classical, jazz, and liturgical. All the singers put forth their best energy towards their performances and the chemistry between Mason and his performers, as well as the blending of other instruments with the singing, were superb and cohesive.


The concert was a sellout and during it, Mason thanked the audience members for choosing to attend when they could've gone to other Jewish events taking place in the community that night. The choice the audience made in coming to the concert proved to be a right one. The cantors that performed represent many synagogues throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. Some of the highlights of the night included Cantor Mark Kula of Bet Shira Congregation in Miami providing the feel of a Shabbat service with his performance of Yom Zeh L' Yisrael by Bonia Shur, Cantor Julie Jacobs of Beth David Congregation in Miami performing a beautiful rendition of Min Hametzar by Neshama Carlebach, Neuba Silva of B'nai Torah Congregation inBoca Raton performing Ladino through a great collaboration with percussionist Giovanni Silva, and Cantor Cesar Beleniski of Temple Beth Torah- Tamarac Jewish Center providing a powerful performance of Vehulai(Kineret) by Yehudah Shartok. Of course, these were some of the evening's many memorable performances.

This concert is an annual event so the opportunity to come back in the following years will always be there. This is a concert that's not to be missed for years to come and should be a sell out year after year.

The second annual "Greatest Cantorial Concert in South Florida History" was a success.

Songs of Praise: A Reprise

January 15, 2010 

by JanetheWriter

Nearly a year ago, a cadre of cantors, soloists and musicians from throughout south Florida sang the praises of Dr. Alan Mason, an extraordinary musician and friend of the Reform Movement in a concert honoring his 18 years of service as the director of music at Temple Israel in Greater Miami.  


As I noted in my post last year, Alan has a way of tickling the ivories that brings forth incredibly rich tones and silky notes. He generously shares this gift with Reform Judaism, most notably at many of the Union's Biennial conventions.  In recent years, as thousands joined together to sing unto God, Alan infused our services with incredible music, helping to make our worship truly sacred.  You can hear some of his wonderful talent in this video clip from last year's concert. 

On Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 8 p.m., in a reprise of that extraordinary event, more than 30 Jewish musicians--including Alan as the pianist, director and accompanist, as well as a percussionist and a flautist--will once again come together in Temple Israel's historic Bertha Abess Sanctuary for what is being billed as the "Greatest Cantorial Concert in South Florida History."  Featuring Jewish music from around the world performed by musicians from all streams of Judaism, the concert promises to be a delight. 

Best of all, a live audio stream of the concert will be available that evening so even if you've never made it to a Biennial convention, and even if you weren't able to make it to last year's tribute concert in Miami, you can still hear some amazing Jewish music--and Alan's incredible talent--in just a few short weeks. 

For ticket and other information, including how to access the live audio stream, check out the concert's website. So, no matter where you're going to be on Saturday, January 23rd, I hope you'll pull up a chair and tune in to the "Greatest Cantorial Concert in South Florida History."  I look forward to "seeing" you there!