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May 11 2021

Jewish Prayer in Many Languages: From Sephardic Seattle to Syrian Brooklyn

Asher Shasho Levy Featured in Jewish Prayer in Many Languages

Part 1 of a 4-part concert/lecture series featuring Asher Shasho Levy

"Ketubba de la Ley: Sephardic Vernacular Liturgy for Shabuot from former Ottoman Lands and Beyond"

5pm PT | 8pm ET

About the series:

In most Jewish communities throughout history, the dominant language of prayer has been Hebrew, the "holy tongue." Yet since antiquity, there has been a rich parallel tradition of prayer in the “mother tongue” - the primary language spoken in a region or country. This series focuses on the varied tradition of liturgy in the languages of the Middle East, North Africa, former Ottoman Lands, and beyond, as they are currently practiced in the United States. These liturgies, composed in different Judeo-Arabic languages, several dialects of Judeo-Spanish/Ladino, various Judeo Iranian languages, and Portuguese, served different functions for different communities, ranging from translations of Biblical passages and traditional Hebrew liturgy, to completely new texts composed to meet particular communal needs. We will move through the cycle of the year with sessions devoted to Shavuot, Shabbat, and the High Holidays, exploring these texts, the context of their development, the process of their proliferation, and a variety of musical settings. Future series dates include:

Shabbat - Part 1: June 15th, 5pm PT | 8pm ET   Register here
Shabbat - Part 2: July 13th, 5pm PT | 8pm ET   Register here
High Holidays: August 24th, 5pm PT | 8pm ET   Register here

Asher's bio:

Oudist, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Asher Shasho Levy is a Syrian Jewish musician and scholar of Sephardic heritage and culture, who seeks to spread the beauty of the Sephardic tradition through his writing, recording, research, and concerts. He performs and teaches internationally and is the founder and leader of the Aram Soba Ensemble, a group dedicated to the musical heritage of Syrian Jewry. Studying with elders and scholars in the Sephardic community of Los Angeles, Asher has amassed a large repertoire of liturgical music, secular song in Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic, as well as piyyutim, pizmonim and baqashot, the religious poetry and song of the Jewish Middle East.

This event is presented by The HUC-JIR Jewish Language Project and the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. It is co-sponsored by the Cantors Assembly, the Sephardic Educational Center and Sephardic Studies - UW Stroum Center for Jewish Studies.

Register in advance for this event. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.