Outreach to Composers

Image of Paul Cohen, Cellist

The Jewish Music Commission of Los Angeles (JMCLA) is proud to provide a platform for musical talent while nurturing a deeper understanding of different people and their music. We have provided funding for scholarships and visiting artists to the Brandeis-Bardin Summer Collegiate Institute to support music education and creative opportunities. Through the Jewish Music Competitions, funding for original compositions of Jewish music have been awarded. Since 1984, this international competition has awarded prizes up to $5,000 per winner. In each competition we have reviewed entries from contestants in the United States, Canada, Europe, South America, Australia and Israel. The Max Helfman Insitute for New Jewish music, established in 2010, offers opportunities for carefully selected, experienced Jewish composers who have not written music for the synagogue, to participate in a year-long of process of education and training in Jewish sacred texts and liturgy.  The stellar faculty, recruited by Cantor Phil Baron of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California, met with the twenty participants for a two-day retreat at the Brandeis-Bardin Campus of the American Jewish University.  The program continued with individual and group sessions over the coming year, and culminated on Shabbat Shira in January, 2011, at which time the music emanating from these artists was performed at the Friday Evening Shabbat Service to an overflow congregation.  The music creaeted for this event is now available for listening on the Institute section of the Website, under Meet the Fellows http://jewishmusicla.org/helfman-fellows.

Continuing in its second year, the Fellows welcome two new members, David Kates and Hazzan Mike Stein. In addition to working to create new liturgical music for the Shabbat Mussaf Service, some Fellows are creating musical pulpit dramas, small operas based on scenes from the weekly Torah or Haftarah portions.  For more information on the Institute, click http://jewishmusicla.org/max-helfman-institute-of-jewish-music