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Songs by Jewish American Refugee Composers

Hosted By: The Center for Jewish History

The Jewish-American Cantor David Berger from Chicago and the pianist Joyce Rosenzweig from New York reflect on their new album Refuge. America has been a unique place of refuge and safety for Jews from around the world for hundreds of years. It has not always been the perfect “Goldene Medine” (Golden Land) of immigrant lore. But, in no other place in history have Jewish communities been able to thrive as they have in the United States. An immigrant people in an immigrant land, most American-Jewish families can trace their ancestors’ arrivals at Ellis Island or other ports of entry to the early 20th century.

Each of the composers whose music included in this CD came to the United States as refugees fleeing anti-Semitism. In America they found refuge. Their contributions to American-Jewish music (and American music more generally) are manifold. For most of the pieces presented here, this is the first recording, and they represent a vital part of the story of American-Jewish music. They give testimony to the spirit and creativity of the refugee composers who crafted them.

A program from the American Society for Jewish Music

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