Dallas Doings: Shearith Israel, Baseball, Texas Elks

Shearith Israel to host Cantorial Café March 10

Shearith Israel Hazzan Itzhak Zhrebker will host Cantor Pavel Roytman, Cantor Elena Schwartz and Cantor Sergei Schwarz at Shearith Israel’s annual Cantorial Café. The cantors will perform traditional Jewish, liturgical, Russian, Israeli and Yiddish songs in a nightclub setting. Joining them are Russian duo Kalinka, pianist Rozalie Levant and other talented musicians.
Hazzan Itzhak Zhrebker is well-known to the local Jewish community as cantor of Shearith Israel since 1996. He studied under the direction of Hazzan Naftali Hershtik, Hazzan I. Eshel and Hazzan Louis Danto, and he received concentrated cantorial education from Elli Jaffe, the musical director of the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem. He earned his master’s degree in voice coaching, choir conducting and solo performance from Odessa City Academy of Music. He has a full operatic voice and has mastered Verismo and Bel Canto techniques.
In addition to his beautiful singing voice, Hazzan Zhrebker is a conductor, an arranger and a composer. His vocal debuts have included songs in Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, Italian, French and English.
Hazzan Zhrebker has recorded numerous albums for the congregation and wide audience. Through outstanding music programs, his work with adult and youth choirs, and his innovative approach to High Holy Days and Shabbat melodies, Hazzan Zhrebker has brought a new spirituality to prayer at Congregation Shearith Israel.
Hazzan Zhrebker is married to Dr. Leah Zhrebker, and they have three wonderful daughters, Liora, Hannah and Devorah.
Cantor Sergei Schwartz and Cantor Elena Schwartz
Cantor Sergei and Cantor Elena Scwhartz joined Temple Sinai in Roslyn, New York, in July 2012. He was born in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, and has been singing since the age of 6. Despite the religious prohibitions and restrictions imposed on all Jews in the former Soviet Union, Jewish music was always a part of Cantor Schwartz’ life. After graduation in 1990 from the Glinka College of Music in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, with a major in choral conducting, he and his family immigrated to Israel, where he was immediately accepted into the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music. He graduated in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in Choral Conducting. Soon after coming to Jerusalem, Cantor Schwartz joined the Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir, where he absorbed an ever-deepening love of cantorial music. While there, Cantor Schwartz studied cantorial art with famous conductor and cantor, Elli Jaffe, and with world renowned Cantor Naftali Hershtik, chief cantor of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue. In 1996 Cantor Sergei Schwartz was accepted to the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City, from which he successfully graduated with a Master of Sacred Music Degree and ordination as cantor in May 2000.
Cantor Elena Schwartz is the director of Education at Temple Sinai. A talented educator and singer, she was born in Ukraine, grew up in the former Soviet Union and came to the United States by way of Israel.
In 1990, she made aliyah to Israel. It was there that she earned a bachelor’s degree in Music and Education at the Rubin Academy of Music & Dance in Jerusalem. She earned a master’s degree in Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in 2002. She also received her cantorial training and obtained a second master’s degree by graduating from the School of Sacred Music and was invested as a cantor in 2006. Cantor Schwartz has dedicated her career to sharing with her community the highest levels of Jewish education and cantorial art.
They have two children, Ziv and Lior.
Cantor Pavel Roytman
Cantor Pavel Roytman is a native of Nikolaev, Ukraine. At the age of 7 he was accepted as a piano student to a specialized music school for gifted children. He continued his studies in piano and conducting at the Kaliningrad Rachmaninov Music College (Russia) and later at Petrozavodsk Glazunov State Conservatory. While in Petrozavodsk, Pavel joined the Klezmer Shpil Orchestra as a soloist. Between 1991 and 1994, Pavel and the Klezmer Shpil performed extensively throughout Russia, Finland, Norway and Sweden. In 1993, the orchestra made its first recording, “Yiddish Songs by Klezmer Shpil.” In 1994, Cantor Roytman immigrated to the United States, where he obtained his Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from DePaul University and Master of Music in Musicology from Northwestern University. Throughout this time, he also studied hazzanut with such well-known masters of cantorial art as Hazzan Shlomo Shuster, Hazzan Henry Rosenblum and Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi. In 2006 Cantor Roytman was certified as a cantor through Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. In 2015 Cantor Roytman completed his certification as a Conservative cantor and became a full-fledged member of the Cantors Assembly.
Evening includes light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. General admission is $12 and $10 for seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased at https://bit.ly/2Tf6SOq. The Cantorial Café is part of the Small-Waldman-Cohen 2018-2019 Signature Series.
Cantors’ biographies compiled from Congregation Shearith Israel, Temple Sinai and pavelroytman.com.

Israeli Baseball Movie at Beth Torah

Congregation Beth Torah Men’s Club is hosting a free showing of the documentary film about Israel’s team in the World Baseball Classic on Saturday, March 9.
“Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel” depicts the team’s surprisingly strong showing at the 2017 championships and the significance for Israeli and American Jewish players to claim their place among the world’s elite.
“Their odyssey takes them from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem where they are greeted as heroes, to Seoul where they must debunk their has-been, wannabe reputations,” the film’s producers wrote. “With their Mensch on the Bench mascot by their side, the team laughs, cries and does much soul-searching, discovering the pride of representing Israel on the world stage.”
The movie begins at 8 p.m. at Beth Torah, 720 W. Lookout Drive in Richardson, and the public is welcome. Admission is free, but anyone wanting to attend is asked to call the synagogue at 972-234-1542 to reserve a seat.

Brady Karp runner-up in Texas Elks Free Throw Contest

Local student Brady Karp, son of Lori and Jon Karp of Dallas, won second place in the 2019 Texas Elks State Association (TESA) Hoop Shoot® Free Throw Contest held in Carrollton on Saturday, Feb. 16.
Karp, a student at Brentfield Elementary, placed second in the 10-11 year old boys division by sinking 21 free throws out of 25 attempts, missing first place by one basket. He competed against eight other District champions from around the state of Texas.
To earn a spot in the state competition Karp won his local contest, sponsored by Dallas Elks Lodge, and then the North District shoot-off. Karp will be a stand-by for the four-state Regional contest held in Carrollton on March 16th, with the national finals in Chicago on April 27.
This year over 220,000 kids in Texas are expected to have competed in the contest, according to Kelly McDermott, TESA Hoop Shoot director. Nationwide over 1.5 million boys and girls will compete in three different age groups.
TESA President Fred Adams extended congratulations to all of the participants, saying, “Texas Elks realize that our children are our future and it is important for them to learn the necessary steps to achieving goals in order to grow into successful productive adults. This is an experience they will remember and benefit from their entire lives. It is a great honor for us to be able to provide this friendly competition as a tool for our future leaders.”
The Elks are a fraternal organization with nearly 1 million members nationwide and distribute over $33 million annually for scholarship, community and other youth programs.

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