Kreditor to present musical program at The Legacy Midtown Park
By Deb Silverthorn
Mark Kreditor will bring his special blend of music, merriment and magical moments to the halls of The Legacy Midtown Park with “The Jews of Christmas” at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 23.
The evening, a partnership between the Aaron Family JCC’s Gesher Program Jewish Learning Program and The Legacy Midtown Park, is open to the public.
“Everybody loves this time of year; it’s time to celebrate,” Kreditor said. “We’re going to celebrate the music of our people, the Jewish composers, even if it’s music written for ‘that’ holiday,” said Kreditor, who just finished a six-week series about Jews in entertainment at The Legacy Midtown Park. “We all love to hum along, sing along and tap our toes and it’s going to be great fun.”
“The Jews of Christmas” explores Jewish American songwriters and their seasonal classics. Musical artists include Johnny Marks of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “A Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”; Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne’s of “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!”; Edward Pola and George Wyle of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”; Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”; and many more.
Kreditor will facilitate another class at The Legacy Midtown Park beginning at 10:45 a.m. on Jan. 13, “Stage and Screen: Jewish Influence from Broadway to Hollywood and our TV Screens.” It will meet for six weekly one-hour morning sessions that include his own comedy, piano playing and sing-alongs.
“Mark is amazing and everyone loves his classes. To host them at The Legacy Midtown Park, our new ‘neighbors,’ is an incredible partnership,” said Rachelle Weiss Crane, the JCC’s director of Israel Engagement and Jewish Living. “Everything Mark does brings out the best in everyone in the audience.”
Kreditor, a native of Hicksville, New York, is the son of Larry, of blessed memory, and Marlene, a recent Dallas transplant and new resident of The Legacy Midtown Park, and the brother of Alise and Sheila. Raised at the Hicksville Jewish Center, Kreditor went to services with his father every week from the time he was 8 and to Broadway shows with his mother. As a child, he connected to Jewish music, often recognizing the music of the theater and matching notes he’d heard in synagogue. Intuitively, he recognized that many of the Jewish composers were influenced by their fathers who were chazzans.
The Legacy Senior Communities and its predecessor, Golden Acres Jewish Home for the Aged, have been close to Kreditor’s heart since he moved to Dallas in 1981. Upon his arrival he joined his uncle Lou Kreditor, of blessed memory, one of Golden Acres’ founders, in serving the community by volunteering and entertaining its residents.
“I absolutely love to learn from those who came before me, to entertain them and to make them smile and laugh,” said Kreditor, who has taught classes for the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning. “There’s almost nothing better than bringing them back to different times of their lives through music.”
Kreditor and his wife, Carol, are the parents of daughters Sarah (Ethan) Davis and Rose and grandparents to Maya and Talia Davis.
“Maya, she’s two-and-a-half, and she can identify Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday when I’m playing our favorite song, ‘The Way You Look Tonight,’” he said. “She knows the clarinets, the trumpets, all of it. I love dancing and singing with my li’l ladies.”
Kreditor, who is retired from a career in property management, has served as board chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas and on the board of directors of The Legacy Midtown Park. He and his family are longtime members of Congregation Shearith Israel.
“I was Federation chair when the idea of The Legacy Midtown Park was introduced, and to now have my mom here as a resident and in the audience of the classes I’m giving …. it’s an absolute dream,” said Kreditor. He is also happy to be close, when visiting, to Sy Thum, husband of Kreditor’s cousin Barbara Kreditor Thum, of blessed memory. The couple welcomed him when he first moved to Dallas.
“What an amazing community we have that allows us all to be ‘in the room’ when dreams are spoken, and then realized. The Legacy is such a testament,” added Kreditor.
“Mark’s love and devotion comes through as he interweaves every aspect of our culture,” said Meghan Belfield, director of Lifestyles at The Legacy at Midtown Park. “He weaves the beauty of our heritage into everything he does, bringing out true joy.”
Kreditor has taught his musical education classes at synagogues and churches around the community for more than a decade, sharing programs, and playing piano for Zimriyah musical performances at Ann and Nate Levine Academy, where his daughters went to school.
In 2019, he shared his knowledge of the life of Irving Berlin with author Nancy Churnin, the benefit of his expertise resulting in her “Irving Berlin, The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing,” which the two presented to a children’s audience at the JCC.
“Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin — the greats all grew up in shul — many of them the children of chazzans, and so many were survivors of the Holocaust and they contributed so much to our world,” said Kreditor. “I can’t help but often think about the millions who didn’t. The songs that weren’t written, shows never premiered, businesses never started and the diseases never cured. I absolutely honor all those who’ve changed our lives.
“I’m teaching a musical buffet of the best of the best,” said Kreditor, who with his wife donated pianos to the main lobby, the sanctuary and the assisted living wing of The Legacy Midtown Park, “and I promise to ‘feed’ you well.”
The Legacy Midtown Park is following CDC guidelines regarding in-person events. Visitors must be fully vaccinated and wear masks while on campus.
For more information and registration, visit jccdallas.org/jewishlearning or call 214-239-7128.