Yiddish Philharmonic Chorus

On December 10, 2023, The Yiddish Philharmonic Chorus performed a concert at Bet Am Shalom entitled, “Chutzpah! Yiddish Songs of Defiance” The concert raised funds for the Westchester Resettlement Coalition, a project of six local Synagogues supporting resettlement of refugees in Westchester County.The Yiddish Philharmonic Chorus is a multigenerational ensemble comprised of students, professionals, and robust retirees. They sing traditional folk songs, settings of classic and contemporary poetry, labor anthems, Holocaust-themed songs, holiday standards, theater works, and popular standards, all in Yiddish. Wherever they perform, they aim to cultivate pride and enthusiasm for Yiddish music and the Yiddish language – all through lush four-part harmony. Knowledge of Yiddish is not necessary as they provide English supertitles for all songs. Their conductor, Binyumen Schaechter and his three sisters were raised in a Yiddish-speaking home. The four siblings and their children all speak Yiddish with their own offspring. Binyumen creates contemporary arrangements for much of the repertoire. Aside from his leading role in the Yiddish music world, he is an award-winning composer of musicals and cabaret songs. Cynthia Ehrenkrantz, a long-time and recently retired member of the chorus provided the introduction. Bet Am members Penny Grossman, Saul Spangenberg, Sarah Spangenberg and Richard Hoffman are all members of the chorus. Sarah performed as a soloist and Penny celebrated her 81st birthday. Photographs were taken by Lois Gartenberg and Michele Kay Billig.