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March 28, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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March 28, 2014

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PAGE 8A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 28, 2014 Musical message ,)f peace presented at Temple Shir Shalom Two world-renowned per- formers, Michael Ochs and Alaa Ali, integrated their Pur- suit of Harmony experience into a beautiful Friday night Shabbat service filled with their music and their story. Almost 200 people attended the service, held by Temple Shir Shalom at the First United Methodist Church of Oviedo. Those in attendance welcomed Shabbat with a new twist on a traditional melody. Ali and Ochs, joined by Beth Schafer and the TSS choir, led a stirring rendition of "Hinei Ma Tov" in the round with the Arabic translation. Ali's vocals, both in Hebrew and Arabic, lent a brilliant tone to each of the night's pieces. Throughout the service, the pair injected short snip- pets of their unusual friend- ship and set the tone for the post-service portion of their concert. But before the service was over, Ochs and Ali lent their voices to more songs, including "Too Many Stones," and the highlight of the evening, Ochs' version of "Oseh Shalom." Temple Shir Shalom regu- larly sings Ochs' version and Bar Mitzvah Z ac00ary dAen00man Zachary Shenkman, son of Jason and Lisa Shenkman of Sanford, will be called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah on April 6, 2014, at Congregation Beth Am in Longwood. Zach is in the seventh grade at Lake Mary Prepa- ratory School where he is a member of the National Honor Society, the swim team and the junior var- sity baseball team. His hobbies and inter- ests include reading, playing video games, playing football and learning computer programming. Sharing in the family's simcha are Zach's sister, Danielle; grandparents, Leonard and Debra Silver of Boynton Beach and Norman and Rita Shenkman of New York; as well as friends and relatives from all over the Northeast. it is a congregational favorite. The congregation belted out his melody with such feeling (and volume) that he was overwhelmed. Ali closed the service with a rendition of Uzi Hitman's "Adon Olam," which he delivered with his blend of Arabic tones and Hebrew lyrics. After a feast of an Oneg Shabbat, Ochs and Ali re- convened for the rest of their appearance. They recounted the story of their friend- ship formed over the bond of music. Ali, a native of Gaza, and current resident of Ramallah, is a widely recognized artist who leads a 400-voice youth choir that sings songs of peace. He is being honored in Oslo this June with the Children of the Earth Prize for his work with at-risk youth. Throughout the evening, both he and Ochs pointed out the similarities between the Israelis and Palestinians. To make their point, they high- lighted a number of words in Hebrew and Arabic that were readily recognizable to speakers of either language. To illustrate their point, they sang a variation on the Shema alternating between the He- brew and the Arabic. Pictures and videos of their shared times in the West Bank (Ochs has visited 15 times so far) projected overhead while they spoke to the audience in an intimate discussion of what it meant to be friends on opposite sides of the current situation between Palestin- ians and Israelis. Ali quickly &condNisht Community Seder at Temple lsraeI Tuesday, April 15 - 6:00 pm led by Rabbi Joshua Neely Discover the taste of freedom & experience spiritual liberation Hosted in our newly renovated Roth Social Hall RSVP Friday, April 4 by 3:oopm Kosher catering by Brown's New York Deli Building Community Since 1954 Phone: 407.647.3o55 Fax: 4o7.647.8542 Email: Online Reservations: x4-4-15/ Scan for ticket info Temple Shir Shalom choir members shown are, Laurie Levine, Patricia Samuels, Sandy Ribakoff, Shelley Sundheim, Jon Miller, Susan Nager, Jon Sundheim, David Cooper, Daun Cooper with spiritual leader Beth Schafer and guests Michael Ochs and Alaa Ali. established himself as a speaker, putting the audience at ease both with his humor and his message of peace. Another song, "Tu 'L-Leil" or "All Night Long," with ac- companying pictures gave the audience a small glimpse into life in the West Bank. The combination of a beautiful Shabbat service, a musical message of peace, and the friendship between two musicians, made for a spectacular night. Temple Shir Shalom will continue to offer music-based, thought- ful, religious programs in the future and invites the community to join in these programs. Paul Simon and Sting: Still crazy after all these years Elise Schilowitz of Maitland and Paul Simon were in the same sixth grade class at P.S. 164 in Kew Gardens Hills, New York. Simon is in the top right corner; Schilowitz is behind the male teacher on the left. By Pamela Ruben Elise Hoffeid Schilowitz of Maitland remembers pop icon, Paul Simon, from her sixth grade classroom at P.S. 164 in Kew Gardens Hills, New York, where he also was a fellow congregant at the Jewish Center. Schilowitz dug up an old class photo, and noted, "Paul Simon is still easy to pick out from our class picture. Though I haven't seen him in 50 years, he hasn't seemed to change all that much." Fortunately for Simon's voluminous fans, his crowd-pleasing vocals and iconic harmonies haven't changed much over the past half century, either. On March 16 pop legend Paul Simon (now 72 years old) delivered a two and a half hour powerhouse performance, alongside the iconic Sting (now 62 years old), at the Amway Arena in downtown Orlando. Simon and Sting have put their solo careers on hold while touring the country for the past six weeks as a dynamic duo. As the concert began, Simon addressed the full house, sharing that Orlando was the last stop on the tour, and promised it would also be the best. The two senior musicians shared the billing and the stage, during an inspiring evening of beloved classics. The twosome in- termingled their legendary playlists, singing both duet- style and as a tag-team, all the while interspersing indi- vidual sets. The aging rock- ers showed no signs of slow- ing, the only visible evidence of wear and tear could be found in the pair's receding hairlines. The men carried the concert with their talent alone, which was a welcome throwback to simpler times, with no intermission, open- ing acts, pyrotechnics, or other special effects (aside from lighting). The celebrated musicians both complimented and complemented one another's musical style throughout the concert. Simon noted that the risk of combining "two very different catalogues of music" intrigued him, and that he had learned a great deal from Sting throughout their tour. In a recent interview in early March (Roger Friedman of showbiz 411), Sting spoke of Simon's mentoring influence upon his music, joking that Simon was the Jewish grand- mother that he was lacking. Sting shared that it was his goal as ayoung songwriter and musician to be a "literate and literary musician" like Simon, 10 years his senior. The former neighbors, who had lived in the same building in New York City for a time, harmonized like two old pals from down the street. Art Garfunkel was hardly missed, as the duo sang a moving rendition of Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge over Troubled Water." The combined bands or- chestrated a blend of in- strumentation, showcasing the influence of world music upon both men. A strong brass section, cello, a slew of percussion instruments, and even an accordion backed up the eclectic playlist, high- lighting some of their best works. The show opened with Simon on page 15A