New York, NY - February 23, 2004- The American Sephardi Federation/Sephardic House in conjunction with Congregation Beth Simchat Torah will present an evening to celebrate the story of the Iranian-Jewish experience examining its art and history and how these elements became integrated into the culture of the United States. Light refreshments and a sampling of Iranian delicacies will add to the experience of the evening. This event will take place on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004 at 6:00 pm at the Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York City.
Dr. Houman Sarshar, Director of Publications at the Center for Iranian Jewish Oral History, Los Angeles, and co-editor of three volumes of The Contemporary History of Iranian Jews, and a contributing author to the Encyclopedia Iranica, will present a slide presentation based on his most recent book, Esther's Children: A Portrait of Iranian Jews (2002). The second half of the evening's program will be a performance, "Persian Rhapsodies" by pianist and composer Tania Eshaghoff and her ensemble including Edward Smaldone, electric bass; Ali Bello, violin; Sky Steele, violin; Swiss Chriss, percussionist and Christopher Hoffman on the cello followed by a question and answer period.
"The most significant influences in both style and substance of Tania's music stems from the Persian tradition of the santur, with its elaborate rhythmic and melodic figuration, here translated into a distinctive pianistic technique. Her music also embraces the layered ornamentation of the Persian "avaz" tradition, a vocal style of great rhythmic subtley; her right hand "sings" as she plays this music, synthesizing the basic harmonies of the Persian tradition with a heterophonic melodic line, which appears to float with every performance. Her music is a virtual ethnography of Persian culture through the lens of her modern perspective." Anthony DeRitis
The cost of admission is $25.00 for adults and $20.00 for members of American Sephardi Federation/Sephardic House, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, students and seniors. Reservations are required. For more information, please call the box office at (917) 606-8200 or visit www.cjh.org.
The American Sephardi Federation is a national Jewish organization dedicated to strengthening and unifying the American Sephardic community and promoting its spiritual, cultural and social traditions. ASF serves as the coordinating body and resource for all of the American Sephardi communities. Since its arrival to the Center for Jewish History, the archival holdings and library of ASF have been enriched with valuable records of personal and community history. For more information, call 212-294-8350 or visit www.sephardichouse.org.
The Center for Jewish History, (www.cjh.org), is the central resource for the cultural and historical legacy of the Jewish people. Located in the heart of Chelsea, NYC, it is within a ten-block radius of one of the largest populations of college and graduate students in the country. The Center serves the worldwide academic and general communities with combined holdings of approximately 100 million archival documents, a half million books, and tens of thousands of photographs, artifacts, paintings and textiles. The Center is comprised of a partnership of five major institutions of Jewish scholarship, history and art: American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. In addition to its exhibit halls, classrooms, auditoriums and banquet facilities, the Center houses the Reading Room, the gateway to accessing the collections of the five partner organizations, and the Genealogy Institute, a research center where Jewish descendants can uncover information about their ancestors. The Center for Jewish History will interest all who wish to explore the richness of the Jewish past and the promise of the Jewish future. For more information on The Center for Jewish History, visit www.cjh.org or call (212) 294-8301.
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