Arts, Dining & Entertainment

“Celebrity” cantors to lead an evening of song at Congregation Shir Shalom

Friday, July 3 at 6 p.m. — WOODSTOCK — On Friday, July 3 beginning at 6 p.m., Congregation Shir Shalom will be treated to a very special evening of song with cantor Jack Mendelson and his wife, cantor Fredda Rakusin Mendelson.

Star of the film “A Cantor’s Tale,” Jack has been described as a documentary filmmaker’s dream…jovial, rotund and prone to impromptu bursts of song! He is also an acclaimed teacher who has dedicated his life to studying and performing Jewish liturgical music and to preserving its traditional vocal style. Having grown up in a place and time where cantorial music was everywhere, his audiences are also treated to delightful post World War II stories of a time when cantors were almost as popular as baseball heroes.

Mendelson’s list of musical recordings includes: “Cantorial Recitatives by Legendary Masters,” “The Birthday of the World Part I and Part II,” and “A Taste of Eternity” (narrated by Leonard Nimoy). Together with his wife Fredda, Jack also recorded “Jewish Music and More,” and “Frank London” and his son Daniel joined Jack in recording “Hazonot,” which was mentioned in Wired Magazine as the “…jazz album of the year.” His most recent work is “Further Definitions of the Days of Awe,” performed with the group Afro-Semitic Experience and which also features his son Daniel.

The evening is open to everyone who loves music, especially liturgical music, and will begin at 6 p.m. with Jack enlightening the crowd through his stories about what this special category of music is all about. Following the presentation, there will be a Shabbat evening of song celebrating the wonderful heritage of Jewish liturgical music.

Congregation Shir Shalom is located at 493 Route 4 West, Woodstock. For more info, contact Rabbi Ilene Haigh at or call 802-457-4840.

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