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Come hear Pizmon a cappella concert

You’re invited to enjoy Pizmon: Jewish A Cappella in concert at historic Temple B’nai Israel at 7 p.m. Sunday. The evening of Jewish music from around the world is free and open to all.

Members of Pizmon, a co-ed Jewish a cappella group, are undergraduate students from Columbia University, Barnard College and the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City.

Since its inception in 1987, Pizmon has traveled to hundreds of communities within the United States and around the world to share their love of Jewish music and culture.

Pizmon’s repertoire consists primarily of liturgical pieces, Israeli rock and pop, Yiddish and Ladino music, and children’s songs. Ringing out under the vaulted ceiling of Temple B’nai Israel, this beautiful music will become yet another part of the temple’s history as a gathering place for the entire Natchez community and beyond.

Every year, Pizmon takes a spring break trip during which they visit communities that they are not able to reach during the school year. Through this trip, they aspire to heighten the Jewish experiences of the communities they visit, engage in community service, and spread their love of Jewish music to everyone they meet.

In the past, the group has traveled overseas to countries including the Netherlands, Poland, Costa Rica, Panama, England, Wales, France, Ukraine, Canada, Israel and Brazil, and domestically to New Mexico, Arizona, Washington, California, Alabama, Florida and Georgia. They have also performed at the White House and Lincoln Center.

This performance is a celebration of Jewish music, and will provide the broader Natchez community with an introduction to the diversity of this genre. Outreach programs like this one demonstrate the value of the arts in the city of Natchez.

Jews have flourished for almost two centuries in Natchez. From early peddlers to prominent citizens, the impact of the Jewish community has been an important part of the history of the city. Today the city’s Jewish community is small, but community members remain dedicated to preserving the legacy of Jewish Natchez. In 1991, Temple B’nai Israel went into partnership with the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life as a way of preserving the temple into the future. In 2017, the Mississippi Heritage Trust named Temple B’nai Israel one of the Ten Most Endangered Historic Places in Mississippi.

A shared vision for the temple’s future emerged from an appreciation for Natchez as a community that values history, culture, and continuity.

The Natchez Jewish community and the ISJL are embarking on a renovation project that will enhance accessibility, restore the historic structure and preserve the building in perpetuity. Once the multimillion-dollar restoration project is complete, the building will be consistently open as an event space, community arts hub, and museum telling the story of Jewish life in Natchez.

Join the celebration at Temple B’nai Israel, 213 S. Commerce Street, Natchez, at 7 p.m. March 17. Admission is free and all are welcome. In lieu of a ticket purchase, consider making a contribution to the Temple B’nai Israel Restoration and Preservation Fund.

To learn more, visit www.natcheztemple.org/pizmon2019. For more information, contact Nora Katz at nkatz@isjl.org or 601.362.6357.

Nora Katz is the director of Heritage and Interpretation at the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life and co-chair of the Temple B’nai Israel Board of Overseers.

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