Yosl Kurland

Mount Toby Peace & Social Concerns Committee and the Concert Series presents the 3rd event in our

Quaker/Jewish Relations Study

Saturday – January 11 – 7:30 pm

Yosl Kurland: A Jewish Perspective on Social Justice:

Songs in Yiddish, Hebrew and English


Many Yiddish poets wrote songs calling for social Justice, based on biblical commandments to care for the poor and the stranger because we ourselves were strangers in the land of Egypt, and the Yiddish song repertoire includes much in that vein. In tonight’s program, Yosl will perform songs by these “sweatshop” poets as well as his own compositions that reflect the Jewish experience in calling for justice for both workers and refugees. Yiddish songs will have translations projected for the audience. Aaron Bousel will accompany on Accordion.

Vocalist and educator Yosl Kurland, a founding member of the Wholesale Klezmer Band since 1982, performs and writes Yiddish songs and synagogue music. With his band he performed widely for weddings, bar mitzves nd concerts, including at Carnegie Hall with Pete Seeger, and has taught workshops at elementary, middle and high schools on Yiddish music, dance, literature. He developed a workshop on Yiddish Songs of Cultural Resistance in the Holocaust. He taught history at an inner city alternative high school for 17 years using period songs to engage students and to illustrate events more vividly. He teaches adult ed classes on Yiddish literature and klezmer music and is a cantor for Temple Israel of Greenfield.

Wholesale Klezmer Band accordionist Aaron Bousel began playing the instrument at age ten, though it wasn’t until 1995 that he began to play klezmer. He has participated in workshops at Klez Kanada in Quebec and Yidstock at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst. Soon after moving to Amherst, MA in 1997 he became accordionist for the band Hu Tsa Tsa with which he has played at many b’nai mitzvah, weddings, and local synagogue functions. He is also accordionist for the Yiddishkeit Klezmer ensemble and has accompanied Mak’hela, the Jewish chorus of western Mass.

Suggested donation $10 to $30

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the International Rescue Committee for aid to refugees and asylum seekers worldwide.

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