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Home About Our Kehilla The Eitz Chaim Choir

The Eitz Chaim Choir

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Members of Shivtei Yisrael decided in 1983 to establish a Shul-choir for Yamim Noraim, as many of them had been used to in their countries of origin. Bernard Bak, who had been a chorister and choirmaster in South Africa prior to his aliyah, took upon himself to start and lead this new choir - a position which he admirably held for 15 years until 1998. Bernard then choose to hand over the baton to another choir master. Moshe Cohen, who had been a chorister and choirmaster in South Africa prior to his aliyah, took upon himself to lead the choir.

Since 1998 the choir’s activities have been extended to include performances on Shabbatot, including Kabalat Shabbat (which is very unusual for Israel), and it has appeared successfully in various Batei Knesset in Ra'anana together with some of the outstanding chazanim of our time. In its repertoire the choir strikes a nice balance between lively tunes, e.g. an Adon Olam which has the congregation literally rocking, and, on the other hand, classic pieces, e.g. the Uvnucho Yomar by Yossele Rosenblatt, and works of Lewandovsky, D. Kusevitzky and others.

The choir continues to perform by request on Shabbatot and is called on regularly by the many Anglo Saxon organizations to perform at their functions and charitable evenings. There has been a big demand for the choir to perform at weddings, and the choristers have enjoyed being able to sing at some of the most beautiful venues.

The choir has also performed in many concerts, accompanying some of the world’s top Chazanim. The highlight of such performances was its appearance in a televised Slichot service in 2002.

Besides the normal compliments received about the quality of the choir’s singing, a regularly heard comment relates to the look on the faces of the choristers as they sing during the tefilah. Their deep kavanah as they sing Hashiveinu Hashem Venashuvah or Avinu Malkeinu, or their sheer joy as they sing the Haleluyah or Lechah Dodi!