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Faith In Brooklyn for Oct. 26

October 26, 2016 By Francesca Norsen Tate Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Rabbi Serge Lippe (foreground left), guest dance leader Steven Weintraub and Cantor Bruce Ruben (both in background, left) dance with the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue. Heights Press photos by Francesca N. Tate
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Joy of Torah Was Present, Even in Lighter Crowds

Remsen Street was filled with dancers and the sound of joyful klezmer music on Monday night, part of an annual tradition on the block of Remsen between Henry and Clinton streets in which two synagogues — one Reform and one Orthodox — make their homes. The celebration was the closing holiday of a series that began earlier this month with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

Simchat Torah (the very word simcha denotes joy and celebration) means “to rejoice in the Torah.” The holiday, which ran from sundown on Monday to sundown on Tuesday, marks a new cycle of reading the first Five Books of Moses throughout the year. On Simchat Torah, Jews celebrate the completion and beginning of the Torah by chanting the last chapter of Deuteronomy and the first chapter of Genesis, which includes the creation story.

Congregants — b’nai mitzvah of all ages — take turns chanting several verses, interspersed with dancing with the Torah scrolls and some extra boosters like a klezmer band and glasses of wine.

This year, attendance was lighter than usual, in part because Simchat Torah fell on a school night for many, and because of the chilly weather. Those who did turn out to dance with the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue (BHS) did so vigorously. Joining them was special guest leader Steven Lee Weintraub, who teaches a variety of Jewish dance forms, in addition to the traditional hora.

By custom, the BHS members yield the street to members of Congregation B’nai Avraham, the neighboring Orthodox synagogue, who dance without musical accompaniment, instead singing just as joyfully.

On Monday night, many young men from B’nai Avraham walking by cheered their neighbors’ dancing. Dancers from B’nai Avraham started pouring into the streets around 8:40 p.m. with their usual exuberant dancing, according to one bystander.

Brooklyn Gospel Star Hezekiah Walker Joins Other Luminaries at Kings Theatre

The Festival of Praise — featuring award-winning gospel artists — comes to Brooklyn next week, featuring native son Hezekiah Walker and superstar and producer Fred Hammond.

“Festival of Praise: The Game of Life” will come to the Kings Theatre in Flatbush on Wednesday, Nov. 2. The Brooklyn performance marks the only New York City appearance in a tour that takes in 50 U.S. cities through Dec. 4. (Albany and Rochester are the other New York state venues).

The lineup includes, as of press time: Fred Hammond, Karen Clark Sheard, Israel Houghton, Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Regina Belle, Casey J and Earthquake.

Multi Grammy® Award-winning gospel superstar and Brooklyn native Bishop Hezekiah Walker’s new album “Azusa: The Next Generation 2,” spent multiple consecutive weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Album chart. His #3 Billboard Hot Gospel Songs single “Better,” reached the top of multiple media platforms as well.

Bishop Walker was honored at Brooklyn Borough Hall earlier this year.

Award-winning gospel superstar and producer Fred Hammond’s much-anticipated and just released new album Worship Journal Live (RCA Inspiration), takes the top spot on Billboard’s Gospel Album chart in its first week of release.

The Festival of Praise Tour 2016 (founded by Hammond and now in its 26th year) features performances by the biggest names in the industry, from Hezekiah Walker, the singer/composer/- choir leader/radio host, visionary founder and senior pastor of the Love Fellowship Tabernacle Churches in Brooklyn, and Bensalem, Pennsylvania, to the electrifying Israel Houghton and New Breed, bringing the voices and sounds of music with African, Middle Eastern and South American slants. Also featured are Karen Clark Sheard, the multi-Grammy® winner and former member of the legendary female group, The Clark Sisters; Casey J best known for her Number 1 hit song, “Fill Me Up,” and Regina Belle, who recorded the Grammy® winning song, “A Whole New World,” for the film, Aladdin.  Comedian “Earthquake” serves as show host.

The Kings Theatre is at 1027 Flatbush Ave., between Tilden Avenue and Duryea Place in Flatbush, accessible by the B and Q trains on the BMT line, and the 2/5 IRT trains.

For ticket information, visit artist/1810800?tm_link=artist_act_1_name.

Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir Will Sing at Global Peace Event

The world-famous Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir, under the direction of Pastor Frank A. Haye, will be guest artists at a musical Prayer for Global Peace next week at the Interchurch Center.

Being held a few days before Election Day, the Prayer for Global Peace evening will be multi-ethnic and multi-faith in scope, and will incorporate a workshop by the Interfaith Amigos, along with several reflections, presentations and performances. It takes place on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 6:30 p.m. The Interchurch Center is at 475 Riverside Drive — Chapel.


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