Music Room

Torah and haftarah chanters are needed year-round. We encourage all members to perform the mitzvah of chanting Torah. You can choose small or large portions, at small or large services—we need chanters most weeks of the year as well as holidays. Our community will be deeply appreciative of this mitzvah! 
We are always looking to expand our dedicated group of members who lead Shabbat services or shivah minyans. Choose your own schedule. We’re delighted to train you and provide all materials you need.   
Beth El welcomes YOU to join in our joyful musical community. Our music director is always delighted to hear from you with questions or ideas. Contact Cantor Elaya Jenkins-Adelberg

How to Chant Torah: Adult Education Class
Shabbat (Saturday) afternoons, April 1 – May 27 (no class April 15), 1:30 – 3:30 pm
Have you ever wondered how Torah chanters know what melodies to use, and where to start and stop? Have you been intrigued by the Torah’s more fabulous dots and squiggles? These symbols are called taamei hamikra or “trope,” and they give us the Torah’s melodies, as well as punctuation and pronunciation. The system of chanting Torah is ancient, beautiful and totally learnable. No musical experience or previous familiarity is required; adults and teens of all backgrounds are welcome! The only requirement is a basic ability to sound out Hebrew. Join Rabbi Zellman and fellow community members to learn how to do this mitzvah and have a whole lot of fun.
 
Community Megillah Reading Sign-ups
Erev Purim, Saturday, March 11 at 6:30 pm
On Erev Purim, we'll read the whole megillah — the Book of Esther — from beginning to end (followed by a fantastic Purim Spiel). Join in this fun community mitzvah by signing up to read part of the Megillah. You can read just a couple verses or you can read many; you can chant or you can choose to just read aloud; funny voices and costumes are encouraged, but definitely not required! We will provide texts, recordings, and any help you might need. You don't need to have great Hebrew — just the commitment to prepare and read a few lines. Interested or have questions? Email Steve Kurzman or call 415-425-0777.
 
Join the Beth El Chorus! Rehearsals resume February 22
Weekly rehearsals resume February 22, Wednesdays, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
The chorus is always open to any Beth El member who loves to sing, and no musical background is necessary! In addition to sheet music, rehearsal recordings are available to all singers. We make beautiful music through hard work and lots of fun in a supportive atmosphere. This spring we’re preparing beautiful, moving music of Holocaust Europe, Berkeley community observance of Yom haShoah (April 23 at Beth El). Then we’ll be working on joyful tunes for Shabbat and LGBT Pride, before rehearsals for High Holy Days begin August 2. Contact Rabbi Reuben for the complete 2017 chorus schedule.

Fourth Friday Shabbat with the Chorus 
Beginning in March 2017, the fourth Friday night of each month will be ringing with extra music. Beth El’s Chorus will be at our 6:15 Shabbat evening service, leading melody and harmony from their seats inside the congregation, as well as sharing a special piece of music each month. Come add your voice!
 
Do you want to contribute your musical talent to our community? Do you have a great idea for us? Is there some aspect of Jewish music you’ve always wanted to learn? Ready to join in? Have questions?  Contact our Music Director, Cantor Elaya Jenkins-Adelberg:
cantorelaya@bethelberkeley.org
(or music@bethelberkeley.org)
510 848 3988 ext. 236