Sarah Lazarus Memorial Concert

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Tzivi’s Report: The life of Sarah Rose Lazarus was celebrated with joy and laughter when the Chicago YIVO Society presented Mayses un Klangen (Stories and Sounds) in her honor at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie on July 10.

Cantor Stewart Figa of West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest told a series of traditional Khelm Stories (including An Open Door and Teltse by Solomon Simon) while cellist Racheli Galay and pianist Ilya Levinson provided punctuation.

Most of the musical interludes came from Klezmer Tunes with a Classical Touch by Israeli composer Daniel Galay (Racheli’s father). Then, in his grand finale, Figa lead a sing-along of Yiddish favorites (such as Der Rebbe Elimelekh), and Galay and Levinson closed with a medley of their own called Wedding Potpourri.

Born in Warsaw in 1911, Sarah Lazarus lived most of her life in Chicago. After graduating from DePaul University with a degree in music, she became a beloved teacher at both Yiddish folkshuln and local Hebrew schools. She also sang in synagogue choirs and performed at hundreds of metro Chicago community events.

The SRO crowd included program sponsors Jerry and Debbie Lazarus (Sarah’s son and daughter-in-law) who came from Denver to reminisce with dozens of her former students.

Top photo from left: Levinson, Galay, and Figa.

Bottom photo from left: Levinson, Figa & Galay with  Debbie &  Jerry Lazarus, and Chicago YIVO Board President Jake Morowitz.

Photo Credits: Jan Lisa Huttner (7/10/11)

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