ASEFA enriches the concertgoers experience with a plethora of educational programming and performance workshops to go behind the music.
Workshops and programming are facilitated by bandleader and ethnomusicologist Samuel Thomas, providing a wide range of programming options and depth of programming. Please take a moment to look through a few suggested formats below. Our workshops and programming are customized based upon your community's interests. Participants in our programs are always left excited and energized about music, GUARANTEED!
JAMs offers many different workshop formats to choose from. Workshops include multimedia presentations, guest lectures, performance workshops, and workshops with ASEFA, the ensemble. What makes JAMs so unique is the exploration of Jewish history and culture through the lens of Jewish music. Please take a moment to look through the different formats below.
Curriculum examples: Worldwind tour of Jewish history, Temple times, Jewish migrations, Zionism, Rebbeim, assimilation, daily life in host countries (including co-existence and class issues), observances and customs, theological movements (Hasidism, Reform movement, etc.), the dawning of the true "American Jew".
**JAMs Programming is for all age groups and non-Jewish communities seeking to deepen awareness and understanding of Jewish history and culture.
Download our brochure, with JAMs programming and pricing: click here
MJM Clinic This workshop is suitable for the more astute musical audience. The "Makin Jewish Music" clinic focuses on analyses of Jewish folk and liturgical musics. Areas of exploration include: Nusach, rhythmic and harmonic elements, music of Temple times, Israeli folk, and contemporary music incorporating "Jewish" influence. Though musical background is helpful, it is not required.
Past Workshops When Shlomo Carlebach met Bob Dylan: This program focuses on comparing and contrasting these two Jewish singer/songwriters, exploring Jewish identity through listening and exegesis of musical examples in an interactive discussion with students.
Worldwind tour of Jewish history through music: Starting from the Temple, we will take a wild ride through the vast geographic landscape of world Jewry, looking at various instruments and talking about various references to music in Judaism.
The Sephardic Table: Many mealtime songs come from the great poets of Medieval Spain. This workshop explores the Hebrew text of a few select favorites, contextualizing the poet and the poetry, while also learning to perform a popular Sephardic melodies. Everyone wants to sing a song at the Shabbat table!
Covenant: Wedding music and traditions from the Jewish world. Understand how music is a key component in elevating our spiritual level at any simcha (joyous event). Explore how Jews have been getting married since the time of Yakov up until now in places like Poland, Casablanca, Baghdad, and how Jews are getting married in Israel today.
Music and Torah: An in-depth exploration of music references in Kabbalah, Midrash, Tanakh, and from various Rebbeim. We can understand the spiritual side of Judaism through its music. Learn why almost 10% of the population of Ancient Israel were employed as professional musicians. In fact, more musicians were employed by the state than Kohanim (priests)!
Sounds of Shabbat: This program is a delightful journey through the Jewish Sabbath cycle. Utilzing music programmatically, a plethora of Jewish musical traditions is tapped as the soundscape for the "Sounds of Shabbat." Starting with the onset of the evening, carrying forth to the daytime and family meal songs, this program concludes with an in-depth look at the havdala ritual, separating the holiness of the Shabbat from the mundane quality of the week. This is a favorite program for interfaith activity and co-sponsorship between communities!