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Community Blog World-Renowned All-Female Jewish Band Divahn Headlines Musicant Cohen Center for the Performing Arts Dedication Concert

By Joshua Polanski

What better way to celebrate our new shared campus than with an evening of innovative Jewish music? Hebrew College and Jewish Arts Collaborative (JArts) are proud to co-host the internationally renowned five-woman band Divahn at the dedication of our brand-new Musicant Cohen Center for the Performing Arts at Ordis Hall. The dedication concert will take place on Thursday, March 2, 2023 at 7 p.m. The hall is named in honor of Myra Musicant, member and past treasurer of the Hebrew College Board of Trustees, and Howard Cohen, chair of the College’s real estate committee.

“We are thrilled to dedicate this performing arts space in honor of Howard and Myra, who have been a driving force behind the vision for our new shared campus. This new space is a gift the entire Greater Boston Jewish community—a vibrant and vitally needed center for Jewish music, theatre, dance, film, and other forms of creative expression. We look forward to filling it with life.”

Flowing from the College’s abiding mission and the ethos animating our shared campus, the new Musicant Cohen Center will host events and performances that inspire deep and creative engagement with diverse Jewish traditions and expressions. “Divahn is the perfect group to dedicate this space because of how they blend important Jewish traditions and innovation to create beautiful art,” said Laura Mandel, executive director of JArts.

From the top concert halls in Poland to the most prestigious clubs in New York City, the five-woman band has rightfully garnered an international reputation by infusing traditional and original Jewish songs with sophisticated harmonies and entrancing improvisations. The group’s members consist of Galeet Dardashti (lead vocals), Eleanor Norton (cello, vocals), Elizabeth Pupo-Walker (percussion, vocals), Sejal Kukadia (tabla, background vocals), and Megan Gould (violin, kamanche, background vocals). Amongst their many group and individual accolades, the members have played alongside and for the biggest names in music, including Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé, Michael Bublé, David Byrne, and Metallica.

They are a beloved band amongst the members of our community, who see inspiration in the way the band creatively carries forth Jewish tradition. “Divahn’s stunning and deep music transcends time and location and sends shivers down my spine every time I listen to it,” said Hebrew College rabbinical student and Divahn fan Sam Tygiel. “I’ve also had the privilege of learning just a little bit with Galeet Dardashti, and she’s a force of nature as a teacher and a warm and inviting champion of Mizrachi and Sephardi music.”

“Galeet Dardashti and the band are a group of (badass!) powerful female musicians, reimagining traditional music in creative and beautiful ways,” said JArts Director Mandel. “And while their music is beautiful online, I’m excited for us to experience the magic that happens when we are all together in a room.” Rabbi Cohen Anisfeld added, “And what better time to feature a group of (badass!) powerful female musicians than as we prepare to celebrate Purim—a holiday that testifies to the redemptive power of (badass!) women.”

The dedication event will also be an opportunity for all of the campus partners to come together to celebrate the new performing arts space. “Jewish Women’s Archive is thrilled to be part of the new Hebrew College collaborative campus,” said Judith Rosenbaum, JWA’s CEO. “As a feminist organization dedicated to using history to illuminate the present and inspire the future, we’re particularly pleased to welcome Divahn to dedicate the Musicant Cohen Center for the Performing Arts. Shaped by her ancestors’ musical accomplishments, Galeet Dardashti has pioneered new pathways for women in Middle Eastern Jewish music and brought music shaped by a multitude of Jewish music traditions to new audiences.”

“I’m excited to see the range of arts and conversations that we can spark on this beautiful new campus to share and evolve Jewish traditions,” added Mandel of JArts.

Tickets are $15 for general public, free for Hebrew College students. Seating is limited, so make your reservation today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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