Thank you for joining us for the Dedication Concert for Hebrew College’s New Musicant Cohen Center for the Performing Arts at Ordis Hall!
ABOUT THE MUSICIANS
The group’s live shows include lush string arrangements, eclectic Indian, Middle Eastern, and Latin percussion, and vocals spanning Hebrew, Judeo-Spanish, Persian, Arabic, and Aramaic. Dardashti’s diverse background performing Persian and Arab classical music, Ashkenazi cantorial music, Western classical music and jazz enhance Divahn’s unique and innovative sound.
The group has appeared at music festivals and live television and radio shows internationally and has shared the stage with some of the world’s most renowned master musicians. As one of the few groups performing Mizrahi and Judeo-Arab music in the United States, Divahn welcomes its audiences to a beautiful sphere of shared Jewish and Muslim culture.
Galeet Dardashti – lead vocals
Lead singer Galeet Dardashti follows a family tradition of distinguished musicianship dating back to 19th-century Persia. But it was down in Austin, Texas, where this bold, all-woman Mizrahi/Sephardi ensemble began dazzling audiences with its Middle Eastern grooves, infusing traditional and original Jewish songs with sophisticated harmonies and entrancing improvisations.
Galeet is the first woman to continue her family’s tradition of distinguished Persian and Jewish musicianship. Her grandfather (Younes Dardashti) was one of the most highly acclaimed singers of Persian classical music in Iran and her father, Farid Dardashti, is a renowned cantor in the United States.
Eleanor Norton – cello, vocals
Eleanor is an internationally renowned cellist known for her versatility and lyricism. From Adele to Jay Z, Eleanor appears with a coterie of artists across genres and platforms.
Elizabeth Pupo-Walker – percussion, vocals
Internationally recognized percussionist Elizabeth Pupo-Walker contributes to film score/soundtracks for Netflix and HBO, and she has performed, recorded, and/or toured with numerous well known musicians.
Sejal Kukadia – tabla, background vocals
Sejal is originally from upstate NY and is a disciple of renown musician Pandit Divyang Vakil. Tabla is primarily a male-dominated instrument, and today, Sejal is one of very few female tabla artists in the USA.
Megan Gould – violin, kamanche, background vocals
Megan Gould is one of NYC’s most versatile performers of Middle Eastern, Greek and popular music. Her comfort within a wide range of styles, her responsiveness to other musicians onstage, and a soulful improvisational style make Megan a sought-after element in many diverse musical projects.
ABOUT THE HONOREES
Myra Musicant is Treasurer of the Hebrew College Board of Trustees. She graduated magna cum laude from Smith College with a major in religion. She studied in the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department at Brandeis University for 3 1/2 years while in graduate school. She received a master’s degree from the Simmons Graduate Program in Management. She obtained her CPA and had 7 years’ experience with the firm of Coopers & Lybrand. Myra was a member of the board of trustees at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Boston, serving as Treasurer and First Vice President. She is an alumna of the Me’ah program at Hebrew College. Myra has dedicated her life to volunteering in non-profit organizations. Currently, she is a hospice volunteer at Hebrew SeniorLife.
Howard Earl Cohen is the founder and chair of the board of Beacon Communities LLC. He serves on the boards of the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation, Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency Advisory Committee, and the Department of Housing and Community Development Housing Preservation Advisory Committee. Howard holds a BA summa cum laude in economics from Washington University of St. Louis and a JD cum laude from Harvard Law School. He also co-founded and served as chair of the board of New Lease for Homeless Families. He serves as chair of the real estate committees at both Hebrew College and Hebrew SeniorLife. He chaired the community committee that resulted in the creation of Jewish Arts Collaborative and served as its initial Board Chair.
About Hebrew College
At Hebrew College, pluralism is our lens. This perspective encourages our students to ask questions and have authentic and sometimes difficult conversations—with themselves and one another—about how to live, learn and pray; about what unites us and what divides us. In the process, they learn to listen, not to judge. They learn to engage, to think deeply and creatively, to find their own Jewish practices; and to serve and participate in the diverse, ever-changing Jewish communities throughout our country and around the world.
We believe in the unique power of arts and culture to build connections. Art, food, literature, music, and more allow us to better understand the life experiences of others as well as our own, and help to build a vibrant and more tolerant future for both our Jewish and Greater Boston communities. JArts’ mission is to curate, celebrate, and build community around the diverse world of Jewish arts, culture, and creative expression.
This concert is presented in collaboration with the Hebrew College’s shared campus partners: Jewish Women’s Archive, Kesher Netwon Jewish Afterschool Program, Keshet, the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis, Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center, Temple Reyim, and Zamir Chorale of Boston.