Sephardic music at Congregation Rodfei Zedek this weekend

Staff Writer

Rodfei Zedek Congregation, 5200 S. Hyde Park Blvd., will host a weekend of programming focusing on Sephardic music.

This Friday evening and Saturday morning, guitarist and singer Gerard Edery will incorporate Sephardic melodies into the congregation’s Shabbat services, according to cantor Rachel Rosenberg. On Saturday, the synagogue will host a Middle Eastern lunch and Edery will give a 12:30 p.m. talk entitled “Sephardic Songs in Global Liturgy: Crossing Boundaries as Often as Crossing Borders,” which examines the intersection of street music with that of churches, mosques and synagogues.

“First and foremost it’s to expose them to a part of the Jewish tradition that they may not be so familiar with,” Edery said, adding that many associate Jewish music with Yiddish and Klezmer music. “So it’s to expand the horizon and show the breadth of this repertoire.”

On Saturday night, the main attraction will take place, a concert featuring one set by Edery and another with cantor Rosenberg’s band, Shakshuka.

Edery, whose trip is being funded by a performance grant to his not-for-profit Rootone Foundation, is Congregation Rodfei Zedek’s second artist-in-residence since Rosenberg began working there. In February 2012, the synagogue hosted Highland Park, Ill.-based cantor Hazzan Larry Goller.

“I’m hopeful that if the community gets something out of it that we can make it an annual or bi-annual event,” Rosenberg said.

For more information, call Congregation Rodfei Zedek at 752-2770 or visit


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