Renowned Jewish storyteller Joel ben Izzy will tell a series of hilarious "khelemer khadhomim"(Yiddish for the "wise people of Chelm") from an Eastern European Jewish folk genre over 400 years old. The characters in these tales are industrious yet clueless people who make us laugh at their foibles. Throughout the program, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra violinist Lisa Grodin and cellist Tanya Tomkins will play colorful "klezmerish" musical interludes on their rare period instruments. Come celebrate the sublime and ridiculous with Joel and PBO.
Joel ben Izzy—storyteller
Back in 1983, after studying storytelling at Stanford, Joel ben Izzy set off to travel the world, gathering and telling stories. Since then, his travels have taken him to Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa as well as North and South America. While the stories he tells come from all over the world, Jewish folktales are those closest to his heart—especially those from the village of Chelm.
Joel is also an award-winning author. His memoir The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness (Algonquin, 2003), has now been translated into some 18 languages and is in development as both a feature film and a musical. His second book, Dreidels on the Brain (Dial 2016), was chosen as a finalist for the national Jewish book award.
Lisa Grodin is the Director of Education for Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and plays violin and viola in the ensemble. She has performed and recorded locally and abroad with Voices of Music, El Mundo (nominated for a Grammy Award in 2011), American Bach Soloists, Smithsonian Concerto Grosso, Les Arts Florissants, Capella Savaria and La Cetra.
Grodin has taught violin and chamber music and conducted orchestras at The Crowden Music Center in Berkeley for many years. Her lectures have been well-received at institutions such as the R. Gliere Institute of Music in Kyiv, the Colburn School in Los Angeles, UC Berkeley, Arizona State University and the Fromm Institute for Higher Learning in San Francisco.
A fourth generation Berkeley native of Jewish descent, Grodin's grandfather founded the East Bay branch of the JCC in Walnut Creek.
has carved out a unique career path, specializing in the repertoire for both modern and baroque cello. In addition to her current positions as Co-Principal Cellist in both the Portland and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestras, she has performed as a soloist with various orchestras and festivals throughout the world. Of special recognition are Tanya's performances of the six Bach Suites on baroque cello, which she has recorded for the Avie label and played them in concert at the Library of Congress, the Da Camara Society in L.A. and the Vancouver Early Music Society.
In 2015, Tanya and her partner pianist Eric Zivian, founded the Valley of the Moon Music Festival in Sonoma. They present Romantic and Classical music on original instruments, providing the opportunity for emerging musicians to perform along veteran performers.
Tanya is a member of the Benvenue Fortepiano Trio with Baroque violinist Monica Huggett and Eric Zivian. In the SF Bay Area she performs with the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble in programs combining traditional and contemporary repertoire. She has given master classes at Yale, Juilliard and SF Conservatory of Music.
Carla Moore is one of America's foremost Baroque violinists acclaimed for her stylish and virtuosic playing. A first prize winner of the Erwin Bodky Competition for Early Music, she is co-concertmaster of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (San Francisco), of which she has been a member for over twenty years. She is also concertmaster of Portland Baroque Orchestra (Oregon) and a founder and co-director of Archetti Baroque String Ensemble, a conductor-less Baroque string band. Archetti's CD is available on the Centaur label.
Carla has served as concertmaster and performed as soloist with Pacific Baroque Orchestra (Vancouver, British Columbia), Santa Fe Pro Musica (New Mexico), Musica Angelica (Los Angeles), Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado (Denver) and American Bach Soloists (San Francisco). As a chamber musician, she has recorded seven critically acclaimed CDs with the ensemble Music's Re-creation and three with Voices of Music, including her own interpretation of violin sonatas by J. S. Bach. Her videos with Voices of Music have been viewed by millions worldwide on YouTube.
Prior to establishing herself as one of the Bay Area's foremost period violinists, Carla lived in New York City, where she performed and toured with groups including Tafelmusik (Toronto), London Classical Players under Sir Roger Norrington, Handel and Haydn Society with Christopher Hogwood (Boston) and the Smithsonian Chamber Players (Washington D.C.). She has performed at the Carmel and Oregon Bach Festivals, the Boston and Berkeley Early Music Festivals, the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival and the International Handel Festival in Göttingen, Germany.
Residing in Oakland, California, Carla teaches baroque violin and viola at the University of California, Berkeley, and coaches the University Baroque Ensemble. She has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Northwestern University, the University of Utah and the Amherst Early Music Festival. Carla received her undergraduate training from the University of Southern California and earned a Master's of Music with Distinction from Indiana University's Early Music Institute where she studied with Stanley Ritchie. In her free time, Carla enjoys hiking with her husband, a composer and high school music teacher, and her two grown children.
Daytime Adult Learning and Culture Programs are made possible in part by a generous grant from the Maimonides Fund at the Jewish Community Federation & Endowment Fund of San Francisco, The Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties.
Need a ride?
The OFJCC provides door-to-door rides for mobility-impaired seniors to all Community Tuesday lectures and concerts. The price is $10 for a round trip. All reservations must be made by Thursday morning the week before the event. To make a reservation, contact Betty Saad at [email protected] or (650) 223-8741.
Funded by the Senior Mobility Initiative at the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund.
Tuesday, June 12
Schultz Cultural Arts Hall
$15 or one punch of the Community Tuesdays Punch Card
No registration required
Contact: Michelle Rosengaus | (650) 223-8616 | [email protected]