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Jewish Nightlife: An Evening of Celebration with Poetry and Music directed by Yair Harel

  • Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life 2121 Allston Way Berkeley, CA, 94720 United States (map)

Jewish Nightlife is a multi-disciplinary exploration of the nexus between the ritual performance of Jewish texts and social changes across Jewish history, including Hebrew poetry, music, and synagogue liturgy in Europe, in North Africa, the Middle East, and present-day Israel.

During the Fall Semester 2014, the project involved research, teaching, performance, and community participation. Thirty UC Berkeley undergraduate students participated in Jewish Nightlife, a new UC Berkeley course team-taught by dr. Francesco Spagnolo, Curator of The Magnes, and Yair Harel, Schusterman Visiting Artist. During the same period, Piyut Bay Area, a group comprised of UC Berkeley and GTU scholars and students, cantors, rabbis, artists and educators from the San Francisco Bay Area met weekly at The Magnes, researching and performing piyyutim, or Hebrew liturgical poems. 

To celebrate the completion of this project, the program will include solo and ensemble performances by UC Berkeley students (5-6 pm) and participants in the Piyut Bay Area Project (7-8:30 pm), led by Yair Harel.