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By Cantor Benjamin Z. Maissner.

Musical Heritage Concert Series.

The concert at Holy Blossom Temple last Sunday, March 30th was not merely a concert, but indeed a happening.

The gifted Israeli Cellist, Udi Bar David and the virtuoso Egyptian violinist, Riad Abdel Gawa accompanied by the dynamic Puerto Rican percussionist Rolando Moraels Matos, brought the packed house to their feet in recognition for and appreciation of their talents and commitment to music as a universal bonding power – reaching beyond political boundaries and conflicts.

Arabic, Midwestern, and Israeli music was performed in the most sophisticated, elegant, and masterful perfection, giving the audience a sense of calmness, unity, and hope for tolerance and peace among all nations. I knew that this event would bring together Jews, Christians, and Muslims, under one roof, but it brought together so much more.

We were privileged to have all three of these religions represented in the audience. Our Rabbi Teri Appleby, the Minister Dr. John Joseph Mastandrea representing Metropolitan United Church of Canada, and Dr  Slimi, the head of the Imam of Toronto, all moved the audience with warmth and tenderness.

Our own community activist and Holy Blossom member, Dr. Karen Mock, organized several intercultural, interfaith organizations and brought them all together to join in this evening of harmony.

Imagine the overwhelming power of over 300 people, Jews, Christians, and Muslims -including a group of young, high school teenage Muslim girls – all sing together with enthusiasm and solidarity.

OD YAVO SHALOM ALEINU V’AL KULAM…..SALAM….SALAM ALEINU V’AL KOL HA’OLAM SALAM.

We were pleased to welcome representatives from the following organizations and groups to  the Intercultural Concert:

  • Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims (CAJM)
  • Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU)
  • Canadian Arab Institute (CAI)
  • National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM)
  • Intercultural Dialogue Institute, GTA Chapter
  • Women’s Intercultural Network (WIN)
  • Together in Hope (Women’s Arab/Jewish Dialogue)
  • TAO – Together as One (Muslim/Jewish Teenage Girls Group)
  • Working Women’s Community Centre
  • JSpaceCanada – A Progressive Jewish Voice
  • Immigration and Refugee Studies Dept., Ryerson University
  • Anti-Racist Multicultural Educators Network of Ontario (AMENO)
  • Heart to Heart, A Project of Givat Haviva and Camp Shomria
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Comments
  • Linda Wolfe
    Reply

    It was indeed a very wonderful event. The trio were amazing musicians who had a truly remarkable rapport and their enthusiasm was infectious. Our cantor and choir rounded out a terrific musical programme that did inspire the audience to think that music can hopefully bring us together.

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