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Bach and Antisemitism: A Panel Discussion

Wednesday, September 27, 2023 12 Tishrei 5784

5:30 PM - 7:00 PMCovenant Hall

Washington Bach Consort, a professional choral and orchestral ensemble based in Washington, DC, will be singing Bach's St John's Passion in an upcoming performance. In advance of this concert, the Consort, hosted by BJC and BHPC, has organized a panel discussion about the issues raised by the  text of St. John's Passion.  

Please RSVP for this important panel.

This event will be livestreamed.  All registrants will get the Zoom link via email on Sept. 26th. 

A small reception will follow the discussion. 

The panelists are: 

Rebecca Cypess: Musicologist and historical keyboardist Rebecca Cypess is Professor of Music and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. She is the author of Curious and Modern Inventions: Instrumental Music as Discovery in Galileo's Italy (2016) and Women and Musical Salons (2022). Her research on music in Jewish history and culture includes articles, a recording, and an edited book centered around Sara Levy (1761-1854), a Jewish keyboardist and collector who formed an essential link in the transmission and reinterpretation of the Bach legacy following the death of J. S. Bach..

Alicia DePaolo: Alicia DePaolo is a rabbinical student at Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and a specialist in historical performance, with a versatile career as a vocal soloist, composer, chamber musician, Jewish educator, and prayer leader. She directs MIRYAM, an ensemble dedicated to bringing Jewish baroque music to new audiences. She has been featured in Times of Israel and Washington Jewish Week for her work, and in 2019 she produced the East Coast premiere of Lidarti’s Esther, a recently-rediscovered Hebrew-language oratorio. She also sings with Washington Bach Consort and serves as the High Holiday Cantorial Soloist for Bethesda Jewish Congregation. Ms. DePaolo holds a master’s degree in Vocal Performance from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, a master’s degree in Jewish Education and Jewish Studies from Hebrew College, and a bachelor’s degree from Smith College.

Michael Marissen: Michael Marissen is Daniel Underhill Professor Emeritus of Music at Swarthmore College. He has also been a visiting professor on the graduate faculties at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania. His publications include The Social and Religious Designs of J. S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos (Princeton, 1995), Lutheranism, anti-Judaism, and Bach’s St. John Passion (Oxford, 1998), An Introduction to Bach Studies (co-author Daniel R. Melamed; Oxford, 1998), Bach’s Oratorios (Oxford, 2008), Tainted Glory in Handel’s Messiah (Yale, 2014), Bach & God (Oxford, 2016), Bach against Modernity (Oxford, 2023), and essays in Harvard Theological Review, Lutheran Quarterly, The Huffington Post and The New York Times.

Dana Marsh: Dana Marsh is professor of music in early music/voice, chair of the Historical Performance Department, and director of the Historical Performance Institute at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. In 2018, Marsh was appointed artistic director of the Washington Bach Consort, considered to be among the nation’s leading choral and period-instrument ensembles. He programs and oversees three series, which together offer over 25 concerts annually.

Rabbi Eric L. Abbott: Rabbi Eric L. Abbott believes that Judaism can change lives and better the world, and he feels incredibly honored and excited to lead Bethesda Jewish Congregation and the Bethesda Jewish community toward that shared vision. Rabbi Abbott graduated summa cum laude from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a B.A. in Judaic Studies and then earned his rabbinic ordination, MA in Hebrew Literature, and MA in Religious Education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). Rabbi Abbott has studied and led as a T'ruah social justice fellow, chaplain intern at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Resetting the Table dialogue facilitator, Balfour Brickner social action fellow, and 18Doors Rukin Rabbinic fellow for interfaith families. In his spare time, Rabbi Abbott enjoys playing board games, reading, running, watching Marvel movies, and spending time with his inspirational wife, Rabbi Eliana Fischel, their two children, and their dog.

While this event is free, please consider making a donation to Washington Bach Consort directly in support of this program. 

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Fri, February 23 2024 14 Adar I 5784