CHC Blog

Zemirot Database

August 13th, 2013

Have you ever found yourself the guest at a Shabbis (Ashkenazi pronunciation of Shabbat, meaning sabbath) table when suddenly your hosts break out in zemirot (Jewish hymns, though folk song may be more appropriate in some instances) and, though the words may seem familiar, the tunes do not? Never fear, Zemirot Database to the rescue! The ZD is a site where anyone can browse the collection, click on a zemer (singular of zemirot) and find both words and tunes. Usually you will find the words in Hebrew with transliteration into English, translation into English, and often attribution if known or other information on the zemer.

I’ll warn you up front that the singers aren’t always the greatest, but that’s part of the beauty of it. In fact, not only is it free to browse, it is free (and encouraged) to participate! That’s right–you too can create a free account and upload your special tune to your favorite zemer. Consider yourself somewhat of a zemirot expert and, after browsing the index on ZD discovered that your favorite is missing? Time to create a new entry in the database. I was delighted to add my favorite tune to אשא עיני - Esa Einai from psalms 121:1-2,4. (It’s a tune composed by Rabbi Michael Shapiro which he gave me permission to post and I promise will become your new favorite too!) Now it’s your turn. Happy singing!

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Solheim Cup -Fundraising Opportunity

June 17th, 2013

Do you enjoy a day at the golf course? Are you also a supporter of CHC? If so -here is your chance to enjoy one while helping the other.

Help staff the concession stands at the Solheim Cup taking place Monday, August 12 to Sunday, August 18, 2013, in Parker, CO.

We staff our concession stands with local non-profit volunteer organizations who are looking to fundraise.  8% of our total sales from the concessions venues will go back to the volunteer groups on a prorated, per shift basis (the more shifts your group fulfills, the more money is raised).  Volunteer groups are also entitled to any tips they may incur while staffing the concession tent.

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Click here for answers to  Commonly Asked Questions


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Meet our Members

December 18th, 2012

Introducing Bonnie Kossoff, CHC board member and long time alto.

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In answer to the question “How did you hear about CHC and when and why did you join Bonnie responded:

“It's so long ago it's hard to remember…
I was in Shir Ami bef
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ore there was a CHC.  When Carol was asked to do the music for a video about American Jewish soldiers who liberated camps she needed to find singers and somehow found me.

I have been a member ever since except for one year daughter Rachel's last year of HS.
I love the diversity of Jewish music that we sing. I need singing in my life and this is a great way to sing while learning and growing in the process.
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It really helps that I know some Hebrew as well as that I can read music!  Yiddish is always a challenge.”

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Vays Nitl

November 13th, 2012

Coming up in December – a whole gaggle of concerts for Chanukah. Among our selections for the season -Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”, in YIDDISH ;-)


in case you were wondering – here are the words (thanks to Seth Ward)


וײַס ניטלאיך חולם פֿון אַ וײַסן ניטלנאָר אַזאַ ניטל איך פאַרשטיי

וווּ די ביימער גלאַנצן

ב׳עת קינדער טאַנצן

און הערן גלעקלעך אין דעם שניי

Vays NitlIkh khulem fun a vaysn Nitl,Nor aza Nitl Ikh farshtey.

Vu di beymer glantsn,

B’eys kinder tantsn,

Un hern gleklekh in dem shney.

איך חולם פֿון אַ וײַסן ניטלאיך בענק נאָך יענער וינטער טעגזײַט געבענשט און גליקלעך און פֿײַן

זאָלן אײַערע ניטל-טעג ווײַס זײַן.

Ikh khulem fun a vaysn Nitl,Ikh benk nokh yene vinter teg,Zayt gebensht un gliklekh un fayn,

zoln ayere Nitl-teg vays zayn.


Mandy Patinkin sang this in Mamaloshen, inserted into his rendition of Der Alter Tzigayner “The Old Gypsy”—Music: Abe Ellstein and Lyrics: Jacob Jacobs. “Listen to the strains of the old gypsy’s fiddle, its haunting melody will touch your soul.” It is from a musical that opened in New York called “Bublitchki” featuring Molly Picon.

You can hear Patinkin’s rendition at

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Mourning Marvin Hamlisch

August 15th, 2012

At the funeral of Marvin Hamlisch, there were, of course, performances of songs he wrote, and a eulogy by Bill Clinton. It was also reported that the funeral included this line of poetry:
“Oh, he had one more melody, and now that melody is lost forever, lost forever.”
This is from a poem by Hayyim Nachman Bialik, _Aharei Moti_ “After my death,” written in 5664 according to the Jewish Calendar, corresponding to 1903-4, and dedicated “to N.” The inclusion of this line in a funeral service is in fact suggested by the Rabbis Handbook of the CCAR (Central Conference of American Rabbis) – the professional organization of the Reform Rabbinate and appropriate of course for a service at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan.
The poem is well known, and was written at about the same time as several of Bialik’s most famous poems—“On the Slaughter” and “in the city of death” responding to the deadly pogroms in Kishinev.
Translations of “After my Death” are readily available on-line, for example, in a translation by David P. Stern . Here is the beginning:
After my death, thus shall you mourn me
“There was a man –and see: he is no more!
Before his time did this man depart
And the song of his life in its midst was stilled

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And alas! One more tune did he have
And now that tune is forever lost
Forever lost!

And great is the pity! For a harp had he
A living and singing soul
And this poet, whenever he voiced it
The inner secrets of his heart it expressed
All its strings his hand would make sing out.
Yet one hidden chord now is lost with him
Round and round it his fingers would dance
One string in his heart, mute has remained
Mute has remained — to this very day!
And it is available in Hebrew . Here is the line excerpted in the report of the funeral:
וְשִׁירַת חַיָּיו בְּאֶמְצַע נִפְסְקָה;
וְצַר! עוֹד מִזְמוֹר אֶחָד הָיָה-לּוֹ –
וְהִנֵּה אָבַד הַמִּזְמוֹר לָעַד,
אָבַד לָעַד!
Much of Bialik’s poetry has been set to music. Here is a recording of Chava Albershtein singing it, with a melody written by Tzippi Fleisher.
I am not sure anyone knows who “N.” was, but the musical imagery in Bialik’s poem could not be more appropriate for the late Marvin Hamlisch.


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Josh Jacobson is coming!

May 8th, 2012

What a great rehearsal we had last night! Salomone Rossi's “Al Naharot Bavel” is one of the pieces we are preparing for the summer workshop with Josh Jacobson. It is just so gorgeous and moving. It is great fun to be working on a madrigal in HEBREW! Don't worry about all the TTBB recordings – it works as SATB too (no high G's ladies ;-)

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Yom Hashoah 2012

April 22nd, 2012

There was a great crowd Thursday night, April 19,2012, to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance at HEA.

Michal Peer opened the musical portion of the program with one verse of “Unter Dayne Weisse Stern” (Under your white star). It was beautiful !

Then the choir sang the Caldwell/Ivory arrangement of “Ani Maamin” with brilliant young violinist Natalie Hodges as soloist. A very moving performance.

The CHC also closed the program, singing the Parisan Song (Zog Nit Keynmol) and Josh Jacobson’s arrangement of “Zol Shoyn Kumen Di Geuleh” with soloist child survivor, and long time CHC member, Estelle Nadel.

Next up – Israel Independence Day at Allied Jewish Apartments on Wednesday April 25.

A BUSY week!

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March 14th, 2012

I can't wait for our upcoming “A Fine Romance” performance. The first performance, at St Thomas Episcopal, went really well and we had a great crowd :-)

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I am really looking forward to singing “I Won't Dance” with a string quartet! Here's hoping we get a good turn out for this concert too!


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