Sholem Aleichem in Story and Song: Celebrating the 100th Yahrtzeit of Sholem Aleichem

Colorado Hebrew Chorale presents “Sholem Aleichem in Story and Song: Celebrating the 100th Yahrtzeit of Sholem Aleichem” Upcoming public program brings to life stories that inspired “Fiddler on the Roof” as it celebrates the tradition of Jewish storytelling.

DENVER, Colo. – April 18, 2016 – As the much-loved and much-revived musical, “Fiddler on the Roof,” plays on Broadway, Colorado Hebrew Chorale is preparing a local celebration of Sholem Aleichem, the Yiddishism writer who created Tevye the Dairyman, the beloved central character of the musical. On Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 6:30 p.m., Colorado Hebrew Chorale presents “Sholem Aleichem in Story and Song: Celebrating the 100th Yahrtzeit of Sholem Aleichem” at the Sam Gary Branch Library, 2961 Roslyn Street Denver, CO 80238. This free public program is appropriate for all ages.

Primarily known for his writings, which go well beyond his most familiar character, Tevye of “Fiddler on the Roof,” Sholem Aleichem requested that on the anniversary of his death (in Yiddish, Yahrtzeit) people gather to share his joyous stories. “On such a monumental anniversary, we could not resist putting together a public program to honor the life of a man who, through his stories, successfully buttressed the Jewish shtetl life with universal and timeless themes of the human condition,” said Carol Kozak Ward, Founder and Music Director of the choral group. Telling stories centering on Sholem Aleichem will be local actor, Albert Banker. Themes of life (l’chaim) and peace (shalom) are illustrated in the songs Colorado Hebrew Chorale will sing from its repertoire.

Sholem Aleichem (né Sholom Rabinowitz) is most notable for the naturalness of his characters’ speech and the accuracy of his descriptions of small Central and Eastern European towns where large Jewish populations existed prior to the Holocaust. He was often referred to as the “Jewish Mark Twain” because of the two authors’ similar writing styles and use of pen names. Rabinowitz adopted the pen name Sholem Aleichem at age 15. In Hebrew, shalom aleichem is a greeting that means “peace be with you.” It is also a theme prevalent in Sholem Aleichem’s light and lively writing, exemplified by his words, “No matter how bad things get, you’ve got to go on living, even if it kills you.”

Colorado Hebrew Chorale is a non-auditioned community choir of mixed voices that rehearses Monday nights. New members are always welcome. In 2013, under the direction of Leah Peer it launched a women’s choir, Kol Nashim. Committed to multicultural outreach, education and Jewish community involvement the mission of Colorado Hebrew Chorale is to preserve, promote and celebrate the Jewish experience through song.

“Come, celebrate Sholem Aleichem and Tevye with us! Be entertained, maybe learn a bissel of Yiddish,” said Ward.

Colorado Hebrew Chorale is a Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) Tier III recipient. SCFD supports more than 300 arts, cultural, and scientific organizations within the Denver metro area through a voter‐approved penny sales tax on every $10 purchase.


Kris Schindler
Board Member, Media Liaison
Colorado Hebrew Chorale

Carol Kozak Ward
Founder, Music Director
Colorado Hebrew Chorale