Tears flowed, laughter bubbled and emotions ran high throughout Bente Kahan’s extraordinary sold-out concert at the Kadimah on Sunday August 12, 2018.
With just an acoustic guitar and her mesmerising voice, the Norweigan-born musician delighted a full hall with her unique take on well-known Jewish songs and liturgies – and even a few this well-informed crowd had never heard. Cleverly weaving the story of her ancestors’ wandering through Europe with songs and anecedotes, her concert embodied the Jews’ universally tragic and joyous journey of survival.
She followed her concert with a talk and slideshow about her current project, the loving restoration of Wrocław’s White Stork Synagogue, built in 1829 and the only shule in the Polish town to have escaped the torches of Kristallnacht. Through her charity, the Bente Kahan Foundation, the synagogue now hosts monthly events including exhibitions, film screenings, workshops, lectures, concerts, theatre performances, and more.
The following night, on Monday August 13, Bente held a Yiddish singing masterclass, in which 23 participants were taken on a fresh journey through European Yiddish tunes, their history and a sing-a-long.
Photos courtesy of Benjamin Sztypel.