Three Rivers Klezmer Festival “Neshome” concert to benefit East End Cooperative

Three Rivers Klezmer Festival “Neshome” concert to benefit East End Cooperative

Susanne Ortner-Roberts
Susanne Ortner-Roberts

Rodef Shalom Congregation will sponsor the Three Rivers Klezmer Festival “Neshome” concert to benefit the East End Cooperative ministries, Thursday, March 20, 8 p.m., at the synagogue, 4905 Fifth Ave., Shadyside.

The program will feature traditional klezmer music, and classical adaptations of Yiddish music by Joseph Achron, Joel Engel and Alan Bern, as well as contemporary improvisations.

The concert features a rare Pittsburgh appearance by Bern, a central figure of the klezmer music revival, artistic director of the Yiddish Summer Weimar and a founding member of Brave Old World. He will perform with Pittsburgh Symphony concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley and clarinetist Susanne Ortner-Roberts.

Donations for Rodef Shalom’s Philanthropic Fund in support of the East End Cooperative Ministries are encouraged. “We have a chance to enjoy Klezmer music — the same music danced to by our grandparents at shtetl weddings in eastern Europe — and at the same time, support our congregation’s efforts to feed the hungry,” Rabbi Sharyn Henry said in a prepared statement. “We can think of it as setting another place at the community table.”

The concert is part of the Three Rivers Klezmer Festival, which runs from March 15 to 30.

In addition to the concert, the festival includes:

• A klezmer workshop for musicians and bands, Friday, March 28, 2:30 p.m., at the Hillel Jewish University Center;

• A pierogi party (“Yiddish edition”), Saturday, March 22, 6 p.m., at the Stephen Foster Community Center, 286 Main Street, Lawrenceville ($10 charge); and

• A Yiddish dance party, Saturday, March 29, 7:30 to 10 p.m., at Rodef Shalom; Bern, Ortner-Robert, Steve Weintraub and the Carnegie Shpil Company will perform.

Other workshops and activities also are planned. Visit or contact for more information.