Shalom and blessings,

With this first entry on my new blog, I will attempt to enter the 21st century.  This blog will make posting of news and pictures accessible to the BHC congregation, especially our kids. 

Professor Edwin and I are busy preparing for our upcoming trip to Russia.  We will be there for a couple of weeks in February.  BBBRRRRRR!!!  Most of the time will be spent in Moscow but we do plan to travel to St Petersburg for a long weekend. 

Professor Edwin will be teaching a course on Jewish music (what else?!) at the Hebrew University in Moscow.  He will teach in Hebrew as the students there know that language pretty well. 

I plan to visit the modern (liberal) synogogues in both cities.  Hopefully, I will visit their betei sefer and meet some of the Russian Jewish kids. 

We’ve heard that  access to the internet may not always be possible, but when it is, I will send reports and pictures of our trip. 

I thought some of you may want to quick refresher course on the Jews of Russia.  There are two excellent web sites with information, maps and pictures.  They are: and one called “Beyond the Pale: The History of the Jews of Russia,”

While both of the these web sites are great, they may be too grim for our younger kids.  Carol Wagner suggested that “Fiddler on the Roof” would be a great introduction and I agree wholeheartedly.  This would be a good time to see it or see again for the 100th time.  Also there is the wonderful book, I Am Marc Chagall.  It is based on Marc Chagall’s autobiography but written for children ages 7 and up.  It is a beautiful book and offers a flavor of life in a shetl. 

If anyone has any other recommendations, please feel free to add them.  Also if you have any advice for our trip, please pass that on as well.


Cantor Marlena






One Response to “Shalom and blessings,”

  1. Abe Hazbun Says:

    Dear Cantor Marlena,
    Reading your blog was very interesting because I had a friend that did a similar trip to the old Russia, Latvia and did a research on her family background; there is a book that was translated to English from her trip; it talk about the people of the region and specially the old Jewish cemetery there and the efforts to restore it. I’ll be in Bethlehem in early November and, if you are there, I can bring the book for you to see it. My friend has since past away.

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