Concerts & Special Events

Several streams of concerts and special events are typically on offer each year, for example:

  • Music Series at VJs - this ranges from jazz to klezmer to musical lectures from visiting ​celebrities
  • A Community Concert provided free to the Jewish and wider community
  • Musical interludes at some Shabbat dinners during the year.
  • Performances at the biennial Australian Jewish Choral Festival
  • Participation in the series Tikkun Olam through Multicultural music, presented by Jewish Arts Inc.
  • Attendance at biennial conferences held by the Union for Progressive Judaism.
  • Special one -off events
  • Meah's Got Talent - an end of year event that is open to the whole community.

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UPJ music conference facilitates beautiful music throughout the region

Engaging; invigorating; immersive: these were a few of the descriptions provided by attendees in a feedback survey following the Union for Progressive Judaism’s (UPJ’s) third Jewish music conference entitled Shir Chadash (A new song), which was held in Geelong on 12-14 July 2017.

The UPJ hosts its music conference every other year, and this was the first time a residential one has been offered. Clearly it was a wise decision, as the Geelong Conference Centre was booked to capacity.

Musicians from around Australia and New Zealand attended to further their learning and receive valuable musical resources to share with their congregations.

The conference was blessed with what UPJ Executive Officer Jocelyn Robuck called her “dream team”:  Judy Campbell, Andrea Catzel, Max Jared Einsohn, Shannyn Gelbart, Mark Ginsburg, Cantor Michel Laloum, Uri Levin and special guest from the USA Marshall Voit. This gifted group of presenters offered a wide range of sessions, including guitar and vocal coaching, choral technique, song-leading, spirituality of rehearsing, good tuning and Israeli pop music appreciation, as well as providing repertoire for High Holy Days and Shabbat for choirs, children and families, and music for Festivals, Hallel and Yizkor.

A valuable add-on was a pre-conference seminar run by Rabbi Fred Morgan, teaching the skills to be a Shaliach Tzibbur (service leader).

Shabbat services during the conference were especially memorable, with the song-leading and choral streams sharing music they had prepared with the faculty on Friday. The Kabbalat Shabbat service was live-streamed and can be viewed on the UPJ Facebook Page.

An Open Mic night was held after havdalah, with attendees sharing musical performances, poetry and dramatic readings set to music.

Music is a feature at most Progressive congregations, and both congregants and guests at Progressive services often comment on the heightened level of spirituality, warmth and sense of community that music engenders. The UPJ is proud to facilitate the growth of our movement’s talented musicians and to provide valuable resources to heighten spirituality through music. 

For more information about how you can attend future conferences, please contact Jocelyn Robuck at: jocelyn@upj.org.au or 0416 700 613, and visit the UPJ Facebook Page to see photos and videos from Shir Chadash.