THE PROMISE: A ZEISL CONCERT, Gindi Auditorium, August 26, 2018

Dance: Kollide by Kyle Abraham / Dancers in the image: Tina Finkelman Berkett & Guzmán Rosado / Photo credit: Tomasz Rossa

The LAJS is excited to announce a long-term project celebrating the work of prolific composer Eric Zeisl!

Eric Zeisl's remarkable ballet Jacob and Rachel is our next professional recording project. The Symphony breathes new life into this beloved Biblical tale through Zeisl's stunning score! The recording took place at UCLA's Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center on April 2, 2018, with the album scheduled for release in 2019 for the Symphony's 25th Anniversary.

In addition to the recording, a live performance of Jacob and Rachel took place on Sunday, August 26, 2018 to a packed house at the beautiful Gindi Auditorium at the American Jewish University.


Featured Artists

Featured Dancers



In 1954, the University of Judaism (now American Jewish University), commissioned their

Erich Zeisl, Composer

Head of Theatre Arts, Benjamin Zemach, and Austria émigré composer Erich Zeisl to create a ballet based on the biblical love story of Jacob and Rachel. Due to lack of funds for the full orchestra that Zeisl insisted upon, the ballet was never staged at UJ or anywhere else, until fifty-five years later.

In 2009, the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony and then newly-created local dance troupe BODYTRAFFIC gave Jacob and Rachel its World Premiere at the Wadsworth Theatre, to great critical and popular acclaim. “Confident professionalism was in evidence across every performance element, décor, costume lighting and in the super-contemporary choreography requiring robust modern dance technique.” (Debra Levine, Freelance Dance Critic LA Times, LA Opinion) On August 26, 2018, the LAJS and BODYTRAFFIC (now a world-renowned dance company) will finally bring Jacob and Rachel back to its original home!

The Promise represents Laban’s promise of his daughter Rachel to Jacob in exchange for seven years of labor.  Laban tricked Jacob into marrying Leah first; Jacob had to serve and wait an additional seven years for the promise to be fulfilled.

On August 26, 2018, the promised lovers finally united in a brilliant ballet that returned home to AJU!


This program was presented in collaboration with the University of California, Los Angeles Herb Albert School of Music, the Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music.
This program was underwritten by the Schoenberg Family Charitable Gift Fund.


*All programs subject to change