December, 2020: Be the Light: Music and Stories of Hanukkah

For the 2020 holidays, we joined together with our friends, family, and LAJS community for a virtual celebration, Be the Light: Music and Stories of Hanukkah! 

Be the Light featured award-winning singer-songwriter Melissa Manchester, performing a reimagined arrangement of her Hanukkah song Let There Be More Light, the Jewish Community Chorale (a program of the LAJS), members of the LAJS Chamber Ensemble and The Braid (formerly Jewish Women's Theatre) actors. 

Presented in collaboration with The Braid with support from the Jewish Life Foundation, this virtual program was streamed free-of-charge, and encompassed songs and stories of the season. The program was broadcast twice on Jewish Life Television (JLTV), making it available to 40 million households.

Featuring Melissa Manchester

Singing with a verve and emotional vulnerability that immediately captivates, the Grammy winner inventively reimagines these be-loved standards. She turns “Chances Are” into a sly bossa nova and scats with seemingly impossible ease on “Love Is Just Around The Corner,” while bringing an understated urgency to “Night and Day.”

Many of these tunes embedded themselves into Manchester’s musical DNA while she was growing up on New York City’s Up-per West Side. “These were the artists and songs that were on the radio as my family ate dinner,” she says. “I am deeply famil-iar with this world.” Indeed, Manchester brings a nuanced un-derstanding to the songs’ delicate phrasing and lyrical construc-tion that would baffle lesser singers.

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Learn about our presenting partner

The Braid

The Braid, formerly Jewish Women’s Theatre, is the go-to Jewish story company and the leading national non-profit organization creating, curating, producing, and preserving stories grounded in Jewish culture and experience. We are the first to pioneer a new art form at the intersection of theatre and storytelling, the best at mainstreaming stories that spotlight Jewish diversity and challenge us to think differently, and the only to create a shareable legacy of contemporary Jewish stories that can be performed everywhere.

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Jewish Life Foundation

Jewish Life Foundation funds the creation the Jewish-themed cultural and educational programs that are broadcast on JLTV (Jewish Life Television). 

Since its inception, Jewish Life Foundation has served hundreds of thousands of people throughout the United States with our unique and diverse programs.

JLF funds the broadcast of the Maccabiah Games on Jewish Life Television (JLTV).  This is the third largest sporting event in the world after the Olympics and the World Cup.  Over 9,000 Jewish athletes from 70 countries compete for two weeks in Israel, broadcast exclusively on JLTV.

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