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Mishkan Community Choir


Makhelat Micha’el: The Mishkan Shalom Community Choir meets weekly on Tuesday evenings. We welcome anyone who loves to sing ethnic and classical Jewish music and songs of peace and freedom. We are members of Mishkan Shalom, of other synagogues and churches and other community members.

We began as a choir assembled by Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton -- cantor, singer, voice teacher and choral conductor -- for a ceremony after the death in 1998 of longtime Mishkan singer Michael Litan. Liz named the group Makhelat Micha'el (Michael's Choir).

Conductor/composer Janice Hamer directed the choir from 1999-2011 when Rabbi Liz returned to lead us. We welcomed Miriam Davidson as our new conductor, beginning September 2013.


Repertoire and Concerts

Our repertoire is broad; we explore all branches of Jewish choral music, from the classical composers (Rossi, Mendelssohn, etc.) to contemporary American, Israeli and other Jewish pieces. We maintain a continuing repertoire of arrangements of Yiddish, Ladino, Yemenite and other 'ethnic minority' works. Our recent work includes musical settings of the Psalms and Song of Songs. We also perform peace and freedom songs, and have performed in Arabic as part of several Middle East peace concerts. In addition, we have premiered several works by members of the choir and of Mishkan Shalom. This may be the only choir that sings in Hebrew, English, Yiddish, Ladino, Zulu, and Arabic!!

Concerts have included such events as the Thanksgiving Northwest Interfaith Movement service, a performance at the Lovett Memorial Library in Mt. Airy with the Summit Presbyterian Church Choir, Delaware Valley Jewish Choral Festival, a collaboration with a local African-American church, a collaboration with Intercultural Journeys (an ensemble of Arab and Jewish musicians), a service during the Gay Pride Festival, participation with Mothers Against Violence and with the Philadelphia Interfaith Peace Walk, performances at retirement communities and many Mishkan events. In short, we are a community choir that works on and performs a concert repertoire while also contributing music suitable for peace and justice events to the greater Philadelphia community. A warm, extended-family atmosphere makes the choir socially enjoyable as well as musically challenging.


If you are interested in joining the choir, come visit us during one of our Tuesday evening rehearsals and see if you'd like to sing with us. Miriam will hear all prospective singers informally, to make sure you have a musical ear and the potential for musical growth. Non-sight-readers as well as more advanced musicians will be considered.

For more information, please contact Miriam Davidson.

Thu, July 18 2024 12 Tammuz 5784