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Dec. 15-17: TSTI to Host Jewish and Palestinian Musicians for Special Weekend of Interfaith and International Connection and Understanding

| December 6, 2017 | 0 Comments


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Singer/Songwriter Michael Ochs and Activist/Songwriter Alaa Alshaham Will Perform at Services and Give Workshops to Students; Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom Will Join Reform Congregation for Friday Service

 SOUTH ORANGE, N.J., December 6, 2017 – Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel (TSTI), the Reform synagogue in South Orange, will host a special weekend of music with The Pursuit of Harmony (, the musical duo of Jewish-American singer and songwriter, Michael Ochs and award-winning Palestinian peace activist and songwriter, Alaa Alshaham. The musicians will be in residence at TSTI, located at 432 Scotland Road, from Friday, December 15 through Sunday, December 17, 2017, as follows:

  • Fri., Dec. 15 – The Pursuit of Harmony will perform at the 6:00 p.m. multi-generational service which is open to the wider community. Members of TSTI will be joined by members of the local chapter of Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, which brings together Jewish and Muslim women to create relationships that build bridges and fight hate and prejudice. Several TSTI members are also involved in the organization.
  • Sat., Dec. 16 – TSTI will be the host site for a Havdalah service and concert at 6:00 p.m., in partnership with Congregation Oheb Shalom and Congregation Beth El, also in South Orange. The concert will honor the volunteers from all three religious communities who have been involved in the Refugee Resettlement Program. The communities will also welcome the refugee families who have been helped, and who will provide Syrian sweets. The public is invited to attend.
  • Sun., Dec. 17 – Ochs and Alshaham will lead workshops for religious school students at TSTI, which will focus on finding understanding and celebrating similarities with others who appear to be different at the outset. Students will have the opportunity to talk to and sing with the musicians as part of the experience.

The Pursuit of Harmony sprang from a friendship that developed between Ochs and Alshaham during the former’s visit to the Middle East in 2009. They are committed to delivering the message of building bridges through music and understanding, and creating meaningful contact between Jewish Americans and Palestinian Muslims. Their shared love of music engages a growing circle in dialogue, workshops and people-to-people projects. They are traveling for the first time with a journalist from the West Bank, who is writing about their work in South Orange as well as about endeavors to promote understanding of the stranger through the universal language of music.


About Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel
432 Scotland Road, South Orange, NJ 07079
Follow TSTI on Facebook and Instagram

 Media Contact:
Caryn Starr-Gates
Caryl Communications
(201) 796-7788

Category: Business Events, Events, Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel

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