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Yiddish, the 1000-year-old language of the Jews of Eastern Europe, is flourishing, as people young and old, Jewish and non-Jewish, explore its rich cultural heritage. Yiddish songs are hugely varied. Some are spiritual and liturgical, rooted in cantorial and hassidic music, particularly the nign – a spiritual melody that hassidim believe changes consciousness. Others come from the Yiddish theatre and cinema, or describe the diverse lives of Jewish people across Eastern and Central Europe and all the countries they have emigrated to – their history, hopes, memories, politics, celebrations and resistance to oppression. The Brighton & Hove Yiddish Choir Chutzpah explores all these traditions and builds on them, adding four-part arrangements of folk songs, contemporary compositions and some improvisation, while respecting and learning about the history, style and cultural contexts in which the music originated and developed.

Led by Polina Shepherd under the umbrella of The Polina Shepherd Vocal Experience, which covers many aspects of vocal music, from solo voice to large scale choral improvisation, and from highly arranged and conducted choir pieces to smaller chamber groups.

Here is our YouTube playlist. The London Yiddish Choir and The Brighton & Hove Yiddish Choir performing together at various events:



14 November 2006
Chanukah party for Day Centre at Ralli Hall
18 December 2006
Chanukah Party entertainment for residents of Hyman Fine retirement home (N.B. Gill, Jackie & Suzanne were there! Betty was also a founder member but not sure whether she sang at this event.)
8 May 2007
Singing for St John’s Day Centre at Palmeira Square
30 September 2007
Concert of Jewish Music for B&H Progressive Synagogue, jointly with Oxford Shir
7 December 2007
Dance for Life, Unitarian Church, Brighton
15 December 2007
Age Concern, Brighton
6 April 2008
Farmers Market at Ralli Hall
3 May 2008
World in Harmony at St Andrew’s Church, Waterloo St, for Brighton Fringe
5 October 2008
Diversity Day, organised by B&H City Council, Hove Town Hall
15 October 2008
World Sacred Music Festival, Friends Meeting House, Brighton
9 November 2008
Helping Hands Tea Party, Reform Synagogue, Palmeira Ave
13 March 2010
Singing outside Churchill Square, Brighton, to raise money for Marie Curie
7 July 2009
Helping Hands tea party. Reform Synagogue, Palmeira Ave
23 August 2009
Brighton Bandstand
7 January 2010 or 11 February 2010-date uncertain
Three Choirs concert, Brighthelm Centre (jointly with BHRC and Westdene Decibelles)
6 June 2010
‘Oi Yoy Yoy’, Sanctuary Cella Bar, Brunswick Street East
10 July 2010
Musica Sacra, White Rock Theatre, Hastings.
17 July 2010
Communities Got Talent, Stoneham Park, Hove
27 March 2011
Concert for Eastbourne Jewish Social Scene, WRVS Centre, Eastbourne, together with Polina & Merlin as a duo
3 April 2011
Concert for B&H Reform Synagogue, Palmeira Ave, Hove
22 May 2011
Sussex Day Limmud, University of Sussex, final concert

6 Feb 2016
Bublichki evening with Russian choirs, Unitarian Church
27 Feb 2016
Springboard Festival Competition, B&H High School for Girls, Received Honours 1st class and a score of 90
4 September 2016
Yiddish Story & Song Event at London Jewish Museum, singing with LYC
11 September 2016
Klezmer in the Park, Regents Park, London
21 September 2016
L’Chayyim Lunch, BHPS
7 October 2016
‘Spiel!‘, Brunswick Pub, Holland Rd
20 November 2016
Annual Interfaith Service at BHPS about Compassion
7 May 2017
Unity Stage, together with LYC, as part of Brighton Fringe Festival’s Multicultural Event at Jubilee Square
8 October 2017
Helping Hands Tea Party, Reform Synagogue, Palmeira Ave
13 December 2017
London Jewish Museum with LYC for Hannukah candle lighting
10 February 2018
Raise the Roof, East Hoathly, fundraiser for church fabric fund and Village of Sanctuary
24 June 2018
Concert for Festival des Cultures Juives, Paris
26 January 2019
Holocaust Memorial Day, Lewes
9 March 2019
‘Spiel’, Brunswick Pub
10 March 2019
Four Choirs Concert, Church of St Mary the Virgin, Primrose Hill, London
5 July 2019
Songs from the Steppes and the Shtetl, four choirs, St Luke’s Church, Queen’s Park Rd, Brighton, part of St Luke’s Music & Wine series
30 August 2019
Choir recording for CD ‘150 Voices’, project supported by British Library and Best Foot Music. Russian and Jewish songs + Polina and Lorin, St Michael & All Angels Church, Brighton
6 November 2019
Four Choirs, London
1 December 2019
Helping Hands Tea, Reform Synagogue, Palmeira Ave AND All four choirs at Inter-Cultural Winter Warmer, All Saints Centre, Lewes
2 December 2019
Chanukkah Candle Lighting Ceremony, London Jewish Museum with LYC
25 January 2020
‘Standing Together’, Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD), Trinity St John Sub Castro, Lewes. Brought together music and poetry from Jewish, Roma and Syrian communities to show how music can unite
9 October 2021
‘International Music Afternoon’, Best Foot Music event at Jubilee Library
8 May 2022
Riwaq, Hove Seafront, for Brighton Festival
25 July 2022
Refugee Week at Jubilee Library, Brighton

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