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An ahead-of-its-time klezmer album will be performed live for the first time

(New York Jewish Week) — In 1955, a group of musicians gathered in a Manhattan recording studio and committed to tape 16 tunes. When the LP, “Tanz,” was released the following year, it barely made a splash.

Over the years, however, the recording would gain a reputation as a landmark klezmer album, years before the klezmer revival of the 1970s and ’80s. Recorded by the klezmer virtuoso Dave Tarras and a handful of respected New York jazz players, including brothers Sam and Ray Musiker, the record was a groundbreaking mix of the traditional Eastern European Jewish dance music and a jazz and big band sound.

And now, nearly seven decades later, the entire album will be performed before a live audience for the first time ever. On Thursday, Brooklyn-based clarinetist Michael Winograd will lead a band of klezmer all-stars as they play the music from “Tanz” (Yiddish for “dance”) at the Marlene Meyerson JCC on the Upper West Side.

“One of the things that I love about his compositions on ‘Tanz,’ is that they feel like they are both inside and outside the klezmer box,” Winograd told the New York Jewish Week. “They are so clearly klezmer, but they’re also pushing the boundaries so much and I think that came from his work as a jazz musician.”

Winograd completed the herculean task of transcribing all the instrumental parts of the album several years ago. He said that he originally transcribed “Tanz” as a technical exercise and initially had no plans to record or perform the material. But trumpeter Frank London of The Klezmatics convinced him to reconsider, Winograd said.

“Frank told me, ‘You have the music, you might as well perform it. It would be amazing,’” Winograd recalled.

In December 2018, he performed some of the tracks with two different klezmer bands in Berlin and New York. The upcoming JCC performance, however, is the debut performance of the album in full. Winograd is working with Aaron Bendich from the Borscht Beat record label and hopes to release a film of the JCC concert, which is co-presented by the Ashkenaz Festival, the Center for Cultural Vibrancy, the Center for Traditional Music and Dance and the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History.

The driving force behind “Tanz” was the late Sam Musiker, a fourth-generation klezmer musician born in New York. He and his younger brother, Ray, also a member of the “Tanz” ensemble, performed klezmer extensively starting as young musicians. On the album cover, the Musiker brothers got second billing to Sam Musiker’s father-in-law, the clarinetist Dave Tarras, a Jewish immigrant from Ukraine and the undisputed king of klezmer at the time.

Also playing on the album were drummer Irving Gratz, Tarras’s regular drummer; pianist Moe Wechsler, a Juilliard-trained musician who played in the big bands of Benny Goodman and Louis Prima; accordion player Seymour Megenheimer, a pianist who later became known as Sy Mann and is credited with recording “Switched-On Santa,” the first Christmas album to feature a Moog synthesizer; Mack Shopnick, a swing-era jazz bassist who was later active in the American Federation of Musicians union; and trumpeter Melvin Soloman, who played on a couple of Sarah Vaughan albums.

The musicians gathered at the former church that became Columbia Records’ 30th Street Studio to make the record. The studio opened after World War II and, until it closed in 1981, it was graced by some of the greatest musical talent of the 20th century, including Vladimir Horowitz, Dizzy Gillespie and Bob Dylan. Rehearsal and recording took place over two days, according to Ray Musiker, who had to take off a couple of days from his regular gig: teaching music at James Madison High School in Brooklyn.

Ray Musiker is the only surviving member of the original band, and earlier this month Winograd interviewed the 96-year-old at his home on Long Island, where they discussed how the record flopped when it was released by Epic Records in 1956. “It didn’t make an impact — there were too many things going on in the world of pop music,” Musiker told Winograd. “Judaism was Americanizing, the whole thrust was to assimilate. Klezmer music started to dwindle. They’re not living in the shtetl and they don’t want to hear shtetl music. It died out like [the Yiddish theater on] Second Avenue died out.”

And yet, in recent years, “Tanz” has been reexamined and reappraised. According to Uri Schreter, a PhD student at Harvard who studies Jewish music during the postwar period, “Tanz” is one of the most important klezmer recordings of the latter half of the 20th century. With its brass-heavy big band arrangements, “Tanz” was klezmer’s “very significant and very deep step into the world of American popular music, specifically jazz and swing,” he told the New York Jewish Week.

“Tanz” was also unique in that it featured two lead clarinetists who were both virtuosos with distinctly different styles: Sam Musiker was the American-born klezmer jazzman who could swing — he played in the Gene Krupa Orchestra and served as a sideman to Roy Eldridge and Sarah Vaughan. Dave Tarras was the epitome of the Old World klezmer tradition, Schreter said. The two styles are in a kind of a competition, Schreter said, but are also in collaboration.

Winograd, 40, is capable of pulling off both styles, he added. “You can hear when he’s playing Sam Musiker and you can hear when he’s playing Dave Tarras,” Schreter said. “He’s always playing Michael Winograd, of course. And he doesn’t sound identical to them. He doesn’t want to.”

According to Hankus Netsky, founder of the Klezmer Conservatory Band of Boston and co-chair of the New England Conservatory of Music’s Contemporary Musical Arts program, Winograd is one of the most inspired klezmer musicians of his generation. “His current band is the best thing going at the moment,” said Netsky. “The level of Winograd’s cadre of musicians is kind of astronomical.”

The line-up for the JCC performance includes Marine Goldwasser on clarinet; Alec Spiegelman on saxophone and bass clarinet; Frank London on trumpet; Will Holshouser on accordion; Carmen Staaf on piano; Zoe Guigueno on bass; David Licht on drums, and Katie Scheele on English horn.

Virtuoso jazz and classical clarinetist Don Byron was in the Klezmer Conservatory Band from 1981 to 1987. He recalled when he first heard “Tanz”: in 1981, when his roommate, KCB bassist Jim Guttman, brought the LP from a used record store in Boston and asked him to have a listen.

“I listened to it once and I was, like, ‘We gotta play this,’” said Byron, who attended the Manhattan School of Music with Ray Musiker’s son, Lee. “Nobody [in the klezmer scene] knew anything about that record.”

The KCB played two selections from “Tanz” at every performance while Byron was in the band, though they removed the tunes from its repertoire when he left in 1987. Now, with Thursday’s performance, the full album will finally get its due. “Sam [Musiker] was one of my heroes,” Byron said. “To me, the tunes that he did [on ‘Tanz’] were some of the great achievements of modernism in the [klezmer] idiom.”

“Michael Winograd Plays ‘Tanz’: A Live Album Recreation” will take place at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets, $10, and information here.

The post An ahead-of-its-time klezmer album will be performed live for the first time appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Comparing European, American, and French Roulette at Canadian online casinos

Roulette is the most popular table game at online and land-based casinos alike. You can easily find a seat at the table, place your bets, and hope that the wheel turns in your favour. But you have surely noticed that the roulette section is quite rich, featuring at least a dozen different tables. Most of them come with a different design and different rules. The most popular roulette variants are American Roulette, European, and French Roulette. In this article, we will try to explain the main differences between each one.

French VS European Roulette

We’ll first compare the French versus the European version of roulette since they are the most similar. The layout of the bets and the wheel is basically the same. Even the table layout is pretty much the same at most online casinos. Depending on the provider some differences can be found, like the layout of the table or the order of the numbers of the wheel. But as far as the odds and gameplay are concerned, European and French Roulette are basically the same. 

Both roulette variants have a single 0 on the board and the same number of slots on the wheel and numbers on the table. There are 36 additional numbers you can bet on, along with the standard Red or Black and Odd or Even bets. This means both games come with a house edge of 2.7%. So, the only difference comes from the introduction of two basic rules in French Roulette. 

  • La Partage
  • En Prison

La Partage

This rule applies to even money bets, and in case the ball lands on the 0 slot. The term comes from the French word which means to divide. All even money bets are divided into half, and the player gets one half, while the other half goes to the house. This rule works greatly in your favour, especially if you’re playing on higher bets. 

En Prison

The En Prison bet is also applied to even money bets and only when the ball lands on 0. Instead of counting as a loss, the bets are held on the table for the following spin, and if you win, you get your bet back. Even though you don’t actually win anything extra, the En Prison rule gives you a chance to get your money back without a loss. 

The introduction of these rules lowers the house edge on French Roulette down to 1.35%. This is why many players prefer the French version, as the odds are better for the player. 

French VS American Roulette

The main and pretty much only crucial difference between American and French roulette is the 00 and the layout of the slots on the wheel. The added 00 on the American version means that the house edge is higher. It climbs up to 5.26%, which is almost double the house edge on European Roulette and a massive difference from the 1.35% on the French version. 

Since there is an added 00 number, the layout of the slots on the wheel is different. On the table, the 00 is next to the 0, so it doesn’t make a big difference to the layout of the table. But the rules in American roulette are quite simple. If your number doesn’t come up, you lose the bet. There are no extra rules like in the French version. 


If you go by the odds alone, it turns out that the best roulette variant to play at Canadian online casinos is French roulette. But this doesn’t mean you will lose more when you play American or European Roulette. Many players prefer to play the American wheel as it’s faster and more exciting. With the right strategy and some luck on your side, you can easily make a profit on any type of roulette game. 

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Universities Must Be Forced to Address Antisemitism

niversity of California, Santa Barbara student body president Tessa Veksler on Feb. 26, 2024. Photo: Instagram

University of California, Santa Barbara student body president Tessa Veksler on Feb. 26, 2024. Photo: Instagram – “Never would I have imagined that I’d need to fight for my right to exist on campus,” laments Shabbos Kestenbaum, a student at Harvard University who is suing the school because “antisemitism is out of control.”

Jewish students have suffered an unrelenting explosion of hate on American higher education campuses—so far with little relief. They have endured antisemitic rhetoric, intimidation, cancellation and violence. But those charged with keeping campuses safe—whether administrators who govern student and faculty behavior or federal agencies responsible for ensuring that schools adhere to civil rights protections—are failing in their jobs.

Many Jewish students have complained to their colleges’ administrators about the injustices. But instead of responding with measures to ensure Jewish students’ safety—like stopping pro-Hamas protestors from hijacking campuses or expelling militants who incite Jew-hatred— administrators have largely shown indifference. In some cases, college authorities have made things worse for Jewish students by appeasing the riotous, pro-Hamas mobs who have been primary perpetrators of Jew-hatred on campus.

Snubbed by college administrators, Jewish students and their supporters have appealed for federal protection, filing Title VI complaints with the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR), the body tasked with enforcing protections under the Civil Rights Act. Unfortunately, the OCR, which has the power to levy severe financial punishments against colleges that neglect students’ Title VI rights, has so far rewarded negligent universities with little more than slaps on the wrist.

Until college and university boards of trustees begin hiring administrators committed to Jewish students’ safety—and until the OCR begins seriously punishing antisemitic perpetrators—we can expect no respite. Safe to say, colleges and universities run by arrogant, apathetic administrators will not change until their jobs and schools’ survival are threatened.

College/university administrators don’t take antisemitism seriously. Their reactions to Jewish students raising concerns about Jew-hatred range from indifference to outright hostility. For example, when Mohammed Al-Kurd, who the Anti-Defamation League says has a record of “unvarnished, vicious antisemitism,” came to speak at Harvard, Shabbos Kestenbaum and other Jewish students complained to administrators.

Rather than cancel Al-Kurd’s appearance, which would have been the appropriate action, the administrators ignored the students’ complaints. “Harvard’s silence was deafening,” Kestenbaum wrote in Newsweek. Kestenbaum said he “repeatedly” expressed concerns to administrators about the antisemitism he experienced, but as his lawsuit alleges, “evidence of uncontrolled discrimination and harassment fell on deaf ears.”

Administrators at Columbia University reacted to Jewish students’ complaints about antisemitism even more cynically. In fact, during an alumni event, several administrators exchanged text messages mocking Jewish students, calling them “privileged” and “difficult to listen to.”

When Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) asked the presidents of Harvard, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania if calling for genocide against Jews violated their schools’ codes of conduct, none could say “yes.” The presidents of Harvard and UPenn have since resigned. Good riddance.

Some college/university administrators have outrageously granted concessions to pro-Hamas students. For instance, Northwestern University agreed to contact potential employers of students who caused campus disruptions to insist they be hired, create a segregated dormitory hall exclusively for Middle Eastern, North African and Muslim students, and form a new investment committee in which anti-Zionists could wield undue influence. Brown University agreed to hold a referendum on divestment from Israel in October.

Similar appeasements were announced at other colleges and universities, including Rutgers, Johns Hopkins, the University of Minnesota and the University of California Riverside.

So far, OCR has failed to take concrete action against antisemitism on campus. This is evident in recent decisions involving the City University of New York (CUNY) and the University of Michigan. CUNY was ordered to conduct more investigations into Title VI complaints and report further developments to Washington, provide more employee and campus security officer training, and issue “climate surveys” to students.

The University of Michigan also committed to a “climate survey,” as well as to reviewing its case files for each report of discrimination covered by Title VI during the 2023-2024 school year and reporting to the OCR on its responses to reports of discrimination for the next two school years.

Neither institution was penalized financially, even though the Department of Education has the power to withhold federal funds, which most colleges and universities depend on. There are now 149 pending investigations into campus antisemitism at OCR. If these investigations yield toothless results similar to those of CUNY and Michigan, it is highly unlikely that colleges and universities will improve how they deal with antisemitism.

Putting an end to skyrocketing antisemitism on campus involves three things.

First, donors and governments at every level should withhold funds from colleges that fail to hire administrators who will take antisemitism as seriously as they take pronoun offenses or racism directed at people of color.

Second, the OCR must mete out serious consequences to Title VI violators in the form of funding cuts. This may require legislation that specifically mandates withdrawing funding from offending parties. A bill recently introduced by Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.)—the University Accountability Act—may be ideal, as it is designed to financially penalize institutions that don’t crack down on antisemitism.

Third, if OCR won’t act, Jewish students and their supporters should turn to the courts. Lori Lowenthal Marcus, the legal director of the Deborah Project, a public-interest Jewish law firm, argues that the CUNY settlement demonstrates the futility of going to OCR and that going to court is more likely to produce “a clearly delineated and productive result,” such as punitive and compensatory fines. As of late May, at least 14 colleges and universities are facing lawsuits over their handling of antisemitism on campus since Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre.

As long as college administrators are allowed to ignore antisemitism on campus and as long as OCR and other government institutions fall short in punishing Jew-hatred, antisemitism will continue to plague Jewish students.

The post Universities Must Be Forced to Address Antisemitism first appeared on

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Candace Owens Claims US ‘Being Held Hostage by Israel,’ Suggests Zionists Killed JFK

Candace Owens speaks at CPAC on March 2, 2023. Photo: Lev Radin via Reuters Connect

Political commentator Candace Owens claimed on Friday that the US is being held “hostage” by Israel and suggested that AIPAC, the foremost pro-Israel lobbying organization in the US, was behind the assassination of former US President John F. Kennedy.
“It seems like our country is being held hostage by Israel,” Owens, a right-wing provocateur, said during the opening segment of her YouTube show, where she interviewed far-left commentator Briahna Joy Gray.
“I’m going to get in so much trouble for that. I don’t care,” Owens lamented.
Gray, who was the guest for this episode, was recently fired from The Hill‘s TV show, Rising, after aggressively cutting off and rolling her eyes at the sister of an Israeli hostage who said that Hamas sexually assaulted women during the terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel and that people should believe those women. Gray, who claimed her firing was politically motivated, had repeatedly cast doubt on the sexual violence perpetrated against Israeli women during the Hamas-led onslaught.
However, Owens said that part of the reasons she was addressing the subject was that people were being fired because they were “not happy … when an innocent Palestinian kid dies” or for “critiquing a foreign nation.”
Also on Friday’s show, Owens claimed US Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) was “wading into some dangerous waters” when, during an interview with host Tucker Carlson, he spoke about how effective the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is at lobbying members of Congress and suggested the group should have to register as a foreign agent that is acting on behalf of Israel.
The reason it was dangerous, Owens said, was because “we know there was once a president that wanted to make AIPAC register, and he ended up shot … so Thomas Massie better be careful.”
Owens was referencing the fact that Kennedy wanted the American Zionist Council, a lobby group, to register as a foreign agent. However, there is no evidence the group had anything to do with Kennedy’s assassination.
Owens and The Daily Wire, which was co-founded by conservative and Jewish political commentator Ben Shapiro, parted ways after Owens flirted with antisemitic conspiracy theories for a number of months, especially following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war.
“In all communities there are gangs. In the black community we’ve got the Bloods, we’ve got the Crips. Well, imagine if the Bloods and the Crips were doing horrific things, murdering people, controlling people with blackmail, and then every time a person spoke out about it, the Bloods and the Crips would call those people racist,” Owens said while still at The Daily Wire. “What if that is what is happening right now in Hollywood if there is just a very small ring of specific people who are using the fact that they are Jewish to shield themselves from any criticism. It’s food for thought, right? … this appears to be something that is quite sinister.”
Additionally, after getting into a spat with an outspoken and controversial rabbi, Shmuley Boteach, she said, “Are you going to kill me? Are you going to kill me, because I refuse to kowtow to you, and I think it’s weird that you and your daughter are promoting and selling sex toys, that’s why I deem you an ‘unholy rabbi?’”
“You gross me out. You disgust me. I am a better person than you, and I do not fear you,” Owens continued.
The list of controversial incidents involving Owens continued to grow longer with time. In one case, she “liked” an X/Twitter post that promoted the antisemitic “blood libel.” The post read, in response to Boteach, “Rabbi, are you drunk on Christian blood again?”
The “blood libel” is a medieval anti-Jewish slur which falsely claims that Jews use the blood of non-Jewish children in their religious rituals.

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