For the Daniel Pearl Education Center at Temple B’nai Shalom in East Brunswick, the upcoming annual Daniel Pearl World Music Days, a worldwide celebration of music honoring the slain Wall Street Journal reporter and musician, is always a time of mixed emotions.
“Every year we struggle with the question, How do we best honor the memory and legacy of Daniel Pearl?’” says Dr. Andrew Boyarsky, chairman of the temple’s Daniel Pearl Education Center committee, which organizes and hosts community-wide, interfaith programs, as well as an annual Daniel Pearl World Music Days concert, in Pearl’s memory.
“I’m not sure we’ll ever stop being angry about Danny’s brutal murder, but we feel strongly that his messages of tolerance, understanding and coexistence must go on,” he adds. “And music – in our case this year with klezmer’s uplifting, spirited music – is a universal way to share these messages.”
The sounds of klezmer, from the Yiddish meaning “musical instrument,” will fill the temple on Thursday, Oct. 18, from 8-10 p.m., when the Daniel Pearl Education hosts a free, community-wide concert. Klezmer is a European-based musical genre that emphasizes fast-paced melodies and is usually associated with traditional Jewish dancing. Presenting the klezmer style at Temple B’nai Shalom will be Odessa Klezmer, a six-piece ensemble led by Ed Goldberg. The band began in 1984 and has played numerous fairs, festivals, gypsy affairs, weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, concerts and dance dates throughout the NJ-NY-PA area.
While the concert is about music and joy, Dr. Boyarsky says he will remind the audience about the life – and death – of Daniel Pearl, who while researching a story in Pakistan five years ago, was kidnapped and later brutally murdered by extremists. Soon thereafter, Temple B’nai Shalom renamed its education center in Pearl’s memory and created the DPEC committee to organize programs and activities to keep Pearl’s important messages prominent at the temple’s religious school and in the broader community.
The musicians of Odessa Klezmer are donating their time to the memory of the late Daniel Pearl, and they will be joined on stage for the concert’s first 30 minutes by three Temple B’nai Shalom teens, David Kolchmeyer on alto sax, Russell Anonsen on clarinet and Dan Hewitt on trumpet.
The Daniel Pearl World Music Days acknowledge Pearl’s belief that music could bridge differences among people. In just five years, Daniel Pearl World Music Days has grown to include thousands of concerts and performances in over 60 countries.
The Daniel Pearl Education Center was the first school-based center in the US dedicated to the ideals of the late Daniel Pearl. Activities of the Daniel Pearl Education Center include active integration of tolerance themes into the temple’s religious school and confirmation program, an annual tolerance scholarship at East Brunswick High School, and Holocaust education, including a widely acclaimed annual trip with St. Bartholomew’s Catholic Church of East Brunswick to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.
More information about the Oct. 18 concert is available from the main office at Temple B’nai Shalom, 732-251-4300.