African Americans and Jews: Through Music, Living the American Potential


Wednesday, May 3, 2017 from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm


  • Saul Lilienstein


Temple Beth Ami

Program Series: 

  • Jewish Enrichment

In a time of lynchings, of religious quotas, of Jim Crow law, and restricted neighborhoods, musicians of color and musicians of Jewish heritage reached out to each other and played from the same score. Some of the music performed at this time directly addressed the deep divisions in American society, while some of it was significant simply by virtue of the artists who came together to create it. In this lecture, using recordings and film, Saul Lilienstein presents some of America's most important musical voices of the 1920s and 30s, all of whom were either African-American or Jewish: Marian Anderson, Harold Arlen, Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Benny Goodman, Paul Robeson, Artie Shaw, Teddy Wilson and many others.  Together, they lifted their voices and their instruments toward the hope of creating a better America.

Music historian and lecturer Saul Lilienstein, a former student of Leonard Bernstein, holds B.A. and M.S. degrees in music from Queens College, NY. He has served as Director of the Handel Choir of Baltimore and the Harford Choral Society and, for many years, as Artistic Director and Conductor of Maryland’s Harford Opera Theatre and then of Operetta Renaissance in Baltimore. In 2005, the Wagner Society of Washington, DC bestowed the Society’s Award for “uncommon contributions” upon Lilienstein, who is honored to join past recipients Placido Domingo, Thomas Stewart, Evelyn Lear and Heinz Fricke.

Endowed by the generosity of Dr. Harold Goald in memory of Anna Balen Goald. 

This event will be co-sponsored by and held at:

Temple Beth Ami
14330 Travilah Road
Rockville, Maryland 20850

There is no cost for this event, but we request that you register.