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B’nai Sholom to Host Evening of Music and International Dance to Aid Ukraine

B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation will host an evening of harmony and hope with inspirational music and international dance in a fundraiser to benefit the citizens of Ukraine Saturday, May 21, in the synagogue, 420 Whitehall Road, Albany.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; the concert will begin at 7 p.m.  Featured performers will be premier acoustic duo Phil Teumim and Will Vail, klezmer group Der Kleiner Klezmer Orchestra, Gypsy jazz group Gadjo and a concluding dance segment led by folk dance guide Joan Savitt.

All donations will be greatly appreciated and distributed to charities providing humanitarian aid to the millions of refugees in Ukraine and beyond.

Current B’nai Sholom policy for attending events in person is that masks are strongly recommended regardless of vaccination status, though this is subject to change as the COVID situation continues to evolve.

“With this concert, we are sending hope on the wings of music to work toward a world where, in the words of the Prophets, ‘Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more,’” said Teumim, who also will serve as master of ceremonies.  “All donations will go to support the people of Ukraine and especially its longstanding Jewish community.”

Reservations are encouraged; walk-ins are welcome.  For more information and to reserve, contact Phil Teumim: or 518-475-0239.


Teumim and Vail will perform traditional and contemporary songs of unity, peace and hope.  A resident of the Capital District since his college days, Teumim is a multi-instrumental singer-songwriter, drawing his songs from personal experiences, family stories, social commentary and world affairs and ranging from world peace to seasickness.    Vail is director of the Town of Bethlehem Senior Services and has been referred to as the ”singing social worker.”  Teumim and Vail have performed together, separately and as two-thirds of the Delmariners all around the Capital District, emphasizing charitable and other pro bono events, and include in their repertoire folk songs, sea shanties, cowboy songs and originals.


An ensemble playing traditional klezmer music from the Jewish diaspora, Yiddish theater music from the early 20th century and Israeli dance music, Der Kleiner Klezmer Orchestra has been together for more than 30 years. Core members are David Bates on accordion and keyboard, David Ray on violin and mandolin, David Lambert on clarinet and saxophone and Bailey Quinn, vocalist. The band often performs at nursing homes and assisted living venues and for celebrations at synagogues from Hudson to Plattsburgh.


Gadjo is a recently formed quartet playing Gypsy jazz, swing and French café music. Members include David Bates on accordion, David Ray on violin, John Whitbread on guitar and vocals and Larry Stallman on bass. Whitbread and Stallman are long-time participants in the local bluegrass, folk and Gypsy music scene.


Folk dance leader Savitt will offer an opportunity for participation in two traditional Ukrainian dances.  Savitt has travelled the world learning traditional dance and music of many countries and frequently leads dance events in Albany, Saratoga and upstate New York venues.

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