IDF musical ensemble to perform at B’nai Amoona

Columnist Lois Caplan

Lois Caplan

CONGREGATION B’NAI AMOONA has waited three long years to present the spectacular Israel Defense Forces (IDF) musical ensemble at the congregation’s Magical Musical Moments, now in its fourth very successful year.  “At the suggestion of our rabbi, Carnie Rose, we were introduced to the IDF, consisting of some of the country’s most talented musicians (all in the armed forces),” said Phyllis Traub, chair of the event. “There are several ensembles of different sizes and compositions, and you never know which ensemble will be touring until that year.  You can’t choose the group you want – you have to take the one that happens to be touring. We passed on that until we found that this year the 10 piece ensemble comprised of brilliant singers and instrumentalists would be touring in the United States.”  Phyllis heard a CD sent to her of the big ensemble performing and she was hooked, as was her music committee. This was it for their Magical Musical Moments 4.

So at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, the temple located at 324 S. Mason Road, will rock with the sounds of the Israel Defense Forces. These 10 young men and women, active soldiers, went through a rigorous audition process, and only the very best were chosen from among hundreds of applicants. Many of Israel’s top performers got their start singing in IDF ensembles.  Currently, there are 15 troupes that perform on army bases, in major ceremonies and at special events throughout Israel and abroad. St. Louis and B’nai Amoona in particular was lucky to wait for the pick of the litter and to present their unique sounds to us.

Magical Musical Moments IDF tickets for general admission are $18, while reserved section seats are $38 and a reserved seat costs $72. Special sponsorships are available and include preferred reserve seats, special recognition and a musical IDF CD. For tickets call Barbara Shechter at 314-576-9990 ext. 126 or reach her online at [email protected].

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THE ANNUAL B’NAI BRITH INSTITUTE OF JUDAISM, which is celebrating its 58th year, is the oldest, largest weekend retreat in the St. Louis area. Named for the late Al Fleishman, it provides the participants a unique learning experience with entertainment and social activity in the relaxing atmosphere of Rend Lake Resort in southern Illinois, just two hours from St. Louis.  This year’s Scholar-in- Residence will be Rabbi Jeffrey Stiffman, who will give three lectures about Jews in America. Entertainment (not that the lectures will be dull) will be provided by Tommy Goldenberg, everyone’s favorite accordionist, and Barbara Helmer, a terrific singer and cabaret performer. The dates of the weekend are from Friday, Oct. 29 to Sunday, Oct. 31 and you don’t need to drive or ride your witch’s broom as bus transportation will be available.  For reservations and more information call either Rosalie Brasch at 314-872-8477 or Gerald Cohen at 314-432-3891.


OOPS! I GOOFED when I reported to you about the demise of our beloved classic radio station, KFUO FM, Dianne Duncan of Washington University corrected my error and told me that KFUO’s can be heard 24 hours a day on any computer or with a WiFi enabled radio. “Please let your readers know that they can still listen to Ron Klemm and Dick Wobbe on the air.” Since I had trouble the first time I tried to log on to the very much alive KFUO, I will share with you how I got to it. First go to In the upper right corner click on the box that says, “Click to listen.” A new window should come up with on the top and a slider bar beneath.  The stream should start in 30 seconds or so. Thank you Dianne, for letting me know that the report of KFUO’s death was highly exaggerated and for instructions on how to listen to it. Believe me, it’s worth the effort.


VISITING THIRD DEGREE GLASS FACTORY, St. Louis’ glass education center at 5200 Delmar Boulevard, is fun even when there is nothing going on besides the glass blowers firing and the artistic glass items by both professional glass artists and students on display.  At events it is even more fun, like the upcoming Friday, Oct. 15 Birthday Blowout Bash, a free, family-friendly event celebrating eight great years.  The festivities include Jack-O-Blow, hot glass pull, hot glass drip, fire performance and free raffle of blown-before-your-very-eyes largest pumpkin possible. From 6 to 10 p.m. there will be glass blowing demos both inside and out of the spacious facility and live music will be provided by Salt of the Earth, and tapas-like food will be available at a modest price.  No reservations are necessary.