Sold Out at Sixth & I!

Turns out I was wrong. DC can sustain some hip Jewish culture. The Idan Raichel Project is playing tonight (right now) at the Historic Sixth and I St Synagogue. The Sanctuary is huge and has a large balcony area, so I was not expecting tickets to sell out days before the show. The band is bringing greater appreciation for Israel’s Moroccan and Ethiopian immigrants in a way my boring history classes never will.

As a kid growing up in a very non-Jewish and non-white area of Maryland with southern US Jewish roots, I felt connected to the World Jewish community much more than New York or the shtetl. If I had a ticket, I imagine schmoozing and collecting emails for my next Ethiopia & Jews lecture or class.

There’s some controversy in Israel over the group’s Ashkenazi leader profiting from the traditional music of his lesser credited inspiriation. That makes me think that I must consider who to bring out people’s story and power more than seek to master the cultural and historical information.

Now the only trick is to find out how to mix the enthusiasm for hip Jewish culture with the social justice projects in the city.

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