From Aug ’11 Spotlight:
Back in Skokie on July 10th, another Sarah’s life was celebrated with joy and laughter when the Chicago YIVO Society presented Mayses un Klangen(Stories and Sounds) in honor of Sarah Rose Lazarus
Cantor Stewart Figa of West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest told a series of traditional Khelm Stories (including An Open Door and Teltse by Solomon Simon) while cellist Racheli Galay and pianist Ilya Levinson provided punctuation. Most of the musical interludes came from Klezmer Tunes with a Classical Touch by Israeli composer Daniel Galay (Racheli’s father). Then, in his grand finale, Figa lead a sing-along of Yiddish favorites (such as Der Rebbe Elimelekh), and Galay and Levinson closed with a medley of their own called Wedding Potpourri.
Born in Warsaw in 1911, Sarah Lazarus lived most of her life in Chicago. After graduating from DePaul University with a degree in music, she became a beloved teacher at both Yiddish folkshuln and local Hebrew schools. She also sang in synagogue choirs and performed at hundreds of metro Chicago community events. Program sponsors Jerry and Debbie Lazarus (Sarah’s son and daughter-in-law) came from Denver to reminisce with dozens of her former students.
Photo Credit: Jan Lisa Huttner (taken after the concert at a private reception for the Lazarus Family @ Maggiano’s Old Orchard).