Founded in 1999 by a few enterprising individuals who had been chorus members in their northern hometowns, the Sarasota Jewish Chorale was formed by a group of talented singers who wished to have a Judaic singing group. As word spread, more like-minded individuals were recruited, and soon a formal chorale was established. Our singers are emissaries of Jewish culture through entertainment, musical education, and community service in the Sarasota/Manatee/Venice area.
The Sarasota Jewish Chorale has been active in many community programs over the past 21 years. We have been recognized by The Jewish Federation and sing each year at their Kristallnacht and Yom Hashoah Commemorations.
In 2011, we were honored to sing music of the Holocaust at the opening ceremonies of the Boxcar Exhibit at The Sarasota Military Academy. In January of 2013, we sang at Federation’s Israeli Festival at Robart’s Arena. We were featured in a story segment on PBS’s Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins highlighting our annual multi-cultural program at Phillippi Shores Elementary School in Sarasota.
We have worked together with Cantor Sol Zim at his Concert Weekend at Temple Beth Sholom and have sung under the batons of David Berman (The Humanaires) and Robert Lischetti (The Unitarian Universalist Choir) in a joint concert at Temple Sinai.
We sang, by invitation of the Catholic Diocese of Venice, at its annual Yom Hashoah Service at Epiphany Cathedral for many years.
To celebrate our Bar Mitzvah in February 2012, the Chorale presented an original cantata entitled Esther’s Story, created by two of our members. This medley of songs tells the musical journey of a young girl who immigrates to the United States from the Ukraine in the early 1900s.
In the spring of 2014, we were privileged to join area singers in Music Makes Community, under the direction of Matthew Lazar. Members of the SJC also participated in the Florida premier of Voices of the Holocaust, under the baton of Dr. Joseph Holt, artistic director of Choral Artists. Both inspiring performances took place at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center.
In March of 2018, we presented Remembering to Rejoicing, honoring both the legacy of Anne Frank and the miracle of Israel. Our March 2019 concert, Sing Hallelujah!, featured the compositions of 20th century Jewish composers. In March of 2022, we finally performed Songs of Peace & Joy, postponed from March 2020 due to Covid.