MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – Did you know there is such a thing as Jewish gospel music? Bet Torah synagogue will celebrate the first night of Hanukkah in song Saturday at the temple's third annual Festival of Flight.
Starring Bet Torah Cantor Randy Herman, "the Prince of Kosher Gospel" Joshua Nelson, the Guthrie Brothers, Paul Shapiro and Cantor Debbie Bletstein of Temple Neveh Shalom in Portland, Ore., the night will feature a creative fusion of rock, jazz, world music and Jewish gospel, or soulful versions of Jewish spiritual songs.
With an array of special guests and an all-star cast of musicians, this year's Festival of Flight, sponsored by the temple's Kaplan Family Music Fund, promises to be a unique and entertaining way to celebrate the first night of a holiday that commemorates how the Macabees saved and rededicated the temple in Jerusalem.
Saturday's concert takes its name from the Hanukkah holiday, which is known as the Festival of Lights. Hanukkah is observed for eight days and nights by kindling of the lights of the nine-branched menorah, one additional light on each night of the holiday.
Cantor Randy Herman, Bet Torah's host for the night, is a singer, songwriter and keyboardist. He has performed throughout the United States and abroad at festivals and private events, as well as on live radio, and has worked extensively as a studio musician.
Admission to the 8 p.m. show is free for Bet Torah members and costs $20 per person for nonmembers. The synagogue is at 60 Smith Ave. in Mount Kisco.