Inside the synagogue in Mikulov, now a museum, Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber
by Ruth Ellen Gruber
The Czech-born Canadian singer Lenka Lichtenberg is recording Yiddish and Jewish liturgical songs for a new CD in several former synagogues scattered around the Czech Republic -- in Prague, Plzen, Radnice, Liberec, Turnov, Boskovice, Mikulov, Polna, Hartmanice. Some of these synagogues are used now as museums.
Lichtenberg told the Czech news agency CTK that she envisaged the CD as a "certain homage to synagogues, their atmosphere and the local Jewish communities that do not exist any longer".
She said it crossed her mind to record Jewish liturgic songs in synagogues in the country last year when she had a concert in the synagogues in Liberec, north Bohemia, and in Plzen, west Bohemia. Each of the 14 songs will be recorded in a different synagogue as every synagogue has specific acoustics and every venue will fill the song with a different content and spirit, Lichtenberg said. Apart from traditional liturgic songs, the CD will offer two songs that she has written and four by modern authors from Toronto. Lichtenberg has also recorded one song, a prayer for the dead, in a hidden synagogue in Terezin, north Bohemia, where an internment camp for European Jews was set up during WWII. Her mother was interned there, she recalled. The CD will include a booklet with photographs of the synagogues and information about the local Jewish communities. It should also be sold in the synagogues where it was recorded.Read full CTK story here