Arts & Culture

Our connection to thousands of years of Jewish culture shapes and enriches our Jewish community today. The sounds, the tastes, the humor, and the language have deep emotional resonance whether we identify as religious or secular Jews, and are lasting sources of inspiration and creativity.

The music, literature, and art of progressive movements also continue to inspire us. They are part of the inheritance that we strive to preserve and perpetuate. And there’s nothing like a powerful protest song to renew our strength and energy.

A Besere Velt Yiddish Chorus

A Besere Velt – A Better World – is proud to be a “voice” for justice. This 70-member intergenerational community chorus weaves the heartache and irrepressible idealism of Yiddish folk music into a vision of justice and humanity for the 21st century. From haunting melodies to workers’ anthems, the songs come alive with multi-layered harmonies.

The repertoire of A Besere Velt grew out of the shtetls, the sweatshops and union meetings, the camps and ghettos. These folk songs make the richness of the Eastern European immigrant experience accessible to a generation of non-Yiddish speakers. They contain the sounds of the history, the culture and the progressive values that have influenced generations.

Founded in 1997, A Besere Velt has performed throughout New England and New York, from conferences to picket lines, from temples to interfaith rallies, from universities to senior centers, and released its debut CD in 2006.

In 2019, ABV collaborated with world-renowned vocalist Anthony Russell on "Diasporas & Dreams", a show that wove diasporas and the heartbreak of exiles past and present, together with love and struggle and dreams of a better world.

In 2016, ABV and The Klezmatics transported their audience of over 1,000 people on a musical and multicultural adventure at their concert "Tevye's Daughters: Journeys to A Better World".

Listen to A Besere Velt

To order CDs, send $18 per CD plus $3 for mailing costs (with $1 postage for each additional CD) to 6 Webster St. – or stop by the office.  Please call ahead to ensure a staff member will be available to assist you.

To book A Besere Velt, contact info@circleboston.org.

Curious about A Besere Velt’s musical arrangements? Contact abv@circleboston.org for more information.

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Join A Besere Velt!

If you enjoy singing in a spirited and harmonious multi-generational 70-person chorus, A Besere Velt is a great place to give it a try!

We have successfully adapted to hybrid rehearsals, which has allowed both in-person and remote access participation. In order to provide the larger space for rehearsals at Temple Beth Zion, our expenses have increased. We encourage membership in BWC  and have lower rates for BWC members, recognize multiple members from a single family, and offer a special young adult rate.

In a time of so much economic uncertainty, we are committed to making participation accessible to everyone. Please don't let cost be a barrier to joining. If you can't afford the listed dues, contact the ABV treasurer, Sarah Axelrod (finance@circleboston.org). For those who can afford to make an additional donation, that will certainly help both ABV and BWC.

First Adult - $270 First Adult - $365
Second Adult** - $230 Second Adult - $330
Young Adult (<35) - $90 Young Adult (<35) - $120

For more information, or to join, contact abv@circleboston.org.

Not quite ready to commit to A Besere Velt in your schedule?

Check out our monthly Yiddish Sings!

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