By Jennifer S. Zwiebel
Director of PR and Development, JEP/Nageela
On February 15, 16, and 22, JEP/Nageela will present Harmony XIII to the community for the very first time. Thousands of women and girls in the Five Towns and Far Rockaway neighborhoods will participate in the exclusive song and dance performances for three nights of near-sold-out shows while supporting the longstanding community kiruv organization.
For Evy Guttman, the director, chief choreographer, and super-energetic producer of all the girls pieces, Harmony is a labor of love, as she effortlessly orchestrates hundreds of young girls from different schools to create a beautifully synchronized performance for all to enjoy.
“Being able to have a show like Harmony is an incredible thing in our community,” said Mrs. Guttman, who also teaches grades 9–12 at TAG High School. “It gives the girls the opportunity to shine, make new friends from other schools and grades, and, most importantly, empowers them to use their talents for a cause as wonderful as JEP/Nageela. Harmony has reached unprecedented numbers this year, with over 400 girls performing.”
She continued: “We are very excited that we were able to accommodate every girl who wanted to participate. It would be impossible to pull off without the hard work and hours that my high-school assistants put in! They bring the fresh talent, organization, and verve to the production. I am also grateful to the “Harmony Alumnae” who are back from seminary and make time in their busy lives to help as well. We even have many of our choreographers who were performers as kids who have the chance to give back by working on Harmony now as young adults. I like how it comes full circle for them.”
Adult performers of the Five Towns/Far Rockaway also have a chance to shine once again with the amazingly talented Women’s Choir directed by Karen Daitchman and Kayli Joseph. Three dances are being performed by women this year, two directed by Rivky Weissman and one by Yaffi Kaplan. The women who dance always bring their excellent gifts to the stage with their beautiful and highly original dances.
Harmony is the brainchild of Mrs. Batya Travis and her company, Kol Rayus Productions. “Being the founder of Harmony 28 years ago has brought me tremendous joy and nachas. Watching women from across the community and beyond using their artistic abilities to bring “Harmony” and form lasting friendships is something I could have only dreamed of. Without the tireless efforts of Karen Daitchman, Kayli Joseph, Ricky Molinsky, Shelley Winkler, and Evy Guttman, the celebration of talented women young and old, Harmony would not have grown and perhaps had such an impact as it has today. May Hashem continue to bless our efforts and may we see the coming of Mashiach in our days.”
Shayna Wasser has been performing in Harmony for the past few years and is now a choir/voice head. She said the experience gives the girls a chance to shine respectively with their individual talents. “This year is even more meaningful to me as the beneficiary is JEP, an organization that my family has been involved in for many years.” Her father is Israel Wasser, a very active board member for JEP/Nageela.
This year Harmony will benefit JEP/Nageela. Led by Rabbi Dovid Shenker, the Lawrence-based organization has been presenting the core values of Yiddishkeit to countless children from different walks of life in a fun and inspirational way for over 30 years. The beauty of our Jewish lifestyle is brought to kids who otherwise may not have had a Shabbos experience or Torah-observant role models like the many volunteers who come from the Five Towns area to work at Camp Nageela sleepaway camp and year-round programs such as Shabbatons and seasonal retreats.
So far, Harmony XIII with JEP/Nageela includes the following generous sponsors: Gourmet Glatt; Maidenbaum; Pin It Realty; American Cool Air; Spring; SHMA Camps; Steven Krauss, DDS, MPH; Tiffany Dry Cleaners; Green Home Solutions; Vent Right; Fame; Junee & Junee Jr.; Nutrition By Tanya; Mosquito Shield; Rubin Orthodontics; the Jewish Home, and the 5TJT.
To sponsor Harmony XIII and give your business exposure to thousands of girls and women in the community, please contact 917-715-2415 for more information. Harmony Playbills will be distributed to all who attend the three performances, February 15, 16, and 22. To purchase Harmony tickets, attain a sponsorship, or to give a shout-out in the Playbill to your superstar, please visit jepli.org/harmony.