A Musical Night for Jewish Women
On Motzaei Shabbos, December 2nd, a Night of Beautiful Music and Niggunim for Women was held at Maayon Yisroel Chassidic Center. The event, in honor of all Kislev birthdays, was organized by Mushka Lightstone, whose birthday is also in Kislev. The special guest, Ada Pasternak – a world-class singer, songwriter, and violinist – performed for about 50 female attendees and invited them to sing along.
“Music is the pen of the soul,” says Mushka Lightstone. She explains that her mother has Alzheimer’s disease and doesn’t remember much, but the part of the brain that is responsible for music is not affected by Alzheimer’s. During her recent visit to her mother, Mushka noticed how much her mother enjoys music and singing, and she was inspired to create more opportunities for frum women to get together and experience world-class music. Mushka’s goal is to “create an environment where women feel free to sing and express themselves.”
The Kislev music night was the first such event, and it was very well received, says Mushka. The guest musician, Ada Pasternak, “spoke straight from the heart.” She performed both classic pieces and her own original songs.
Ada is a talented young musician, a graduate of the Berklee School of Music, whose parents are both conservatory violinists. She began playing violin at age six. Ada recently moved to Los Angeles in order to collaborate with a local band.
At the music night, Ada’s performance was accompanied by a local pianist, Emily Kohn. The two musicians met for the first time right before the event, but they worked well together. Another local musician, Ruthy Abinun, performed two songs on the piano, one of them original. She also spoke about using song and music to get close to Hashem.
In addition, a local artist, Hadar Blodgett, showcased her art. Mushka says that Hadar’s art fit perfectly into the theme of the evening because “she fuses concepts in Torah with lyricism, color, and form, depicting the women’s role bringing in Mashiach. Hadar’s art is very feminine, and according to kabbalah, it is the women, malchus, who will rise in the end of days.”
In between the music, three women, Rebbetzin Sterna Citron, Chana Shemtov, and Jody Leanse, shared divrei Torah.
“It was a marvelous evening, a totally enjoyable and unique event, pleasing to all the senses,” says Mrs. Citron. She explains that everything was very tastefully and artfully decorated, and that Ada was “absolutely amazing on the violin.”
Mushka says that the event was very successful and that more musical events are in the planning. She would like to donate part of the proceeds to Alzheimer’s research.