Upcoming Events

Oct 11th

Stars of David: Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Jewish Stories

Sunday, October 11th at 3:00pm

Speaker  Scott R. Benarde

Included with Museum admission


This music-, photo-, and anecdote-filled program provides a fascinating look into how Judaism influenced the makers of popular music over the past fifty years. Inspired by a backstage conversation with David Lee Roth during which the star revealed he first learned to sing preparing for his Bar Mitzvah, Benarde spent six years investigating the Jewish contribution to rock music. Benarde was determined to find out how Judaism influenced rock music and the people who created it. The result was his book Stars of David: Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Jewish Stories. This presentation leads audiences on an insightful and revealing journey illustrating the Jewish influences in the work of
 many of the best-known (and vital, but not so well known) musical stars of our time.

Stars of David Rock and Roll cover

Scott R. Benarde has an M.A. from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, and is the former rock music columnist for the Palm Beach Post and the Fort Lauderdale News / Sun Sentinel. As a freelance journalist, he has been published in Rolling Stone, Musician, Billboard, Variety, and a host of Jewish publications. He lives with his wife, Mindi, and two children, Michael Dov and Shirah Beth, in West Palm Beach, Florida, and currently serves as the Director of Communications at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach.

Oct 18th

Jews and the Folk Revival: When Change was in the Air and the Music Mattered


Sunday, October 18th

Time: TBD

Speakers Cantor Jeff Klepper and Cantor Robbie Solomon

Included with Museum admission


Cantors Jeff Klepper and Robbie Solomon will present a program tracing the influence of the 1960’s Folk Music Revival from the streets of Greenwich Village to Jewish summer camps to the contemporary synagogue. The program will include audio and visual recorded material as well as live demonstrations by Jeff and Robbie, whose own compositions have become part of the standard repertoire in progressive synagogues and beyond.


Cantor Robbie Solomon of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation is internationally known as a composer of Jewish choral works and synagogue repertoire. His stirring anthem “Leaving Mother Russia”, written in 1979, became the rallying cry of the Soviet Jewry movement and established him as a musical interpreter of Jewish conscience. He has since authored dozens of songs of Jewish content, including “World of Our Fathers”, “Falasha Nevermore”, Peace by Piece,” and is well known as a performer/song writer with the popular Jewish music group SAFAM.   In addition to over ten original CD’s with SAFAM, and several of his own production, Cantor Solomon’s works have been performed and recorded by numerous cantors and choirs throughout the world. A recent project was writing a song-cycle for his adorable grandchildren and their parents.


Although Robbie spent most of his career in the Boston area, he grew up here in Baltimore, where during high school at City College, he was president of the Folk Song Club. Cantor Solomon was part of a jug band (Uncle Jack’s Rompin’ Stompers) at City and at Gettysburg College (The Tiber River Ragtime Band) where he earned his undergraduate degree. While studying at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem, Robbie played in a folk duo with a harmonica player, with whom he began writing original music. Cantor Solomon plays guitar, mandolin, banjo, and flute.


Cantor Solomon and his wife, Helen, live in Towson, MD. The Solomons have two sons, Byron and Sam, a daughter-in-law, Kristy, and two grandsons, Nicolas and Leo.


Cantor Jeff Klepper is a widely respected and influential musical figure in the North American Jewish community. Composer of hundreds of Jewish songs, his melody for “Shalom Rav,” (co-written with Rabbi Daniel Freelander in 1973) is sung throughout the world. Beginning in the 1970s Klepper, along with the late Debbie Friedman and others, created a new style of synagogue music called, “American Nusach.” Up to that time, Reform worship music was led by a cantor or choir, with organ accompaniment, without congregational participation. By the end of the 20th century, American Nusach had largely eclipsed that model, using guitars and original folk-style tunes that allowed worshippers to sing along with the prayers.


While in college, Jeff met Dan Freelander, who would become his partner in the group Kol B’Seder for more than four decades. One of their early songs, “V’yashvu Ish,” won first-prize in a 1976 song contest, sponsored by the Jewish Welfare Board. They sang with Shlomo Carlebach in Central Park for Israel’s 30th birthday, and in December 1987 they performed between speeches at Freedom Sunday in Washington D.C. Kol B’Seder’s songs, including such favorites as “Modeh Ani” and “Lo Alecha,” have appeared on hundreds of recordings and in dozens of song collections. They have been honored by the Zamir Chorale of Boston, and the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE).


Jeff was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and earned a Masters in Music from Northeastern Illinois University. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music from HUC-JIR in 2005. He co-edited the song section in the Reform prayer book, Mishkan T’filah, and co-founded (with Debbie Friedman) the annual Hava Nashira song-leader workshop.


Jeff has released three solo CDs (Yom Chadash, In This Place, and Jewish Music for the Masses) and Volume 1 of The Jeff Klepper Anthology: Shabbat Evening Music. His articles have appeared in Sh’ma, Musica Judaica, CCAR Journal, JUF News, Learn Torah With…, Keeping Posted, and The Jewish Men’s Torah Commentary. He lectures on the Jewish involvement in folk, rock and popular music, with special attention to what he calls, “Bob Dylan’s Jewish blues.”


Jeff has served congregations in New York, Haifa, and Chicago. Since 2003 he has been cantor of Temple Sinai of Sharon, Massachusetts, and a member of the faculty of the School of Jewish Music at Hebrew College in Newton. He is married to Deeana Copeland Klepper and they have two daughters, Rachel and Liora.

Oct 25th

Still Crazy After All These Years: Classic Musical Monster Mashes

Free Fall Baltimore!

Sunday, October 25th at 1:00 p.m.

Speaker Dr. Arnold T. Blumberg, UMBC



Novelty songs have always occupied a quirky corner of our collective pop culture, and Halloween is the best time of year for cool and creepy ditties that celebrate all the monstrous mayhem. Join Dr. Arnold T. Blumberg as he takes you on a tour of classic monster mashes, especially those that added a wacky twist to the popular music of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s!


ARNOLD T. BLUMBERG is the “Doctor of the Dead” and “The MCU guru” – a world-renowned zombie expert and authority on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (he teaches courses in those and many other media subjects at the University of Baltimore). He spent 15 years in the comic book industry and owns small press ATB Publishing (Doctor Who essay collections Outside In and Outside In 2). He has appeared in film (Doc of the Dead, The Walkers Among Us, The 50 Best Horror Movies You’ve Never Seen, the forthcoming Marvel Renaissance) and contributed to books like Triumph of the Walking Dead, Braaaiiinnnsss!: From Academics to Zombies, and The Undead and Theology. His podcasts – Doctor of the Dead, The G2V Podcast, Who’s Talking, and The MCU Review – are all available at iTunes.com/G2V. Find Arnold on Twitter at @arnoldtblumberg, @DoctoroftheDead, @G2VPodcast, and @WhosTalkingCast.