“The Workmen's Circle is my Jewish community because it allows me to express all the different aspects of my Jewish identity in one place. It’s where I act for change while being part of a larger, inter-generational community.”
"Beautiful, haunting and exotic in so many wonderful ways." With an audience of over 700 at the December 5th concert, Journeys in Ladino & Yiddish, A Besere Velt and The Guy Mendilow Ensemble transported the audience of over 700 on a musical and multi-cultural adventure. Listen here to just one number the band and chorus performed together, the Yiddish sweatshop lament, S'Falt a Shney (Snow is Falling).
A Besere Velt – A Better World – is proud to be a “voice” for justice. This 92-member 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.
New members are welcome every fall! No auditions and no knowledge of Yiddish required. Attend an open rehearsal to learn more.
More chorus videos can be viewed here.
A Besere Velt
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 2008 the chorus produced Stand Up, Sing Out! a double anniversary concert with the Klezmatics, and commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire with The Cloth from Which We Are Cut in 2011. A Besere Velt generates acclaim whenever it performs – read all about it in the Chorus Press Archive (coming soon).
A Besere Velt Artistic Director Lisa Gallatin has been leading community choruses for over 20 years. After several years with the Boston-based New Women’s Chorus, Lisa founded the union women’s vocal ensemble On the Line and was the conductor for 12 years. In 1997 she turned to the world of Yiddish music and became the founding director of A Besere Velt. The chorus has a growing repertoire of Lisa’s original arrangements, often weaving old Yiddish folksongs together with contemporary favorites from the labor, civil rights and peace movements. We are happy to share A Besere Velt arrangements with other choruses.
How to Join:
Membership is open only once a year. Start by coming to an open rehearsal in the fall. The annual open rehearsal provides an opportunity to participate in a working chorus rehearsal before deciding to make a commitment for the year.
Current members, please visit the chorus members resource page here.
To order CDs, send $18 per CD plus $3 for mailing costs (with $1 postage for each additional CD) to 1762 Beacon Street – or stop by the office anytime between 9am and 5pm, Monday-Friday (please call ahead).
Book A Besere Velt
Contact chorus director Lisa Gallatin [firstname.lastname@example.org] for more information.
Contact chorus librarian Liz Zoob for more information, at lizzoob (at) gmail (dot) com.