By Marcia Jaffe

mjaffe@atljewishtimes.com

Rabbi Karmi David Ingber joins the Moshav Band onstage.

 

Michelle Garland, in from Iowa for the show, says the Moshav Band’s music helped her earn her Ph.D. – Photo credit: Marcia Jaffe

Atlanta Jewish Academy posed as Midtown’s hip Masquerade Club as an audience of nearly 500 paid tribute to Rabbi Karmi David Ingber’s fifth anniversary with The Kehilla in Sandy Springs on Feb. 8.

The internationally acclaimed Moshav Band ignited Kehilla Fest with exotic sounds, blending reggae and Mediterranean harmonies with its own interpretation of Israeli folk music.

The audience rose to its feet to the strains of Eastern musical phrasing set to conga percussion, blaring electric lead guitars, an eight-string lute — higher, faster, higher, faster — a recipe for a musical frenzy.

Then suddenly the music was meditative and soulful.

After several numbers, Moshav paused while Kehilla members paid tribute to Rabbi Ingber and his wife, Elisheva, who have built a warm congregation with special outreach to young adults.

Rabbi Ingber performed several of his own songs with his amplified acoustic guitar and harmonica (the latter every bit as good as Bob Dylan).

As the aisles filled with swaying and dancing, Michelle Garland, who was in town from Iowa, said, “The Moshav Band helped me write my doctoral dissertation, and I love their music.”

Other comments included “creative,” “original,” “joyful,” “eclectic,” “more than entertainment,” and “five ebullient, optimistic troubadours with the energy of a youthful heart.”

The Atlanta Jewish Music Festival, a co-sponsor of the celebration, scored a hit with this kickoff to next month’s festival.