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Bet Haverim hosts spring fundraising concert

By David R. Cohen

Congregation Bet Haverim is known in Atlanta for celebrating diversity.

On March 28, the Reconstructionist congregation invites the entire community to join in song at the annual Bet ARTS-CBH Community Concert FlierHaverim Spring Music Concert Fundraiser. The concert will feature performances by the congregation’s string ensemble, band and chorus.

“For such a small synagogue, we have an extraordinary string ensemble, a full band and a 40-member chorus,” said Gayanne Geurin, Bet Haverim’s music director. But the event is more than a performance. It is “the give and take, the interaction with the audience, that makes it so special.”

Titled “B’Yachad,” which means together, the concert focuses on the connection between audience and performer. Funds raised from the sale of tickets and Bet Haverim CDs will go toward the congregation’s general fund for overall growth. More than 400 people are expected to attend the concert at Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur.

Adding to the festivities will be an $18 pre-concert dinner reception at the Wahoo Grill, 1042 W. College Ave. The reception will feature heavy appetizers, including bruschetta, flatbreads and fish tacos. Sign up at congregationbethaverim.org.

“From the beginning of our congregation’s inception, we have been a group of people that has not turned anyone away,” chorus and band director Will Robertson said. “I have seen over and over again not just tolerance and acceptance, but wholehearted embrace of people. That’s the spirit that has really developed every aspect of this congregation, particularly in this case the music program and our audience.”

Lesbians and gay men founded Bet Haverim in 1985. The congregation embraces all, particularly those who do not fit the mold of traditional Judaism. Bet Haverim bought the former home of Young Israel of Toco Hills at 2974 LaVista Road in October and continues to worship at Central Congregational Church, 2676 Clairmont Road, during renovations.

The fundraising concert aims to celebrate the diversity of the community with an eclectic mix of music that features choral, klezmer, folk and Jazz.

Five CDs recorded by the congregation will be sold at the concert. Each is unique, just like the members of the congregation, Robertson said. “In a similar way that our membership comprises a variety of personalities and backgrounds, our music does as well.”

What: CBH Spring Music Concert Fundraiser

Where: Oakhurst Baptist Church, 222 East Lake Drive, Decatur

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, March 28

Tickets: $25 online (congregationbethaverim.org), $30 at the door

Information: 404-315-6446 or info@cbhatlanta.org