Hitting Milestones at 90 MPH

Hitting Milestones at 90 MPH


Bram Bessoff
Bram Bessoff

Time doesn’t move faster than it does on stage. That may explain where my 20s went.

I realized this the other night when I sat in on percussion for my business partner’s show and we jammed out a good eight tunes – minutes felt like seconds.

This weekend marked some huge milestones that have approached too quickly. The kids have officially outgrown their bedrooms. My oldest wants a Tween makeover, so we’re repainting and bringing in some new furniture including a wrought iron bed frame.

Although I’m not ready to paint over the extensive hand drawn Dr. Seuss murals in my youngest daughter’s room, we’re upgrading her plastic kitchen and make-up table for a desk and bean bag reading area. At this rate, college is right around the corner.

It’s now almost the New Year and the High Holidays have crept upon us. I’m not sure where this year went, but we are behind on the ritual of securing tickets for the late service and I may once again be in jeopardy of not receiving my honors from three years ago.

My first two declines were to lead the youth service for Congregation Shaaray Zedek up in Detroit when my Jewish rock band Shabbat Rocks was in full effect. It was decided that family time during the holidays was more important so we disbanded the group.

Although the band is known to play a B’nai Mitzvah here and there, we don’t perform much anymore. You can still grab the CD which has some of my kid’s favorite Shabbat tunes like “Lecha Dodi” and “Zum Gali” at www.shabbatrocks.com.

More importantly, the record has the Shabbat Blessings which I recorded to selfishly help my family remember the right tune as we always recite the Shabbat blessing over the candles to the Chanukah melody. I figured others must have similar troubles so we included them on the record.

It’s Shul shopping season once again. That time of year when you stop and wonder where the first half of the year went and if you don’t belong to a synagogue, where you are going to attend services for the High Holidays.

Everyone makes a mad rush to join a synagogue and the congregations start up their campaigns to entice potential new members. This is a great time of year to be unaffiliated. Bounce from one congregation to the next being wined and dined into joining a temple.

For some it’s too much pressure and commitment to make that quick of a decision so many people unnecessarily miss out on going to synagogue for these important moments in Jewish life.

I know for many it is an inside joke that most Jews only attend synagogue twice a year, but in all seriousness not being able to hear the Shofar or recite Aveinu Malkeinu is a fundamental part of me being Jewish.

No one should be deprived of those moments. Luckily, Atlanta has options. If ever in doubt of a place to attend the High Holidays, we always went to Emory and crashed the student services. Today you have other choices like any Chabad house or even turning to the internet.

My good friend, Rabbi Patrick Aleph, holds virtual and in-person services for those not affiliated with a congregation. Want to attend services online, check out http://oneshul.org/.  Looking for a relaxed casual and free High Holidays, check out http://punktorah.org/ for times and locations.

This time of year also brings another milestone. The beginning of the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival’s programming year.

We just had our first fifth season board meeting last week and among welcoming the new board members, we began the laborious task of vetting this year’s headliner. At the moment we have the board’s favorites, but I would like to hear from you.

For all who are reading this column, take a moment to reach out and send me your picks of an upcoming or established Jewish artist you’d like to see headline this year’s spring festival.

Email me at submissions@atljewishtimes.com or tweet @bram_rocks and don’t forget to use the hashtags #initforthemoment and #freshjewishmusic so I and the rest of the AJMF board will get your suggestions.

Everyone who participates will receive a link to our latest download sampler with a bunch of free tracks. For those not familiar with the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival, visit us online at www.atlantajmf.org and join the mailing list to find out about great Jewish cultural events all year long centered on music.

The first of the season is a Teen Open Mic this Sunday, Aug. 25, at Steve’s Live Music in Sandy Plains. Come meet me there. Until then, find photos of the Dr. Seuss murals and my gig with my business partner on my Twitter Media Grid.

About the writer

Bram Bessoff is a drummer and musician; you can see him sitting in with friends and artists all over the Atlanta area or catch him during one of his elusive Soup reunion shows. When not onstage, Bram sits on the board of directors as VP for The Atlanta Jewish Music Festival.

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