Historic Selichot Concert in Jerusalem

Beit Tovei Ha’ir Senior Residence in Jerusalem hosted a Selichot concert by 3-generations of the Rosenfeld family near the venue of their ancestor’s pre-War concert.

Chazan Rabbi Lionel Rosenfeld, Emeritus Rabbi of the Western Marble Arch Synagogue in Central London, is not the first in his family to perform uplifting music in Jerusalem. In July 1939, his father Chazan Rabbi Abraham Rosenfeld, led a stirring choral prayer service in Jerusalem on the eve of the outbreak of World War II.

84 years later, Chazan Lionel sang inspiring melodies from Selichot and the Yamim Noraim services with his son Gidon and grandson Ori, who has just completed his service in the IDF. The concert took place in the atrium of the Beit Tovei Ha’ir Senior Residence in Jerusalem, a short distance away from the site of that historic concert.

During his tenure in London, Lionel worked closely with the late Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and composer Stephen Glass, to write new melodies for many traditional tefillot. They took the authorized book of Selichot that his father Rabbi Abraham Rosenfeld had compiled, and wrote tunes that the Shabbaton Choir then popularized for use in Ashkenazi Selichot services around the UK.

Three generations of Rosenfelds sang these tunes at the concert at Beit Tovei Ha’ir, together with several contemporary Israeli Selichot melodies. The concert was introduced by Shlomit Rosenfeld, Lionel’s daughter, and accompanied by the veteran concert pianist Raymond Goldstein from Cape Town.

Beit Tovei Ha’ir is a luxurious retirement community for religious seniors, located in the Geulah neighborhood of Jerusalem. It attracts retirees from Israel and around the world – 70% of its residents are English-speakers. Beit Tovei Ha’ir is known as a warm and welcoming Torani community, providing the highest standards of professional support and a rich program of social and cultural activities, including concerts, lectures and tours around Israel.

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