This week is Sephardic Shabbat on Good shabbos Nebraska -America's favorite shabbos morning Talk show - featuring the world famous Sephardi Chazzan Rabbi Moshe Tessone.
Rabbi Moshe Tessone is Director of The Sephardic Community Program at Yeshiva University and a distinguished faculty member at Yeshiva University where he teaches Jewish Studies. He is also a faculty member at the YU affiliated Belz School of Jewish Music where he is an instructor of Sephardic cantillation and liturgy.
He also has released two CDs featuring Sephardic music.
Rabbi Tessone has toured extensively throughout North America, South America, Europe and Israel both as a rabbinic speaker on Torah related topics of Sephardic interest, Sephardic history, and Jewish education and as a cantorial concert soloist featuring Judeo Arabic and Judeo Spanish religious music and liturgy.
In addition to appearing on Good Shabbos Nebraska, throughout Shabbat Rabbi Tessone will introduce the Omaha Jewish community to the ancient and modern musical traditions of the Sephardic world through inspiring prayer and Shabbat songs.
Rabbi Tessone will be joined by his wife Regine Monavar Tessone. She was born in Tehran and at the age of nine she was forced to flee because of the revolution in 1978. Her family escaped on the very same day that Khomeini arrived as the mobs were flooding the streets. She is currently finishing a book about her experience. Over Shabbat she will share her story and offer a unique perspective on the current situation in Iran.
In Omaha we have a dearth of Sephardic Jews, but according to studies there are anywhere between 500,000 and 800,000 Sephardic Jews in different communities throughout the United States. They have held fast to the various traditions that they brought with them from North Africa and the Middle East. Rabbi Tessone has been invited to speak in just about every Sephardic community in the country. He also is involved in the education of the current and future Rabbinic and lay leadership of these communities as director of the Sephardic communities program at YU. Consequently he is arguably the foremost expert on the landscape and demographics of these unique communities.
The recent Pew study did not ask participants if they were Ashkenazi or Sephardi. Taken in isolation, the Sephardic community presents a very different picture of American Judaism - a perspective that could be valuable for a community like Omaha to learn from.
Like every Shabbos, this will be a great opportunity to learn about something Jewish that is not readily accessible in our Omaha Jewish community - in a format that makes it exciting and engaging.
So catch Good Shabbos Nebraska, this and every week ONLY at Beth Israel Synagogue - where every Shabbos is a shabbaton!