The Finger Lakes Chamber Ensemble brings wine country roots and stringed prowess to stage. Inspired by a shared passion for chamber music, the members of the Finger Lakes Chamber Ensemble began performing as a group in 1990. Hailed as the “premier ensemble of the Finger Lakes region,” they continue their association with the Lodi Historical Society with a series of two chamber concerts surrouned by wine country. Members of the Finger Lakes Chamber Ensemble include; Shannon Nance, violin; Roberta Crawford, viola; Stefan Reuss, cello; and Michael Salmirs, piano. “WE all owe a huge debt to Johannes Brahms,” Nance says. Brahms enriched the piano repertoire with pieces like the piano quartet in G minor, symphonic in scope, that FLCE performs. “Sometimes you’ll be quite amazed… that he could stake the four strings in the piano and create the kind of sound he did create,” Nance explains.
There’s an old Yiddish saying, “S’iz shver tsu zayn a Yid” — “it’s tough to be a Jew.” Surely any religious discipline is going to make some uncomfortable demands on its adherents to live a moral and respectful life, but in the case of Jews there may also be the need to be true to your values and needs while those around you are prejudiced, unfriendly or worse. The spectre of antisemitism has hounded the Jewish people since long before it had a name. The word itself was coined around 1880, and shortly thereafter the notion of “philosemitism” entered the vocabulary and the discussion, still somewhat pejorative. The new book “Philosemitism in History” reviews those times from the Middle Ages to the present when members of the majority — usually Christian — population sought to find an advantage in Jewish beliefs and practices. On rare occasions there might even have been warm feelings toward Jews themselves. “Philosemitism in History” is a collection of fourteen essays written by an international group of historians, journalists, philosophers and scholars of Jewish and European history and culture. It describes “the complex interplay of positive and negative attitudes toward Jews”. The anthology was edited by Dr. Jonathan Karp, professor of history and Judaic studies at Binghamton University, currently on leave as Executive Director of the American Jewish Historical Society, and Dr. Adam Sutcliffe, senior lecturer in European History at King’s College, London. Karp and Sutcliffe also wrote the introductory overview and contributed their own essays. A theme that runs through the book is that philosemitism was just another form of prejudice. There is the recurring sense that Jews, in holding so tenaciously to the faith that gave birth to Christianity, were guardians of Christian values. As one of the leaders of the Crusades stated in an appeal to stem anti-Jewish violence, “The Jews are for us the living words of Scripture, for they remind us always of what our Lord suffered.” In his essay entitled “The Philosemitic Moment?”, Dr. Sutcliffe tells of the 16th century utopian concepts of a “Republic of the Hebrews” and of a “second Israel” that would reflect both high moral principles and incipent democratic ideals. But the Jews were not depicted as having any place in such a state. The 16th century Dutch law professor Petrus Cunaeus held that “the Hebrew republic, utterly unique because underwritten by God, appeared necessarily exceptional in every respect and thus invited exemption from the usual norms of commercial exchange.”
Change is not necessarily for the better. Just as it is wrong to equate evolution with “slow”, it is also wrong to equate it with “progress”. Evolution doesn’t make everything nice. It results in the full spectrum of outcomes that we associate with good and evil, thriving and decay. The kind of change that we associate with progress can emerge as a robust product of evolution but only under certain environmental conditions.
As we wrap up the fiscal year, we want to share with you some of the many ways your generous support has made a difference, both here at WSKG and throughout our community. Thanks to you, and others like you, WSKG received over $1.5M in membership donations and ended the year with over 11,000 members. Not only is that a 2% increase from the previous year, it is also the first increase in our membership since 2005. So thank you to all of those who decided to renew your membership to WSKG and to those who are our newest members. It is these donations that enable us to serve our community by producing local content.
WSKG strives to be a trusted partner; enriching the lives of the children, families and communities we serve. We value diversity, creativity, integrity, courage, transparency, accountability, open mindedness and responsiveness. These values are at the heart of what defines us as an organization serving our community since 1968. In 2011, WSKG provided these key local services: Arts & Culture programming that pays tribute to the talent of local artists in the Southern Tier of New York. Free educational outreach events and professional development workshops.