Mezumenet, Avirah performances showcase Jewish culture

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By Ashley Peccerelli
For Mitzpeh
@Ashley_Pecce

Mezumenet, the all-female Jewish a cappella group took the stage to perform at its fall concert along with an opening show of Avirah, the only Israeli dance troupe, in Van Munching Hall on Sunday.

The 12-member a cappella group sang songs in a mixture of English and Hebrew and ranged between singing parodies like “Be Our Guest” from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and contemporary American music. They opened their show of nine songs with “Drag Me In Chains” by One Direction. The song selection varied from “Warrior” to “Sam Tabaat Aleha.”

Mezumenet considers themselves to be a talented group of people who share a love for singing and each other.

“We are such a tight knit family because we’re such a niche group,” said music director sophomore mechanical engineering major Jenna Marcus, the group’s music director. “We have Judaism as part of our value system and also femininity; we’re all women in our group, it really makes for the special bond that we have together and I really think that we have each others backs we really all just love each other a lot.”

Mezumenet performs at Van Munching Hall Sunday for its Fall Concert. Rosie Kean/Mitzpeh.

Mezumenet is the only all-female Jewish a cappella group on campus. Founded in December 2008 by four Israeli women, Mezumenet came to this university to share a  passion of singing.

The group welcomed four new members, introducing new freshman members Pooja Swaminathan, Rachel Shovmer, Rachel Zaff and Siri Doddi during the concert.

Mezumenet closed their concert with their traditional “The Rabbi’s Son” along with alumni. The girls invited old members to join the stage and sing the closing song. Junior Delaney Crabtree sang the solo.

“I thought the concert was amazing. My favorite part was when they sang parody songs and made the performance livelier,” said Maynor Navarro, a junior communications and government and politics major. “It was a different experience for me I’d been to an a cappella concert before but never to an all-female Jewish concert and thought it was really cool to see.”

Senior geography major Charlotte Robbins enjoyed the evening show and showed support for the group.

“I noticed how great they worked together and what a good time the group had performing,” said Robbins. It exceeded my expectations I enjoyed the performance very much, it was a really great way to spend an evening away from studying.”

The Avirah Dance Troupe opens for Mezumenet’s Fall Concert in Tyser Auditorium in Van Munching Hall Sunday. Rosie Kean/Mitzpeh.

Before Mezumenet sang, Avirah, the Israeli dance troupe performed a piece called “Avirat HaMidba,” meaning “the atmosphere of the desert.” The dance represents where Jewish people started and the tradition that it continues to play, it includes traditional Moroccan style moves, Avirah Co-president Adina Schwartz said. The group performs a mix of folkdance and modern and traditional Israeli dances.

Members of the dance troupe diversify their outfits, style of the choreography and music choice for each performance. Each costume represents a wide range of Israeli cultures as well as foreign cultures.

“Israel has a mesh of a lot of different cultures so Israeli dances are similar. I have been in a lot of Israeli dances that have Moroccan or Ethiopian influences,” said Schwartz.

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