Mendel and His Accordion – A Klezmer Program for Children

CultureALL Ambassador Abe Goldstien brings the story of the Jewish people in America to life through the story and music of Mendel and his Accordion.

Workshop Description

Mendel’s Accordion is a children’s book by author Heidi Smith Hyde.  It tells the story of Mendel, an accordion player in a klezmer band who immigrates to the United States. Klezmer is a musical tradition of Jews in Eastern Europe. Eventually, Mendel gives up on playing to have a family. Generations later, his great-grandson Samuel discovers the accordion and starts a klezmer band of his own.

.CultureALL Ambassador – and accordion player – Abe Goldstien – has a similar family story.  Using the story of Mendel, and his own experiences, Abe’s workshop focuses on the customs, traditions and music of Eastern European Jews and what happened to that culture as immigrants became assimilated into American culture.  Abe bring’s Mendel’s story to life through Yiddish tunes and stories about Jewish cultures. His workshop is an entertaining and educational experience about many cultures—accordion playing, Yiddishkeit (Jewishness), and klezmer music.

The moral to the story, which Abe shares with students, is this — never forget your roots, regardless of how strange they may appear to you and others around you.

Workshop Details:

Ambassador Abe Goldstien
Region/Culture Europe - Eastern Europe; Global - Jewish
Subject(s) Social Studies, Music, Storytelling
Participants 25 max
Standard Length 45 min