Posted on November 29, 2011 by Nikki Fig
During last week’s Negev Tiyul, I had the pleasure of hosting the annual Pardes talent show. After 14 acts, I am honored (and surprised) to report that there were zero cringe-worthy moments and plenty of awe-inspired gasps. In other words, Pardes is rockin’ with some serious talent!
Kalie Kelman and Aliza Berger were able to finally show off their famed skills with an amazing hip-hop performance and jaw-droppping opera sonata, respectively. For others, the talent show was an opportunity to share a completely new side of themselves. Cheryl Stone captivated the audience by dancing with fire and Joanne Loiben shocked everyone with her bangin’ (pun intended) drum performance. Jackie Frankel, Mira Shore, and Judith Asher graced the audience with their beautiful voices, while Leah Stern spiced things up when she danced Flamenco on a table (who says Pardes isn’t your typical yeshiva?).
But the show wasn’t just about song and dance. Andrew Lustig, Ilan Weismark, Amir Scinkow, and Jordan Soffer or “BAMF”, cracked everyone up with the best 3 renditions of the Bean Skit that I’ve ever seen. And Rob Murstein was hilariously spot-on in his impersonation of, well…Rob Murstein. Derek Kuwait recited every past American president, Rose Perevez listed every British royal (and the crazy ways they died) and Vicki Raun recited a poem. These acts infused the show with the very quirky-intellectual vibe that defines the Pardes community.
Everyone gave an outstanding performance, but the real veteran of the evening was Sam Rotenberg, whose musical multitasking skills were really put to the test. He accompanied almost every musical act, sometimes playing 3 instruments at one time!
I found my hosting experience to be much more enjoyable (and way less nerve-racking!) than I expected and appreciated the opportunity to see my peers in a different light. As our sages said in Pirkei Avot, “Without talent shows, there is no torah.”