Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sheloshim Service in memory of Martin S. Kraar
Thursday, December 23, 2010
"A Celebration of Life" Sheloshim Service in memory of Jewish Center member Martin S. Kraar was held Dec. 2, at the Jewish Center of Teaneck.
Prof. Daniel Zajfman, president of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, speaking about Marty Kraar's work at the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Prof. Daniel Zajfman, president of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, speaking about Marty Kraar's work at the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Rabbi Lawrence Zierler of the Jewish Center, said, "We gathered on the first day of Hanukkah which marks the conclusion of the sheloshim - 30 day period since his death, to recognize and celebrate his life of service and commitment to the needs of our community."
Several dignitaries and close friends spoke during the Sheloshim Service in memory of Kraar. Among them were Prof. Daniel Zajfman, president of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel; Larry Blumberg, Chairman of the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science; Harold Adler, Chief Operating Officer, American Committee, and Rabbi Lawrence S. Zierler, Jewish Center of Teaneck.
Kraar achieved renown and distinction not only as a Jewish communal executive but as a mentor and friend to colleagues across the generations and globe.
He served for 10 years as the Executive Vice President of the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science; and before his appointment with ACWIS, another decade as Executive Vice President of the Council of Jewish Federations, the precursor to what is now the Jewish Federations of North America.
Kraar also held the lead executive position with the Jewish Federations of Detroit, St. Louis, and Nashville. From 1984-86, he was the first Director General of the Council of Jewish Federations Israel Office.
He also served as an instructor and trainer for various Jewish Federations, national Jewish agencies, and other organizations on such topics as leadership development, facilitation training, board-staff relationships, and non-profit management.
Rabbi Zierler said, "His untimely passing denies our Jewish world of a faithful friend and talented leader who taught and led by example and represented the highest ideals of Jewish communal service and concern for the needs of Klal Yisrael."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Please join us for the Marty Kraar Memorial Service

Thursday, December 2, from  11:30am - approximately 2 pm

LocationJewish Center of Teaneck
70 Sterling Place
Teaneck, NJ

Created By

More InfoWe will celebrate the life and times one of the great leaders and visionaries of our generation. Marty Kraar exemplified making a difference where most people could only dream about it. MARK YOUR CALENDARS AND PLEASE JOIN US.
I thought you  might like to learn a few things about my late, great husband. I hope it will inspire you to greater heights.

Fifteen years of devotion

Fifteen years ago today I met Marty at the Council of Jewish Federations General Assembly in Boston. It was a fateful day that changed everything. I thought you  might like to learn a few things about my late, great husband. I hope it will inspire you to greater heights. In the spirit of Marty Kraar, our consulting business, Kraar Associates, will will continue to grow and flourish as it has been doing.
- Lynda


Martin S. Kraar Associates

Marty Kraar has been one of the Top Ten influential leaders in Jewish life for the past 40 years, and he shows no sign of slowing down. He has been central to the “Alphabet Soup” of organizational life. He has reengineered agencies, renewed relationships, consulted with top philanthropists globally, Jewish and Israeli organizations, individuals, foundations, and has even built buildings. Marty and his wife and partner, Lynda, pioneered in creating Kraar Associates, a boutique consulting firm serving Israel-based organizations and and global philanthropists in creating  programs and services that would be transform Israel and Israel-Diaspora relationship.  The Kraars were listed on the The Forward Fifty as a “power couple” in communal life.

Before venturing out on his own to form Kraar Associates with Lynda, Marty’s last appointment was as Executive Vice President of the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science (ACWIS), where, under his leadership, fundraising increased fourfold, topping the unprecedented $125 million mark, and relations with the Israel-based Institute were never closer or clearer. This prompted Kraar to build unique relationships with philanthropists in order to make things happen that would change the human condition and improve Israel and her standing in the world.

Prior to his position at ACWIS, Marty headed the Council of Jewish Federations for a decade where he managed Jewish service organizations in 200 communities throughout Canada and the United States, serving millions of Jews in North America, Israel and abroad.

Born in Atlanta and raised in Chattanooga, Marty cut his teeth in the Jewish communal world of the South as a social worker in Jackson, Mississippi, where he ran a treatment facility for troubled teenagers. From there he became director of the Memphis Jewish Community Centre before moving on to head Nashville’s JCC, where he succeeded in the process of moving the facility to the newly constructed building of their dreams. He would do this over and over again, in communities such as St. Louis and Detroit, which ultimately catapulted him to New York City and the lead national position at CJF.

Marty’s love of Israel is profound and proactive. As a student at the Hebrew University, Marty learned to speak, read and write fluent Hebrew. He was involved in the immigration of Moroccan Jews, whom he would meet on the tarmac and help transfer to absorption centers. He has the distinction of being the first Director General of the Israel Office of the Council of Jewish Federations in the mid-1980s, where his experience with new immigrants served him well as he facilitated the airlift of tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews – Beta Israel – to Israel. Israel has had a profound impact on his life choices and the last forty years has been spent in activities that build bridges between Jews around the world and Israel.

The relationship with philanthropy and foundations for the past four decades prompted Kraar to design approaches to funding that were client and donor centered.  His philosophy has always been that his major job as a consultant is to help donors feel connected and realizing their goals and dreams.   Doing that, he says, will certainly make a difference to them and their life and to Israel.

Being a social worker, psychologist and trained in non-profit management has provided him with the tools to look at situations from a variety of points of view and focus on the issues in a real way. In addition to his numerous professional involvements, affiliations and recognitions, Marty has taught management personnel administration and supervision courses and has served as a lecturer, instructor and trainer for various Jewish federations, national Jewish agencies, and other organizations on such topics as leadership development, facilitation training, board/staff relationships and non-profit management and Israel-Diaspora relationships.

Kraar Associates' clients are transformational organizations and philanthropists who start with dreams and build them to reality.  Marty believes that consultation at Kraar Associates must be value-added or it will be another voice in the wilderness!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

I'll be singing with the Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus at this event. Don't forget to say hello! 

Join us on Tues., Oct. 12,  for
The All-Star New York Yiddish Sing-along

Here is a letter from the event's organizer, Moishe Rosenfeld...

Dear Friends,

I'm delighted to announce that  the  next All Star New York Yiddish Sing-along  will take place on Tuesday, October 12, at 7:30pm at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 West 83rd Street.

This will be the third  such event in recent years led by the  inimitable  artistic director of the National Yiddish Theater - Folksbiene Zalmen Mlotek.  The large audiences that attended the  earlier two Yiddish Sing-alongs found themselves in the warm embrace of a heymish community sharing songs that evoked memories of a vibrant Yiddish speaking world, and connections to its glorious culture. The high percentage of younger participants was yet another sign that Yiddish is very much alive and will be  part of  the New York experience for generations to come.

This year's line-up of singers includes some of our most popular  performers of Jewish music - artists who travel  the world, and perform in a wide range of musical genres:  Cantor Bob Abelson, Phyllis Berk,  Joanne Borts, Adrienne Cooper, Magda Fishman, Cantor Rebecca Garfein, Annette Ezekiel Kogan, Avram Mlotek,  Avram Pengas, Daniella Rabbani,   Basya Schechter, Di Shekhter Tekhter, Cantor Dan Singer, Zalmen Mlotek's Yiddish Singers, The Folksbiene Troupe, The Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus/yidisher filharmonisher folks khor, under the musical direction of Binyumen Schaechter - and some special  surprise performers.

There will be a Klezmer band accompanying  the concert - with some of our finest  musicians, including Margot Leverett, Marty Confurius, Matt Temking and others.

Every song will be available in transliteration   so that  every audience member will be  able to fully  participate and fill the glorious sanctuary of Congregation Rodeph Sholem with the sounds of Mame-loshn.  Our emcee will be that debonair Yiddishist from Avantura - Corey Breier.

The concert is presented by Golden Land Concerts & Connections, with support from the National Yiddish Theater - Folksbiene, The Workmen's Circle/ Arbeter-Ring, League for Yiddish/Afn Shvel, Yugntruf, Congregation Rodeph Sholom,  Congress for Jewish Culture, Yiddish Artists & Friends/ Actors Club/Yiddish Theatrical Alliance.

General admission tickets are $20 if purchased in advance, and $22 on the day of the concert. VIP reserved seating, with a post concert wine reception sponsored by City Winery, will be $50 if purchased in advance, and $60 on the day of the concert. Group rates - 15 or more tickets - 20% discount if purchased in advance.

For more information visit www.goldenland.com/singalong2010.htm, call 212-683-7816 or write to concerts@goldenland.com. There is a Facebook event called  "Golden Land's Third Annual All Star New York Yiddish Sing-along. Please join us and help spread the word.

Wishing everyone a gut, gebentsht yor.

Moishe Rosenfeld, President
Golden Land Concerts & Connections, Inc.
118 East 28th Street - Room 304
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 212-683-7816
Fax: 212-213-2033

Top photo: Joanne Borts 
Bottom photo: Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus 

Co-sponsored by Kraar Associates
                  it's the....

2010 Brooklyn and Boston Djangology Festival

October 15 - through 17

Mark your calendars and JOIN US for a festival that will celebrate 100 years since the birth of Django Reinhardt, the world's most influential and innovative guitarist of the 20th century. Django was a Belgian-born Gypsy who married the influences of Gypsy music with the jazz standards that were popular in his heyday. He did this despite a crippling burn injury to his fretting hand that left him with two disabled fingers. He has left a legacy of music and followers that has continued to bring joy to the world. He has inspired international gatherings that are affectionately known as Djangofests. At these events some of the world's finest guitarists mingle with guitar-aficionado festival attendees for friendly marathon jam sessions -- boeufs -- that can go all night long.

The New York and Boston events are being organized by Ben Wood, the Jalopy Theatre, Jack Soref and the Atwoods Tavern. The official festival poster has been designed by artist Tom Seltzer.

The festival will feature the one and only Gypsy jazz guitarist, singer and bandleader Titi Bamberger from Germany. Beloved and respected by musicians and fans, Titi is an icon of the European Gypsy jazz scene. In addition to making his rare North American appearance in this festival, Titi will also be available for master classes and private lessons. Those interested should contact lyndakraar@aol.com as soon as possible to reserve a time.

Of course, each event will be followed by a good, old-fashioned boeuf. So bring your guitar and get ready to jam.

Here is some more info about Titi including a few links:


IMPORTANT NOTE -- In the midst of the mirth-making, we feel obligated to shed light on the plight of the Roma community in Europe today. We will have updates available at our shows, including information on how you can take a leadership role in activism. YOU can help by spreading awareness and communicating our outrage at the treatment of the Roma to our elected officials.

For tickets and information, contact the venues at the phone numbers below, or email me at lyndakraar@aol.com. See you there. Be in touch with your questions and comments! Here's the details:

The Jalopy Theatre
315 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11231
Purchase tickets by calling (718) 395-3214

Friday, October 15
8 pm Hot Club of Hell’s Kitchen http://www.hotclubfromhell.com/
8:50 pm Hot Club Thing http://www.facebook.com/hotclubthing
9:40 pm Luke Hendon Trio http://www.myspace.com/lukehendon-music
10:30 pm Stephane Wrembel http://www.stephanewrembel.com/
11:20 pm Special guest Titi Bamberger sponsored by Kraar Associates http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDDOtoJx_yM&feature=player_embedded
12:10 am Blue Plate Special http://www.myspace.com/blueplatespecialmusic

Saturday, October 16
8 pm Jack Soref http://www.jacksoref.com/
8:50 pm Hot Club of D.C. http://hcofdc.com/gypsy-jazz.html
9:40 pm Franglais http://www.myspace.com/franglaisswings
10:30 pm Special guest Titi Bamberger sponsored by Kraar Associates http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDDOtoJx_yM&feature=player_embedded
11:20 pm Jason Anick http://www.jasonanick.com/live/
12:10 am The Chicken Thieves http://www.thechickenthieves.com/home/

Boston Djangology Festival
Atwoods Tavern
877 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, Ma, 02141
Purchase tickets by calling (617) 864-2792
Sunday, October 17
4 pm Jack Soref http://www.jacksoref.com/
4:50 pm Jason Anick http://www.jasonanick.com/live/
5:40 pm Franglais http://www.myspace.com/franglaisswings
6.30 pm Special guest Titi Bamberger sponsored by Kraar Associates http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDDOtoJx_yM&feature=player_embedded
7:25 pm Hot Club Thing http://www.facebook.com/hotclubthing
8:15 pm The Chicken Thieves http://www.thechickenthieves.com/home/

Photo credits: 
Both colour photos taken at the Djangofest in Samois sur Seine, June, 2010. Top picture by Hinrich Wulff - Lynda Kraar (guitar), Judy Rankin (guitar) and the internationally acclaimed guitar virtuoso Fapy Lafertin. Bottom picture by Belinda Ebeling Koning - Edward Jay (accordion - and now appearing on Broadway), Lynda Kraar (guitar), Titi Bamberger (looking on). B/W photo of Titi Bamberger by Hinrich Wulff.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lynda Marks Kraar (and special surprise guest!) on REW & WHO

Fast forward the cursor and check me out at 28:43 on the time stamp. Edgy and wild! As always!

Monday, May 10, 2010

See me on the web this Wednesday!

**ReW & WhO?***
WaTCh this Week... wed MaY 12~~~4-6pm
'andy warhol 15 minutes of fame interviews'
rizing *starz* & living legendz...
*aLwaYz SurPriZeS**
please tune in watch LIVE
...&  call in at 212-283 3437
JoVaN {JoEy TaYlor}  is the WhO?
4:15...macha einbender
4:30...Candice Anitra
4:45...Ryan Coyle
5:00...Aaron Friedman MMNY
5:15...Lynda Kraar
55:30...Mixed SigNaLs
***ReW & WhO??***

Friday, March 12, 2010

OMG!! I won! Thank you, No Depression! Thank you, John Hiatt!

I was minding my own business, checking email when the latest edition of No Depression flew into my email box. There was a contest: Post your favourite John Hiatt song, and why it's your favourite. I posted the paragraph below and was just happy to gush about one of the greatest living songwriters among a group of like-minded kindreds.

The next day I heard back from No Depression.  I had won the contest! My prize: I get a complete set of the John Hiatt catalogue from his record company and an autographed CD - his latest.

Here's my entry....

Learning How to Love You has all the earmarks of a Great American Songbook classic. The lyrics could stand on their own as a poem but this timeless ballad is also an excellent example of solid composition. In this song you get a strong sense of the music that has influenced John Hiatt and you want to be with him on the journey. Notwithstanding all that jazz, Learning How to Love You moves me to my core. He nailed it.1

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Thrilled that "Fashioning My Dad After Myself" has been selected for the New Jersey Women's and Gender Conference. 

Trainer and hair appointment, STAT!
Rehashing an old post about the Jewishness of some music -
This was my response to a thread on heavy metal which apparently made me go off like a shredder.

This may be yesterday's news, but I was deeply saddened and disappointed when I did a search for Lipa Meltzer's excellent video, "Abi Me'lebt," and discovered that it had been ostracised for not being Jewish enough, since the Zulu melody was smuggled out of South Africa by Pete Seeger during those terrible times when whites were still segregating in the USA.

Yet Ashrei Ha'Gever (basic doo-wop 1-6-4-5) is glatt, because it was composed on Tin Pan Alley by Jews who were "creating" the Harlem blacks' style?!


Everywhere in the world where we have been we have absorbed other cultures -- and we've also made an impact on local cultures. So now some aphonic shill who gets paid as a "higher authority (gag!)" is going to dictate that Jewish music is only the music that Jews absorbed 900 years ago as we made our way from the Gural into Poland and eastern Europe? Have you been in a Polish tavern lately? You'd easily recognize half of the "niggunim" -- I dunno what else to call them.

So now everyone is shocked when we've started going all pentatonic here in the States after around 200 years as guests here.

Or they talk about the "new" Mizrachi style that is emanating from Israel. LOL!! That's a hoot and a half. If you believe that we are a Levantine nation, then you have to believe that we schlepped the eastern scales and instruments across the globe and then landed them in Europe where they met and married the Gural sound. Sorta like a Jewish bluegrass of the day, if you know your ethnomusicology.

So what is Jewish music, exactly?

And why, if I compose a soca version of "Adon Olam/Lord of the Universe" and have a Carib singer do the track, is that NOT considered Jewish? Worse yet -- what happens if it takes off and becomes a hit throughout the Caribbean in time for the Catholic Carnivale? Am I worthy of being ostracised?

Then we have a real problem with Irving Berlin. Can any composer really argue with his melody lines? The guy was brilliant. Does his music make him any less of a Jew? And if so, does the fact that the majority of Xmas light companies are Jewish-owned make their contributions to Jewish philanthropies any less kosher?

Now there's a song that needs to be written...where's Bob Dylan when we really need him? ;->

Lynda Kraar
aka Guitargirl

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Attn: Bergen Community College students -
A call for creative submissions

The Labyrinth invites BCC students to contribute short stories, poetry, prose, memoirs, song lyrics and artwork. This official literary publication of BCC offers a great opportunity for writer of all levels to have their works published. It looks great on your resume. Submit your works to jzorn@bergen.edu ASAP: The March 1 deadline is approaching! 
If you would like to discuss this with me privately, please email me at lyndakraar@aol.com.

Humbly submitted,
Lynda Kraar
Labyrinth Editor in Chief

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just a few days BEFORE 65 years ago today (Auschwitz liberation day), my father, Abraham Siedlecki (Auschwitz # 111855) escaped from Auschwitz with two friends - Jakob Strauss and Rachmiel Hochman. The rest is commentary.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


In case you were not able to celebrate Django Reinhardt's 100th birthday with a musical melee, please visit:

You will find four vid clips from the festivities in Brooklyn from Stephane Wrembel's "Django-A-Go-Go" which featured the music of the master AND discussion about the plight of Gypsies in Europe, and what kind of activism can be done in the USA to help pressure governments to protect and preserve Gypsy culture. Roma spokesman and activist (and virtuoso guitarist/Django descendant) Maie Bittel articulated some of these points to the enthusiastic audience. He said that the music of Gypsies has never been more popular than it is right now; however, times have never been as bad as they have in some of the  EU member countries for Gypsies. Mr. Bittel appealed to the governments to allow and protect the Gypsy culture. He is a guitar star in his own right. DON'T MISS the vids, which were created by my wonderful and talented daughter, Miriam.  :)

Here's my caption for the vid clips at http://www.youtube.com/guitargirl4scrabble  -- 

Django A Go Go at Barbes in Park Slope, Brooklyn on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010 featured Stephane Wrembel, Maie Bittel, Biel Ballester, Ted Gottsegen's amazing guitar, "Babik" plus others onstage for a great jam and musical discourse and discussion about the plight of gypsies, particularly in Europe.

Thursday, January 07, 2010