Press Release

One Voice, One Vibe, Our Community A Call for Writers to Share Their Experience
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
by M Groogan

One Voice, One Vibe, Our Community

A Call for Writers to Share Their Experience

Houston, TX – Evelyn Rubenstein JCC of Houston has received a grant from the JCC Association of North America to support a music project entitled One Voice, One Vibe, Our Community.   The grant, Making Music Happen, the Soundtrack of Jewish Life in North America, a Centennial Celebration, was established to explore where music and the North American Jewish experience intersect.   

“Music is a powerful platform to inspire creativity, collaboration and community,” said Randy Ellen Lutterman, JCC Association Vice President of Arts and Culture.  Making Music Happen encourages JCCs to celebrate the past and future of Jewish life in their JCC and across North America through music.”

For Houston, developing an idea was not difficult.  Within ten months two floods decimated the greater Meyerland area—the heart of Houston’s Jewish Community.  The J became the hub for relief efforts working with the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, Jewish Family Service, and area synagogues. Supplies were distributed and programs provided information and resources for homeowners. Communication continues with those impacted by the floods and with city/county leaders. 

 One Voice, One Vibe, Our Community captures the Js commitment to connecting, rebuilding, and rising with the commission of a new work, writing workshops, and a community concert in August featuring performances and the premier of the commissioned work.  “There is a renewed sense of pride and excitement about our community and its viability,” commented the Js Assistant Executive Director, Marilyn Hassid. “We feel all participants will gain renewed drive and spirit through this collective musical experience that will strengthen us in the continued rebuilding of our community.”

 “Text comes before a composer can compose,” was the instruction given to Hassid by the Js Music Committee.  To achieve that, local author and educator Ellen Leventhal will conduct two writers’ workshops to guide participants in writing original works of prose and poetry to be used in the August concert.  Leventhal has been writing for as long as she can remember, but her dream of writing a children’s book came true in 2006, when Don’t Eat the Bluebonnets, co-written by Ellen Rothberg, was published. Soon after, Hayfest, a Holiday Quest and Bully in the Barnyard followed.

Aside from her picture books, Ellen has been published in newspapers, magazines, and anthologies. She is currently working on an adult short story and a middle grade novel, as well as fiction and non-fiction picture books.

Impacted by both floods herself, Leventhal will be even more comfortable leading these workshops as she has led numerous ones on other topics and enjoys the collaborative feel of sharing experiences and ideas. Ellen believes in the healing power of words and is honored to be involved in One Voice, One Vibe, Our Community.

The workshop for adults impacted by the flood(s) will take place Sunday, Jan. 8, 4:00 -6:00 PM and one for families—parent(s) and children—will take place Sunday, Jan. 15 also 4:00 – 6:00 PM.  The workshops are free.  Registration can be done on line at or by calling Jasmine Ross at 713-551-7215.


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