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In this multimedia program including music, images, and close textual comparisons, Seth Rogovoy explores the deep and profound influence of the Jewish background and scriptural roots of the late Leonard Cohen’s life and work. With reference to Cohen’s lyrics, poetry, and interviews, we will see how the legendary rock poet’s familiarity
with Torah, Talmud, and Kabbalah infused his creative output with a deep and abiding spirituality.
Participants will be encouraged to reflect on and discuss how Cohen can best be seen and appreciated as a Jewish artist.
Termed “American Jewry’s greatest Dylan scholar” by Religion News Service, Seth Rogovoy is the author of Bob Dylan: Prophet Mystic Poet (Scribner, 2009), a full-length analysis of Bob Dylan’s life and work, and The Essential Klezmer: A Music Lover’s Guide to Jewish Roots and Soul Music (Algonquin Books, 2000), the all-time bestselling guide to klezmer music. Seth is the recipient of a 2016 Simon Rockower Award from the American Jewish Press Association for excellence in arts and criticism, for his portrait of musician Leonard Cohen published in Hadassah Magazine in its April/May 2015 issue.
For three decades, Seth’s work has appeared in the English-language national Jewish publication, the Forward, to which Seth is a contributing editor. Seth is a former board member of the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires.
This free program is part of the Federation’s Connecting With Community Series.