BOSTON – Prahim, a youth dance and vocal group comprised of talented Jewish teenagers from Kazakhstan, has been performing in New England as part of a delegation representing Kazakhstan’s Jewish community.
After arriving on Oct. 23, the group performed several concerts for Boston’s Jewish community, including on the stage of the Makor Jewish Cultural and Educational Centre of Boston. An additional concert is scheduled in New York City later this week.
Prahim’s repertoire includes 30 famous songs in Kazakh, Russian, English, Hebrew and Yiddish. Composer Edward Bogushevsky, who emigrated from Kazakhstan to Boston, has written a children’s song exclusively for the group.
Alexander Baron, president of the Mitzvah Association of Jewish National Organisations of Kazakhstan and the head of the delegation, said the purpose of the visit was to familiarise the Jewish community in Boston and New York with the culture of Kazakhstan and contemporary Jewish arts as seen by the people of Kazakhstan.
“The highlight of Prahim’s repertoire is the popular Yiddish song, ‘Bei Mir Bistu Shein,’ which the band performs in four languages: Kazakh, Russian, Yiddish and Hebrew,” Baron said. Concerts by young performers like these are part of Kazakhstan’s people’s diplomacy, Baron added.
This cultural project, the first of its kind, is bilateral in nature: a reciprocal visit by American Jewish youth performers to Kazakhstan is planned for spring 2015.
The Prahim group was created at the Rimon Jewish Community Centre in Almaty in 2007 by chorus master Lyudmila Samsonova and choreographer Anna Yeremina. Since then, Prahim has won several international song contests, including the Jerusalem of Gold contest, the Central Asian Freilehe Kinder contest, and others.