The Shmooze

Michael Oren and a Reverend Dance the Horah to Idan Raichel

By Devra Ferst

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Dinner before a pro-Israel event, $31. Subway uptown to mingle with Jews, $2.25. Watching Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren and a reverend dance the horah in a cathedral to the sounds of The Idan Raichel Project…priceless.

Approximately 1,500 New Yorkers, Israelis and representatives from countries as obscure as Moldova showed up last night at New York’s Saint John the Divine Cathedral to celebrate Israel’s 62nd birthday and to catch a performance by the Israeli fusion band The Idan Raichel Project, at an event hosted by the Israeli Consulate.

What began as a somewhat serious event, ultimately devolved into a first-rate party. About an hour after the band took the stage, guests almost en masse ditched their seats for the dance floor. But just when things couldn’t get any more odd, Michael Oren — in a suit and tie with an Israeli and American flag pin on his lapel — and James Kowalski, Dean of the Cathedral — in his reverend’s black shirt and white collar — started an impromptu and lively horah in front of the stage.

Lasting only a couple of moments, it will provide this partygoer with mental snapshots to last a lifetime, or at least the summer months – now that’s priceless.


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