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Crossing Over: A Musical Haggadah is back by popular demand

by: FILE PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Michael Allen Harrison, left, and Rabbi Alan Berg collaborated last year to create 'Crossing Over: A Musical Haggadah.' The musical story of the Passover will be presented March 23 and 24 in the Performing Arts Center at PCC Sylvania campus.Back by popular demand, the Oregon Area Jewish Committee will present “Crossing Over: A Musical Haggadah,” a multi-media musical production of the Passover story, created by popular musician composer Michael Allen Harrison in collaboration with Rabbi Alan Berg, spiritual leader of Beit Haverim congregation in Lake Oswego.

“Crossing Over” had its world premiere last year at Mittleman Jewish Community Center.

“I consider this to be one of my greatest achievements as a composer, inspired by my father’s dream for me to make a significant contribution to the Jewish community and all communities of faith” said Harrison in a 2012 interview. “This musical interpretation of the Exodus from Egypt and the story of redemption and freedom will be a deep meaningful experience as we awaken our spirits this spring.”

This year’s production will be performed at the Performing Arts Center on the Portland Community College Sylvania campus. Performers include Harrison, Ida Rose Cahana as cantor, Anna Heinze, Julianne Johnson, Kirk Mouser, Rabbi Emanuel Rose, Jackie Salzinger, Jimmy Wilcox and Ashley and Cayla Bleogias. They will be accompanied by a full orchestra and a children’s choir. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on March 23 and 2 p.m. on March 24.

Tickets are $36 general admission and $15 for students and can be purchased online at or by calling 503-295-6761.

This year’s presentation is given in memory of Emily Georges Gottfried, executive director of OAJC, who died in January. The OAJC will dedicate any proceeds to promote its mission through Jewish values, advancing social justice, human rights, religious liberty, mutual understanding, democratic principles and support for Israel.

“If you really want to know what ‘Crossing Over’ is about, musically, spiritually and communally, you will have to be there. There has never been anything quite like its combination of music and Passover,” said Berg. “Remember that crossing through the Red Sea is the shared Jewish miracle. Through this concert event we want to give that to people in a way they’ve never experienced.”

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