There was a time when Jews dominated the ranks of American orchestras, and superstars like Leonard Bernstein and Isaac Stern were musical ambassadors to the world. The fact that today's master Jewish musicians tend to have proteges with names like Yo Yo Ma, Kyung-Wha Chung and Lang Lang is one hint that for many Jews, classical music is no longer a top priority.
The upcoming Los Angeles release of "Hiding and Seeking" follows its world premiere in mid-January as the opening-night selection of the New York Jewish Film Festival.
When Yale Strom was growing up in a traditional, socialist-Zionist home in Detroit, he was riveted by his father's tales of a Jewish state founded 20 years before Israel in a Siberian swamp.
In his new CD, "Garden of Yidn" (Naxos World), violinist and music historian Yale Strom, who will be in concert in Los Angeles next week, offers tunes going back as far as the early 19th century, giving the listener not only a superior musical experience but some fascinating historical sketches of Jews in the Yiddish- and Ladino-speaking world.