Tfile far a tsebrokhener velt (Prayer for a Broken World)


Tfile far a tsebrokhener velt (Prayer for a Broken World)


This CD represents a Jewish response to news of genocide in the post-Holocaust world. In the fall of 1994, during the wars in Bosnia and Rwanda, the group decided to use their music to speak out against genocide, to help the relief efforts for people in those countries who were still in danger, and to support those working for peace and reconciliation among the religious and ethnic groups involved in the conflicts. The band created a special concert of Yiddish music, story and poetry to raise funds for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee's non-sectarian relief work in Bosnia and Rwanda. The members of Wholesale believe that their music bears witness to their repsonsibility, as Jews and human beings, to oppose intolerance, oppression, and genocide, and to promote peace, reconciliation and justice.

The recording itself includes a wide range of materials drawn from Jewish and Yiddish sources, as well as new material written by band members Yosl Kurland and Sherry Mayrent specifically to address the theme of the CD. As well as a number of songs in both Yiddish and Ashkenazic Hebrew and several instrumentals that express emotions related to the stated themes, there are a story and a poem, both in English, and a pair of lively instrumentals that convey both pride and happiness in taking on the responsibility and privilege of helping to repair the world.


  • Khisidim tants (Dance of the Chassidim)
  • Avrom Tate (Abraham Papa) words and music by Yosl Kurland
  • Milkhome gemish (War Medley)
  • The Spear and the Needle (Di shpiz un di nodl) translated by Yosl Kurland
  • Rumeynishe khosidl (Romanian Dance)
  • The Magic Ring/Bosnian tune
  • Kadsheynu (Sanctify Us)
  • Tfile far a tsebrokhener velt (Prayer for a Broken World) words and music by Yosl Kurland
  • Hineni (Here I Am) music by Sherry Mayrent
  • The Chassidic Kaddish
  • Khevre nit gezorgt (Friends, Don't Worry)
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This is Soul Music with a heimish (down home) intelligence that really delivers.
— Ya'acov Gabriel, Tikkun, July/Aug 1998
Review of Prayer for a Broken World
Tikkun Olam is not a mandate to perform miracles, only to do what we can. With Tfile Far a Tsebrokhener Velt, the Wholesale Klezmer Band did perform a little miracle: by doing what they could do, and doing it so beautifully, they show us that what we do can have an impact too.
— Sharon Desmond Paradiso
Jewish News of Western Massachusetts, 1997