Jewish People’s Philharmonic Chorus

Binyumen Schaechter, Musical Director

The Jewish People’s Philharmonic Chorus, the longest-continually-performing Jewish chorus in the world, is celebrating it¹s 80th anniversary with three concerts this Spring (details below).

For 80 years, The Jewish People’s Philharmonic Chorus has inspired its listeners with an astonishing musical spectrum of Yiddish song. Centuries of hope, determination, humor, loss and renewal are bound up in each note they sing. The voices of sweatshop workers, immigrants, mothers, soldiers, tumlers, and lovers speak through their music. Founded in 1923 on New York’s Lower East Side, the Jewish People’s Philharmonic Chorus (known then as the “Freiheit Gezang Farein”) was a vocal part of the burgeoning labor movement. When the Chorus performed Jacob Schaefer’s oratorio “Tsvey Brider” in 1926, they were the first Jewish chorus in America to perform with an orchestra.

The Chorus has through its history thrilled audiences at major halls such as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Town Hall and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In the last two years alone, they have performed in locations as diverse as New York¹s Alice Tully Hall (Lincoln Center), the North American Jewish Choral Festival in the Catskill Mountains, and at Ground Zero. During its many years as part of the nationwide, 30-chorus Jewish Workers Music Alliance, the Chorus was conducted by such legendary composers as Lazar Weiner, Jacob Schaefer, Max Helfman and Maurice Rauch, as well as by Leo Kopf, Madeline Simon and Peter Schlosser. Their concerts have featured special guests such as Mina Bern, Ben Bonus, Michael Michalovitch, Howard da Silva and Elly Stone.

The Jewish People’s Philharmonic Chorus now boasts an active intergenerational membership of 35 men and women from various professions, as well as students and retirees. The Chorus is a nonsectarian organization, and invites people of all creeds to celebrate the unifying message of peace and brotherhood through music.

Contact: Binyumen Schaechter at