Encino temple pays tribute to Daniel Pearl

Chris Bower

Photo by Chris Bower. Conductor Noreen Green thanks the soloists at the end of the Daniel Pearl Musical Tribute at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino on Oct. 30. The concert was a part of the Daniel Pearl World Music Days worldwide concert series in his honor.

In the past two weeks, I have been given two amazing opportunities to become familiar with the world of slain journalist Daniel Pearl.

On Oct. 26, I received the chance to host Daniel Pearl World Music Days here at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS).

I had a great time and all of the performances were amazing.

I even got the chance to meet Dr. Judea and Ruth Pearl, who are really nice people.

The next honor came just a few days ago on Oct. 30.

I was selected to attend another concert that was part of Daniel Pearl World Music Days at Valley Beth Shalom, a local temple in Encino.

Daniel Pearl was a member of the Valley Beth Shalom community and, according to the conductor, “was on the bar mitzvah circuit.”

The center piece of the program was a jazz selection, since Pearl enjoyed listening to jazz.

The grand finale to the selection was a song called “I Hope Gabriel Likes My Music,” which was a favorite of Pearl’s. Cantor Magda Fishman did a wonderful job during her jazz solos and played the trumpet beautifully.

The jazz ensemble also did an exceptional job. It was by far my favorite part of the night.

The program also included a Hebrew song called “Kaddisch,” which is a song for the mourning of a close friend or family member.

The finale to the program was “Koheleth,” which contemplates what the purpose of life really is.

We often ask ourselves this question when someone we love is taken from us too soon, like Pearl was 10 years ago.

I also got to meet the conductor, who gave me some insight as to why she chose the selections she did.

Both of the Pearls were there and I got to sit right in front of them.

They even remembered me from DPMHS’ Oct. 25 World Music Day. Dr. Pearl read a poem after the jazz piece called “The Lions’ Den”.  It was a touching poem about Pearl’s fight to stay alive.

I now feel a strong connection to both the Pearls and to Daniel Pearl World Music Day as a whole. I think that this is a connection that will last for a very long time.