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Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial to cap 'extraordinary' celebration during BLINK

people walking into a theater
Andrew J. Brady Music Center

Cincinnati's Jewish community is preparing to conclude a 14-month long commemoration of 200 years of Jewish communal life. The Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial will wrap up with a concert at the Andrew J. Brady Music Center during BLINK featuring three bands, including Walk the Moon.

"We are excited that we're reaching out and bringing the whole city together to celebrate us during BLINK, which is such an awesome, collaborative, exciting, inspirational city-wide event," says Tamara Harkavy, Bicentennial co-chair.

The concert will feature three bands: soul-pop band Lawrence, jazz musician Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, and Cincinnati rock band Walk the Moon.

Harkavy says the groups were chosen intentionally.

"They really link to the goals of the Bicentennial, which is to inspire future generations to be proud of our heritage, to elevate and demonstrate the story of immigrants, and to connect and build bridges throughout the community," she explains. "Lawrence is all about future generations. Trombone Shorty amplifies the impact of minorities on our community. And Walk the Moon is such an amazing Cincinnati band, and we love to celebrate Cincinnati and build bridges in the community and be part of our shared story."

The concert will begin around 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15 — right as Shabbat ends, Harkavy notes. It will cap a day of other celebrations to be announced at a later date.

Limited pre-sale ticket sales begin Thursday, Aug. 18 at 10 a.m. Regular sales start Friday, Aug. 19.

14 months of commemoration

The Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial began in Sept. 2021. The 14-month commemoration started with the rededication of the Chestnut Street Cemetery following a major facelift.

"The Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial has been extraordinary in so many ways," Harkavy says.

The Bicentennial included concerts, lectures, art exhibits, museum exhibits, community events, and more. Cincinnati is considered the birthplace of Reform Judaism in North America.

"What's gonna stick with me is the heart and soul of the community in the city," Harkavy says.

"Cincinnati is such a magnificent city and to have this opportunity to celebrate the Jewish bicentennial; the contributions of the community to the city as a whole; and to engage and elevate and inspire so many people ... is remarkable and we're looking forward to the next 200 years. Let's see what happens."

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.