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      'Chai Lights': LA Jewish Symphony Celebrates 18 Years of Music

      The L.A. Jewish Symphony is celebrating its 18th, or Chai, anniversary.
      By Rachel Hirshfeld
      First Publish: 8/16/2012, 4:54 PM

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      symphony
      Reuters

      The Los Angeles Jewish Symphony (LAJS) will hold its 18th, or Chai, anniversary program, “CHAIlights: Celebrating 18 Years of Jewish Music,” on Aug. 26 at the Ford Amphitheatre, The L.A. Jewish Journal reported.

      The word "Chai" in Hebrew, which means "alive," is made up of the letters with the numerical value of 18.

      Founded in 1994, the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony focuses on preserving Jewish music, fostering the creation of new music about the Jewish experience, and utilizing it to build cultural ties.

      “They say that music and art, all kinds of art, is a soul of a community or culture. … Music and art are nondenominational,” said Noreen Green, the symphony’s founder, artistic director and conductor, according to the Jewish Journal. “That is why it is important to keep all Jewish music alive.”

      “It is not just going to an orchestra concert; it is like going to an event where there are old friends and you learn something, and you come out feeling better than when you walked in. The music is always uplifting,” she said.

      The Aug. 26 concert will mark the U.S. premier of “Klezmopolitan Suite” by Niki Reiser, a former member of the klezmer group Kol Simcha.