About Us

Kol Rinah, the Jewish Chorale of Westchester, was founded in April of 2001 by two singers who wanted to bring Jewish music to a community wider and more diverse than is typically reached by synagogue choirs.  We are approximately 25 singers who enjoy performing Jewish music and sharing our cultural expression with others.  Although we are often hired to sing at private events like religious school graduations, women’s group lunches, and senior programs, our favorite performances are the large concerts that draw audiences of 50 – 150 people from throughout the county, many of whom have never heard the diversity of Jewish music spanning many hundreds of years from all over the world.  We find that audience members of every faith tradition are able to share the uplifting spirituality and entertainment our concerts provide.

Musical Director

Benjamin Gruder is the Artistic Director and Conductor of Kol Rinah, the Jewish Chorale of Westchester.  He also directs both Nashir! The Rottenberg Chorale and the Society for the Advancement of Judaism (SAJ) choir in New York City. A trumpet player since the age of seven and bassist after that, he has performed in symphonic, jazz, ethnic, and punk rock ensembles.  Ben studied conducting at the University of Memphis and song writing with Jeremy Wall, founding member of Spyrogyra and a Grammy nominee.  In addition to arranging and composing choral and instrumental pieces, he created and produced Jonah! A Rock Musical which has been performed in New York and the surrounding metropolitan area.

Accompanist

Connie Prener has a long history of musical involvement in the New York metropolitan are as an accompanist (on piano, harpsichord and chamber organ) and as ensemble singer.  In addition to accompanying Kol Rinah, she plays for the Westchester Gilbert & Sullivan Group and the Chrysalis Consort. She was assistant director of the Choral Arts Society (now the Hudson Chorale) for 16 years.
Connie enjoys working with young people, both individually and in groups.  She accompanies the Pleasantville High School chorus in classes and concerts, and plays rehearsal piano for the spring musical.  She is rehearsal and orchestra pianist for the Briarcliff High School and Middle School musicals.  Connie frequently accompanies students at recitals, auditions, competitions and recording sessions.

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