Crossing Over, A Musical Haggadah: A Celebration of Passover and Crossing the Red Sea

A Benefit Concert for OAJC

Crossing Over: A Musical Haggadah

Music and concept by Michael Allen Harrison

Book and Lyrics by Alan Berg

Event Details:

When: Saturday, April 5th at 7:30 PM and Sunday, April 6th at 2:00 PM, 2014

Location: Portland State University, College of the Arts, Lincoln Performance Hall

Admission: Tickets through PSU Box Office, $36-$72; Youth/Student $15; Groups $25

Reservations:  Go to PSU Box Office,

Sponsorship and Program Ads: 503-295-6761 or

The Oregon Area Jewish Committee will present “Crossing Over: A Musical Haggadah,” a multi-media musical production of the Passover story, created by popular musician and composer Michael Allen Harrison and Rabbi Alan Berg, spiritual leader of the Beit Haverim congregation in Lake Oswego. “Crossing Over” had its world premiere in 2012 and now will be held in a larger arts venue, Lincoln Performance Hall on the Portland State University Campus.

With the return this year of local favorite, Julianne Johnson, the already stellar cast of principals including Michael Allen Harrison, Cantor Ida Rae Cahana, Kirk Mouser and Rabbi Emanuel Rose will be musically inspiring and not to be missed!

Crossing Over 2013-2 _ small

“Crossing Over” will also feature young artists, Ashley and Cayla Bleoajas, a children’s choir, members of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony and art by Leonard Baskin. “Crossing Over is a unique and inspiring presentation of an ancient story; it is the story of freedom for the slave, fighting for human rights and religious freedom.  Telling this story is yet another way in which OAJC carries out its mission. As we share the story of Exodus with the community in such a moving and meaningful way, we hope to build understanding between all people no matter what their beliefs,” says Joanne Van Ness Menashe, Executive Director, OAJC. “We thank our lead sponsors, The Leonard and Lois Schnitzer Fund of OJCF and The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation for believing in the work that we do every day to make the world a better place. I invite the community to join them in supporting OAJC and sharing in this beautiful production by attending.”

 Michael Allen Harrison says, “I consider this to be one of my greatest achievements as a composer.  Inspired by my father’s dream for me to make a significant contribution to the Jewish Community and all communities of faith, this musical interpretation of the exodus from Egypt and the story of redemption and freedom will be a deep and meaningful experience as we awaken our spirits this spring.” Rabbi Alan Berg adds, “”If you really want to know what Crossing Over is about, musically, spiritually and communally, you will have to be there. There has never been anything quite like its combination of music and Passover. Remember that crossing through the Red Sea is the shared Jewish miracle. Through this concert event we want to give that to people in a way they’ve never experienced.”

About Michael Allen Harrison: Michael is known for piano solo performances and recordings, upbeat sound with his band, work with inspiring vocalist Julianne Johnson, and skills producing and creating music for ballet, theater and film. He has been honored with a star on the Walk of Fame at the Portland Performing Arts Center for his artistic and community contributions. Michael’s unique brand of music ranges from movie scores to passionate arrangements for piano, orchestra, ballet, jazz, fusion, smooth jazz, Pop, New Age, and Adult Contemporary.  He has recorded over 50 albums.

About Rabbi Alan Berg:  Rabbi Alan Berg is the spiritual leader of Temple Beit Haverim in Lake Oswego. He has served congregations in Massachusetts and California, and at Williams College. He was a member of the creative team for the Emmy Nominated Chanukah at Grover’s Corner.  Rabbi Berg is Chair of the Advisory Board of The Marjorie and Woody Guthrie Center in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He has published numerous articles on religion, music and literature, including for Willamette Week’s Fresh Weekly.

About Oregon Area Jewish Committee: Through Jewish values, OAJC advances social justice, human rights, religious liberty, support for Israel, mutual understanding and democratic principles. OAJC is an independent affiliate of the American Jewish Committee, the oldest human rights organization in the country. This year OAJC will focus on three key issues including: anti-Semitism and Israel advocacy, marriage equality and food insecurity in the State of Oregon.

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