When oppressive regimes clamp down on their citizens, freedom of expression—free speech—is always the first thing to go. Dictators have a lot to fear from individuals speaking up—through their writings, through art and film and music.
The concept of the “Jewish Arts Ensemble of New York” evolved as an answer to Vinnitsky’s search for a way to combine the two sides of his musical personality.
Friedman created a balance by allowing the congregation to be an integral part of the process. This is the core of her philosophy. “When you contribute,” she conveyed, “what you say really matters. Everything goes up and out.”