Highlighting Our Teaching Artists

Students participating in “Patchwork” take part in a series of classroom workshops led by our LAJS Teaching Artists. Each workshop focuses on a different element associated with the music of Sephardic and Latin American cultures: folktales and folksongs, language, instrumental color, and orchestration.  

We wanted to spend some time honoring our teams’ unbeatable enthusiasm and teamwork that make this program so special! In this post, we will highlight the work of our Teaching Artists who have been with us since Patchwork’s first days.

Beth Elliott has been a member of the LAJS since December 1996. She is founder and violist of the award-winning Kadima String Quartet. The quartet has recently received grants from the Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the California Arts Council Artists in Residence, Pasadena PlayHouse and the Music Man Foundation.

Beth has been seen and heard in a variety of music recordings, videos, and movies including The Hebrew Hammer and For a Good Time Call. She has been featured in the Los Angeles Times for her work connecting music with Alzheimer’s patients and the elderly.

Jonathan Rubin‘s journey as a freelance professional violinist in Los Angeles began when he played in the enduring musical “Belz!” at the Callboard Theatre at the age of 15. Since then, he has served the Los Angeles community as a violinist, violin dealer, teacher, disability-rights advocate, husband, and father. Over the past two decades, Mr. Rubin has also managed sales and customer service at Robert Cauer Violins.

A dedicated member of the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony since its inception in 1994, Mr. Rubin is also a founding faculty member of the Kadima Conservatory of Music. A devoted educator, Mr. Rubin’s commitment to teaching spans four decades, during which he has nurtured a private studio catering to students of all levels and abilities. Notably, his inclusive approach encompasses neurodiverse and neurodivergent students, spanning in age from 4 to 90.

The LAJS’s former Executive Director, Wendy Prober currently serves on the Board of Directors. She recently received a commendation from the City of Los Angeles for her work as an LAJS Teaching Artist. Wendy is the pianist of the LAJS Chamber Players and has been a soloist with Maestra Green and the orchestra on several occasions, including performing Charles Fox’s Victory at Entebbe in Tel Aviv and in Los Angeles.

Wendy has performed throughout the U.S. and Israel as a critically acclaimed chamber musician and soloist. The founding pianist of the award-winning Viklarbo Chamber Ensemble and presenter of the popular Los Angeles based SPaCE Salon, she has taught at Loyola Marymount University, the University of Judaism, and the Omaha Conservatory of Music Institute.

Wendy received her Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University, where she studied with Robert Weirich, graduating with honors and elected lifetime member of the National Music Honors Society Pi Kappa Lambda. She worked with John Perry at the Aspen Festival, later earning her Master of Music with him at the Thornton School of Music at USC. She regularly performs with Lindsay Deutsch and TAKE3, a pop/classical crossover trio.

Leslie Lashinsky, who has been with us since our first “Patchwork” program, is featured in our virtual rendition of the program recorded during the pandemic. Her orchestral credits include the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, the Long Beach, Santa Barbara and Pacific Symphonies, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, LA Opera and many theatrical productions and movie soundtracks.

Leslie’s “Patchwork” students cheer when they learn that she played on the original Jurassic ParkThe Lion King, and lots of cartoons! 

Leslie holds an M.F.A. from California Institute of the Arts and a B.A. from Middlebury College. She has taught at the Art Center College of Design and Pepperdine University and is currently on the faculty of Santa Monica College, as well as maintaining a busy private teaching and coaching schedule.

To learn more about “A Patchwork of Cultures: Exploring the Sephardic-Latino Connection,” click the link below!