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  • Joey Baron

The Soundtrack of a Community

Updated: Sep 18, 2022

Boston Jewish Music Festival Case Study

Shye Ben Tzur and the Rajasthan Express, an Israeli Indian musical fusion ensemble, performing at Boston City Halll Plaza

THE CHALLENGE: In 2009, Jim Ball and Joey Baron met to discuss the need and potential of a Jewish music festival in Boston. Research showed that Boston was the largest Jewish community in the US without such a festival. While Jim was a volunteer for several organizations, Joey was unknown in the Jewish community. Jim, a choral music singer and public relations expert, and Joey, an advertising creative director, and multi-cultural event producer, knew there was a large, underserved market for Jewish music.

THE SOLUTION: They began to generate interest by sharing their vision - presenting exceptional Jewish artists in a wide range of musical styles from around the world in locations across the region. In less than six months, they recruited a Board of Directors and Advisory Council, negotiated a non-profit fiscal sponsorship, curated a festival, arranged production details (Venues, sound equipment, transportation, etc.,) and created a multi-media buzz-generating promotional plan.

THE RESULT – The festival was an exceptional success. The opening year attracted 2500+ attendees. In just six years, the festival attracted over 34,000 participants at locations ranging from small synagogues to Symphony Hall. Despite working on a shoestring budget, the festival’s collaborations with over 50 arts, religious, education, and social service agencies helped bring Jewish arts and culture to people across the region.

Inspired by its growing audiences, BJMF became a strong advocate for the vital role that Jewish arts and culture can play in community building, Jewish identity, and multi-cultural outreach. This advocacy with leaders of the Jewish community led to BJMF’s merger with another organization and the successful creation of the Jewish Arts Collaborative. The success of both BJMF and the Jewish Arts Collaborative led to CJP, Boston’s Jewish charitable federation, adopting arts and culture as a strategic priority.


• Vision

• Board Development

• Fundraising

• Collaboration

• Creative Communication

• Event Production

"When Joey Baron and I started the Boston Jewish Music Festival our mission was to demonstrate the power that Jewish music can have in building and enriching our community. By presenting great artists in schools, street corners, senior centers, as well as in concert halls and nightclubs, the Festival demonstrated the vital role that the arts can have in building more understanding and tolerant communities. Joey's perseverance, charm, and creativity helped bring our shared vision to life."

-Jim Ball, BJMF Co-founder

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