The New American-Jewish Songbook

Music, Humor, Schmoozing

Sunday mornings 8 AM – 11 AM

Your host and producer of Chagigah, Hal Slifer, freshens up our 37 year heritage program with your favorite tunes, new features and schmoozing with his WERS and WERS.org listeners. Some of our new features include “You are now the Chagigah DJ” when you choose the music on Two Tunes for You. You can share your Jewish experiences on Sunday Morning Jewish Memories. Dr. Kaplan answers your questions about Growing Up Jewish while our Milestone segment helps you plan upcoming Bar Mitzvah, weddings and other Milestones for your Jewish family. We have two mini concerts at 9:10 and 10:30 of your favorite tunes from our Chagigah American Jewish Songbook. We want you to Join the Conversation and Choose the Music as Chagigah continues to bring your the best in Jewish music and features as your Jewish Lifestyle program for your Sunday morning enjoyment. Hal loves to hear new ideas and tune selections from our listeners. Hal makes it his goal to answer every e-mail he get at HalSLifer@WERS.org

Hal Slifer, known as the Jewish Historian for his video production work with Jewish organizations and hundreds of Jewish families, brings his talented Jewish radio programming skills to Chagigah. Hal worked in radio upon his graduation from Boston University and lived the nomadic life of a radio DJ before he traded in his microphone for a video camera. Hal has perfected the Family History style of interviewing and brings this talent  to the airwaves of WERS. Before taking over as host and producer of Chagigah Hal worked as the fill in DJ for our popular George Knight and Company morning program. Hal enjoys researching and finding out about his Jewish roots and history. Hal is married and lives in Newton, MA with his wife Dee and their son David.

Music Programming

The music of Chagigah would be from the American Jewish Songbook with a mix of Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Irving Berlin, Marvin Hamlish, George Gershwin, Carole King,  Carly Simon, Leonard Bernstein, Adam Levine, Oscar Hammerstein, to name just a few.
Israeli Music would include the top acts and music of the last ten years including, Matisyahu, Debbie Freidman, David Broza, Shlomo Hanoch, Yehudi Poliker, Shiri Maimon, Liron Amram, Eden Ben Zaken, to name a few.

Features on Chagigah

The program would consist of a personality radio program with the host speaking to the individual listener. The hook would be to bring out the “memories” and “stories” of this Jewish and Non Jewish audience.


Shaggier will celebrate the great American Jewish comics by playing short comedy bits from the genius of Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Crystal, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Rodney Dangerfield and the many other talented Jewish comedians of the last 50 years.

Dr Kaplan

Dr Kaplan, a well know Psychologist from Newton would answer a weekly question from a listener such as “ We live in an Intermarriage Home. As a child we celebrated Christmas. What is the best way to incorporate Christmas and Chanukka at the same time as my Jewish husband is having trouble with a Christmas Tree in our house. Another question could be “ I am brining my non Jewish fiance home for the first time to meet my religious family. How do I diplomatically spend the weekend and keep everyone happy”.
Dr Kaplan had worked on Boston’s Jam’N 94.5 for three years as the Sunday night “Dr” who answered listener questions on various topics for their young adult audience. He was also the call in “Dr” for Romero. He answered Jewish questions for Jewish readers of the Jewish Advocate.

Sunday Jewish Memories

This feature would be a weekly theme where audience participants would call in and discuss a favorite Jewish memory such as  Hebrew School, A Grandmother, Jewish Foods, Summer Camp. These listeners would tell a favorite memory, followed by a comedy track by Seinfeld or Billy Chrystal or older Jewish comedian who talks about that theme and is followed up by a music track that also is part of that theme.

Israeli Top Hits of the Week

We would play the top five Contemporary Jewish tracks, of the week as noted in Billboard


In this feature we will talk with guests who will discuss the different Milestones of a Jewish family. Discussions will focus on Planning a Bar Mitzvah or a Wedding, dealing with sending a child to Summer Camp, Planning For College, Dating, caring for older parents and other milestones of family life.
Bringing  in these guests to share about their knowledge and specialities about  Jewish Family Milestones will also introduce these potential underwriters to what WERS is about and give them a taste of our audience, our music and the powerful voice of WERS.
As with all guests on Chagigah they will also choose a tune from our American Jewish Soundtrack and tell us why they like that song and how it resonates to them with a memory.


We would take a familiar song and edit three versions together of that song from different eras. An example would be Beir Mista Shane recorded by the Andrew Sisters iand edit that to the Barry Sisters and end it with the popular Bette Middler version. This history of the song thru the years would be discussed.

Featured Guest

A guest from the Boston Jewish Community would talk about their memories of Growing Up Jewish in a light hearted conversation. This guest would bring in two songs from the American Jewish Songbook and tell us why that song was an important part of their life. Non Jewish guest would come in and talk about what it was like growing up in a Jewish neighborhood or meeting a Jew for the first time etc. The guest would also be someone who would talk about their organization, school, or company.

Music Concert

Audience members would choose an American or Israeli songwriter or singer and we would play three tracks from that entertainer. We would talk about their music, life and give some fun facts about that singer/songwriter.

A Taste of our Musical History

We would have listeners request upbeat, popular songs from their Jewish history. In this feature we would play two upbeat songs such as a Klezmer and Jewish A cappella track.

Open Phones

Throughout Chagigah we will keep the phones open to have people calling in to make this an audience participation program. I will have special people call in to tell us about a great new Jewish restaurant, a great new contemporary Jewish movie, upcoming Jewish concerts etc.

Community Calendar

Temples, colleges, institutions or other community people call in to tell us about an upcoming event. This will allow the community from that institution to listen in to WERS to hear a member “talk” about their organizational events.


Mark Grossmann is the Director of Jewish New Media for WERS. Mark is building a exciting new internet stream for Jewish music and culture. Mark served as a Jewish community professional for over 35 years and is passionate about community, connection, and engagement in Jewish community, Jewish culture, and Jewish music.

Mark was the creator and host of the longest running non-commercial Jewish radio program in Philadelphia which aired from 1978-1992. Mark is the Marketing Director for Abbott Home Health Care and sings in a community a capella group. Mark is married, lives in Sharon, MA, and has 2 adult children, also involved in music and the arts.