Michael Feinstein on Jewish Composers and Christmas

Musician Michael Feinstein recalls a Christmas concert from his past:

Minutes before I walked onstage the second night, a nervous representative of the orchestra board appeared in my dressing room to tell me that my program was “too Jewish.”… My laughter turned to disbelief when the stuttering gentleman said that there had, in fact, been complaints. If you look at a list of the most popular Christmas songs, you’ll find that the writers are disproportionately Jewish: Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” “The Christmas Song” (yes, Mel Tormé was Jewish), “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “Silver Bells,” “Santa Baby,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Winter Wonderland” — perennial, beloved and, mostly, written for the sheet music publishers of Tin Pan Alley, not for a show or film. (Two notable exceptions: “White Christmas,” introduced in “Holiday Inn,” and “Silver Bells,” written for “The Lemon Drop Kid.”)

NYTimes.com.