Tag Archives: Music

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80 Years of Paying It Forward with Music

Imagine sitting next to future composer, pianist, director and conductor Simon Sargon in Prozdor while the teacher is passing out papers and chanting verses from the book of Psalms. Simon’s ears are finely attuned to the music, poetry and sacred texts that surrounded him. It is part of his personal formation that has been influenced by special people and institutions. His father, an observant Jew, from Mumbai India and a… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Minna Bromberg

Bring More Liberation to Your Seder Table: A Song of Complaints

First Day of Pesach The students in my singing and songwriting class—“consumers” at a hospital that offers inpatient services for people with serious mental illness—came into the chapel and began complaining before I could even say hello. One told me that her laryngitis won’t go away and the doctor won’t listen to her. Another said her back was really bothering her. A third said he really didn’t want to be… Read Article →

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Speaking Torah: Generosity of heart

Note: This message was originally distributed on March. 22, 2017 to the Hebrew College  community, alumni and friends. Dear friends, Generosity of heart. Nedivut halev. This is the starting place for the building of the mishkan. This is how we begin to make room for the divine presence in our midst. In this week’s Torah portion, Vayakhel-Pekudei, Moses instructs all of the generous hearted among the people to bring offerings to the Lord… Read Article →

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Sacred Drumming

  “I have been a professional musician, drummer/percussionist, for many years now. I have been blessed to tour the world and share the stage with folks such as Isaac Stern, Yo-yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Wynton Marsalis, Wycliff Gordon, Roger McGuinn and so many others. I have recorded commercial, LPs, CDs, and performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kerrville Folk Festival, the Newport Jazz Festival, Let My People Sing, and many other… Read Article →

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Micah & Matt

“This is my father’s guitar which he had at Hebrew University in the early ’70s. When I switched from drums to guitar, my dad said, ‘Use mine.’ I write original music to psalms and other Jewish liturgy. While some feel that the music itself is “Jewish” sounding, my biggest influences are folk, pop, rock, and indie. So I would describe my music as indie-folk-Judaica!” (Micah Shapiro, fourth year student at… Read Article →

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Does my Voice Count? A Musician’s Jewish Journey

I had been joking with friends that re-examining Judaism at this point in my life was part of my midlife crisis. My story is not original: I was raised Reform, and though I took Yiddish in college and identified with Jewish culture, I didn’t practice Judaism with any sort of rigor for many years. For most of my life, I identified first and foremost as a pianist. With the title… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Minna-Bromberg

Honoring the Blank Spaces

Parshat B’shalach, Exodus 13:17-17:16 Walking home from my set at the Jerusalem Folk Evening, I begin to realize that my abs hurt. This feeling after singing — like I’ve been overly enthusiastic doing crunches on the first day of a new workout regimen — is one I know mostly from the end of Yom Kippur; after that prayer marathon, my achy abs (a reminder that I have poured so much… Read Article →

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A Hanukkah “Raga”: An Ecological Reflection

One of the first teachings that drew me to Hindustani (North Indian) classical music was that of the raga. Each raga – literally color or melody – is associated with a unique time of day. On the tree of Indian classical music, each raga is a different branch; in the cycle of a day or a year, each raga embodies a different quality or emotion that is expressed through improvisational… Read Article →

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Rabbis and Cantors Singing Together

Rabbis and cantors singing together — what a concept! That’s exactly what happens in Kol Arev, Hebrew College’s choir. This ensemble, the name of which means “pleasant voice,” is composed of cantorial students, rabbinical students, faculty and alumni of the college. Rabbi Daniel Lehmann, the college president, sings in Kol Arev, and yes, even he had to audition! Our choir sings on behalf of the college in many venues. This… Read Article →

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The Power of Music

It’s a cliche: “The power of music reaches the human soul in ways that words cannot.” Maybe it’s because I’m a musician, but I am tired of this cliche. I bristle when I hear people say it to me since I’ve heard it a million times. Maybe because I spend my life either making music or teaching music, I’ve become numb to this statement. Silly me. Last month, as I… Read Article →