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Jewish Music

Singer Shirley Cohen Steinberg records the beloved Passover song “One Morning”

February 23, 1951

Singer Shirley Cohen Steinberg records the beloved Passover song One Morning.

Where She's Coming From

I’m bracing myself for the inevitable storm of essays about Neshama Carlebach’s choice and what it says about Orthodoxy. It’s easy to read her decision to “make aliyah” to Reform Judaism as a triumph of the liberal values and inclusivity of the Reform Movement over the ingrained sexism of Orthodoxy. But the truth is that both movements are struggling with how to include women and a wider range of voices.

Debbie Friedman

Debbie Friedman was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, who recorded more than 20 albums. Friedman’s music is living Judaism, teaching children and adults to love prayers that might otherwise have remained strings of foreign words, unrelated to their lives.

Meet “Bulletproof Stockings” and “Yiddish Princess”

Today we feature female American Jewish musicians who aren’t softly crooning classic Hebrew folk songs, traditional prayers, or even hava nagila. They are not belting out Broadway tunes or love songs à la Barbra Streisand or Bette Midler. These women are rocking out to their own beat.

Lauren Interviews Lauren

Singer-songwriter-humorist Lauren Mayer reflects on Hanukkah, Christmas, family, growing up a Jew in Orange County and how all this informs her own, artistic process. May you enjoy this in depth interview conducted by… herself.

What inspired you to write “Latkes, Shmatkes”?

Two years ago NPR did a program on Christmas music, and their expert was talking about how secular songs, like “Frosty The Snowman,” became classics, and then he said, “Some songs should never become classics, like this one”— and used an old recording of mine as an example. It was a novelty song I’d written and recorded years ago, “The Fruitcake That Ate New Jersey,” and when I wrote in to ask how they found it, they ended up interviewing me. I joked that now I was part of the great tradition of Jewish songwriters who create Christmas music, and I really should do a Chanukah album. Once I said it, I realized it could be a fun idea.

Rereading Eishet Chayil for Mother's Day with Sinai Live's "More Precious Than Pearls"

Mother's Day always makes me wonder: How do we convey the love, respect and gratitude we feel for the women in our lives – and for the fortitude and accomplishments of women everywhere?

The Lives They Lived: Jewish women to remember in 2011

“[Debbie Friedman] emphasized the value of every voice and the power of song to help us express ourselves and become our best selves. As she wrote for JWA's online exhibit Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution: 'The more our voices are heard in song, the more we become our lyrics, our prayers, and our convictions.' The woman who wrote the song that asks God to 'help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing' herself modeled for us what that looks like.”—Judith Rosenbaum.
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Adrienne Cooper, 1946 - 2011

I first met Adrienne on erev Nitl, Christmas Eve, 1987, and saw her for the last time on khamishi shel khanike, the night of December 24 of the calendar year just ended. Jeffrey Shandler has written in an obituary that he published last week that “Adrienne taught us all to sing.” I was one of her less successful experiments. I don’t sing, I could speak Yiddish long before I met her.

Remembering Adrienne Cooper, mother of the Klezmer/Yiddish revival

Adrienne Cooper passed away on Sunday evening at the age of 65 after a long fight with cancer.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Music." (Viewed on September 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/jewish-music>.

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