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Jewish Music

Debbie Friedman

Debbie Friedman’s music transformed prayers for Jews across the movements.

Shannie Goldstein

Shannie Goldstein used her creativity to outsmart the KGB, bringing information to and from refuseniks in the Soviet Union.

Louise Azose

Born into a rabbinic Sephardic family in Bursa, Turkey, Louise Maimon followed her parents and siblings to Seattle in 1927 after her father was called to serve as a rabbi for Sehpardic Bikur Holim congregation. Married in 1929 to Jack Azose, they raised four sons and one daughter. Long active in Seattle’s Sephardic community, Louise was a living treasure of the traditions, history, recipes, faith, and folksongs of the Sephardic people she loved. Louise’s conversation and memories were filled with Ladino [Judeo-Spanish] words and phrases spoken within Spanish-Sephardic Jewish cultures.

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?

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Music." (Viewed on December 18, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/jewish-music>.

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