Shirley Cohen Steinberg
Shirley Cohen Steinberg helped make the Jewish holidays fun and interactive for children with her Holiday Music Box albums, featuring “One Morning” (popularly known as the Passover “Frog Song”). Steinberg began performing on the New York radio show the Horn and Hardart Children’s Hour at age five and in her twenties sang Israeli music on WEVD’s Shirei Moledet radio program. She studied languages and psychology at Brooklyn College and Hebrew studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary before earning a master’s in early childhood education from NYU. She went on to teach in Jewish and secular preschools. In 1951 she recorded the popular Holiday Music Box albums, which became an instant classic—at the time, there were few ways for children to engage playfully with the tradition. After moving to Canada in 1970 she continued teaching music to children and adults, but also served as music director for an Israeli music group, Israella, for thirty years. As of 2015, she serves as director of the Folkshpieler Yiddish Players at the Ottawa JCC and published her first children’s book, Frogs in the Bed, in 2014.