Website: Albuquerque Judaism Examiner
The Creating Calm
"Wow! this is a first! My comment was selected this a.m. as one of about 20 NYT editor picks as a selected comment out of about 500. My handle is Tea Leaf Reader at The New York Times - Diane J. Schmidt tel/fax: 505/890-8363 cell: 505/264-1890
Website: Albuquerque Judaism Examiner
"HERE I STAND: What it means to me to sing on behalf of you."
"Every prayer I sing feels like a love song – between Adonai and my soul."
"My intention has always been to sing from that inner space called intimacy: into-me-see..."
"When I stand before Adonai and my Kehilah, it is with an awesome sense of humility and trembling, as if facing my beloved in a state of full surrender: naked and vulnerable."
Kimberly Burnham writes in Music, The Carrier of Intention in 49 Jewish Prayers about the song, Adama V'Shamayim, Fellow editors and authors, Elizabeth Goldstein and Hannah Seidel also bicycled with Hazon on the Cross USA. Rabbi Goldstein rode from Seattle to Spokane, Washington. Kim and Hannah both rode the whole way across the US in nine weeks. Hazon created an amazing mobile Jewish community as we visited over 20 different Jewish communities from very small ones in Aberdeen, North Dakota to large communities in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Washington, DC and everywhere in between.
California native Jeff Gold composes soulful and spiritual instrumentals for relaxation, meditation and healing. His music has also become popular within the special education community, especially children with autism, many of whom have found that his soothing music helps them focus and relax.
Jeff has released three CD's, “Simple Treasures, “Escapes” and "Soul of a Mountain”; each one is a soothing and relaxing collection of melodies featuring beautifully arranged acoustic guitars, piano, strings and flutes. While he composes and arranges his own music, he also plays guitars and piano. He does his own mixing, editing and mastering; skills he perfected as a television editor for shows like “Baywatch,” and “The Office.”
Jeff’s earliest musical memories are of his grandmother who loved to sing Yiddish, Romanian and Russian Lullabies to her grandchildren as they fell asleep. She had a rich, warm beautiful voice and was always singing or humming. These Eastern European influences are evident in many of Jeff’s compositions.
He composed the soundtracks and also produced nine guided imagery CD’s for “The Live Well Series”, with hypnotherapist Janet Montgomery. Programs include stress management, coping with cancer treatment, and their latest, “Sleep Well for Kids.”
You can listen in at JeffGold.com and Music as Therapy
Ruth Anne Faust grew up in Anchorage, Alaska in a devoted, but secular Jewish family. Thanks to modern orthodox grandparents who shared their passion and love for their Judaism, she was always enticed to learn more. When Ruth Anne married, she – in the midst of a hectic schedule doing an intense International Montessori educational year – and her husband, Halley – in medical school, on an even busier schedule – decided to set aside Shabbat to insure time together. That opened up a world of Jewish observance and sensibility. Her wise grandparents encouraged her to become kosher so they could come visit and that was the beginning of more extensive physical connections to Jewish observance. In the process, a deepening relationship to spiritual-soul aspects became paramount.
As Ruth Anne moved from Montessori teacher, to mom of two boys, to providing programming at her synagogues (family, meditation, healing, children’s and special needs services), both during Shabbat and mid-week, to working with special needs children in preparation for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah her Jewish studies and explorations of the worlds of wonder, appreciation and kabbalah began to round out her sense of self.
Music has always been a pathway into Ruth Anne’s heart. Learning chanting over many years with many wonderful teachers (Shefa Gold, Andrea Cohen-Keiner, Karen Drucker, amazing cantors at the Women’s Cantors’ Network…) created an ongoing, powerful support through challenging times as well as during easier, exultant celebrations. Ruth Anne has found compassion, ease and renewal through music.
Today, Ruth Anne lives with her husband in Santa Fe, New Mexico, appreciating the vistas, gardening, refreshing air, amazing hiking and community. They both spend significant amounts of time enjoying and helping with granddaughters in the East, along with their sons and daughter-in-law. She visits her Alaska family each summer and spends more and more time in celebration and wonder.
"Any music that explores human life in all its range of extremity and ordinariness can evoke the presence (or the absence) of God. Music that moves toward the good, the true, the just, and the beautiful often brings a sense of transcendence to hearers. The plain fact is that the church can often hide from God simply by uttering the words of unreflective piety. The appearance of religious words is no guarantee of authentic praise. Some nonchurch music that truly expresses the heart’s torment, the soul’s lament, or the ecstatic joy we experience within the beauty of creation may be more religious then hymns with poor theology sung without conviction." Don Saliers, “A Song to Sing, a Life to Live”
"Religious music is an attempt to convey that which is within our reach but beyond our grasp….(Listening to music can be) a shattering experience, throwing the soul into an encounter with an aspect of reality to which the mind can never relate itself adequately.” Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
"The sound of what cannot be seen sings within everything that can, and there is nothing more to it than that." Brian Andreas
Andrea Cohen Kiener is rabbi for the P'nai Or community in central Connecticut. She was ordained as a spiritual director and rabbi in through Aleph, the seminary of the Alliance for Jewish Renewal. Andrea is a translator and student of the martyred rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto, Reb Kalanymous Kalman Shapira, a master of Jewish prayer and states of consciousness.
Rabbi Andrea leads services that are grounded in the Jewish tradition, yet creative and inclusive. She has worked with all the major denominations of Judaism to lead prayer, for women, mixed groups and all ages. She is co-author of a book on prayer, For All Who Call, published by the Melton Center for Research in Jewish Education in New York.
She was the director of an interfaith alliance on environmental activism, Interreligious Eco-Justice Network for ten years and is currently studying sustainable agriculture at an intentional community in the Finger Lakes region of New York state, the Rochester Folks Art Guild.
"I plan a service with a kind of psychic sonar. I quiet myself and open my attention to the group which will be davenning, the torah reading or holiday, the season... I wait for impressions to form in a quiet mind. These impressions will inform my song selection and teachings." — Rabbi Andrea Cohen Kiener, P'nai Or Jewish Renewal community, Central Connecticut.
"It is actually very easy to daven with a group and reach the very highest levels. What is hard, what is the work, is to form a group and to help the group open to that intention." — Rabbi Andrea Cohen Kiener, P'nai Or Jewish Renewal community, Central Connecticut.
Rabbi Beth Janus was ordained as a Reform rabbi in 2001 from the Hebrew Union College. In addition to standard Rabbinic training, Rabbi Janus took an additional year of study to become a certified hospital chaplain She trained at NYU Hospital and Sloan-Kettering in New York.
Upon ordination Rabbi Janus moved to Santa Cruz, California to become the Assistant Rabbi at Temple Beth El in Aptos. She worked for four years in each part of the congregation’s life. She taught preschoolers through adults, conducted services, officiated at life cycles events, provided pastoral counseling, visited patients in the hospital, and led events at assisted living facilities. In the last year of her work at Temple Beth El she was promoted to Associate Rabbi.
Rabbi Janus moved to Philadelphia where she is working as a community rabbi. She has taken her passion for pastoral counseling and chaplaincy by serving as a hospice rabbi and the chaplain of a Jewish senior program. Rabbi Janus officiates at life cycle moments and teaches classes.
Music plays a large part in Rabbi Janus’ rabbinate. She founded a music program for babies and toddlers while in California. She uses Jewish music everyday in her teaching, counseling, and praying. She sees music as a way to connect with those who are steeped in Judaism and those who have little Jewish knowledge.
Shira Kline, “ShirLaLa” is an internationally recognized, award-winning performer, educator and artist. Named as one of the “New re-engineers of Jewish Life,” Shira enlivens rituals and holiday celebrations and inspires a love for Jewish life and prayer with children and adults alike. Shira tours extensively throughout the United States and internationally with performances in Canada, England, Italy, Israel, Australia and New Zealand. Her popular ShirLaLa Jewish Kiddie Rock CDs are played in over 25,000 homes, classrooms and communities. She also publishes “Blog Sameach,” an online teacher and parent resource center. Shira serves on the faculty of the HUC-JIR Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music and the URJ’s Hava Nashira Music Institute. Shira Kline is a co-founder of Lab/Shul and Storahtelling, “an everybody-friendly, artist driven experimental community for sacred Jewish gatherings” where she currently serves as worship leader, trainer and musical director. Enjoy Shira Kline at ShirLaLa.com and LabShul.org.
“Intention in music is the heart pointing and the heart opening that happens in the space between the notes we sing.” —Shira Kline, co-founder of Lab/Shul and Storahtelling, “an everybody-friendly, artist driven experimental community for sacred Jewish gatherings”, currently serves as worship leader, trainer and musical director.
On “Ozi v’zimrat Yah”… “Everything changed the day I understood that God’s name “Yah” was my very out-breath and that every single time I exhaled “yahhhhhhhh,” I was experiencing, perceiving, connecting to the Source of Life.” —Shira Kline, co-founder of Lab/Shul and Storahtelling, “an everybody-friendly, artist driven experimental community for sacred Jewish gatherings”, currently serves as worship leader, trainer and musical director.