I wish Debbie Friedman had been alive to hear what was said about her at her funeral.
A similar thought occurs to me when I attend other people's funerals but never did I feel it so acutely as I did this past Tuesday as I watched the live-streaming of Debbie's memorial service on-line along with seven thousand other people who, like me, were singing and crying at their desks, on their iPhones, in their living rooms, and sending messages to each other simultaneously of sorrow, comfort, and gratitude for her life.
Beloved singer, writer, musical game-changer dies at 59.
To a broken generation, Debbie Friedman delivered a mystical truth: You don’t have to be cured to be healed.
She, who suffered for so long from elusive, debilitating neurological illnesses that finally took her life Sunday after 59 years, understood, with humor and faith, that she was singing and writing with one foot in Heaven and the other on a banana peel. It was as if from Heaven, however, that her most ethereal music seemed to come, transforming not only lives but whole denominations.
I last saw Debbie Friedman two weeks ago at LimmudUK, where we had a brief but warm conversation, telling each other that if not for scheduling conflicts, we would have enjoyed attending each other’s presentations.
In my case it was certainly true, as I always found Debbie’s performances inspiring. Not just her voice, the lyrics and the message, but the quality of the shared experience with her loving audiences. The goodwill and sense of the spirit in her was palpable.
(JTA) -- Debbie Friedman, a popular singer and songwriter who is widely credited with reinvigorating synagogue music, has died.
Friedman died Sunday after being hospitalized in Southern California for several days with pneumonia. She was in her late 50s.
"Debbie influenced and enriched contemporary Jewish music in a profound way," read a statement published Sunday on the website of the Union for Reform Judaism. "Her music crossed generational and denominational lines and carved a powerful legacy of authentic Jewish spirituality into our daily lives."
NEW YORK (JTA) -- Songwriter Debbie Friedman has been hospitalized in Orange County, Calif.
Friedman is sedated and on a respirator, according to an email sent Wednesday from the West Coast branch of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. A source at the college told JTA Thursday there had been no change in Friedman's condition.
The email asked that prayers be said on Friedman's behalf, as well as for her mother, sister and aunt.
From Yiddish tunes to alt-rock to Sephardic rhythms, female performers dominated this year.
Special To The Jewish Week
This was a year in which recorded Jewish music seems to have been dominated by women. Certainly the CDs that have stayed with me the longest in 2010 are the work of some tremendously talented female singers, songwriters, composers and instrumentalists. So here’s a list of some recordings that have haunted me and delighted me since the first time I heard them. Not exactly a top 10 list, but not a bad yardstick to go by.
From zoot suits to flagpole sitting, the university campus has always been a source of fads and fun that spread beyond the campus. As young people focus on their education they also look to affirm their youth and push the envelope of tomorrow.
Annual Sephardic Music Festival branches out with art rave, fashion show.
Special To The Jewish Week
The phone is ringing. There is a new CD to promote. There are the usual last-minute changes in the Sephardic Music Festival to be arranged. A new music video has to be shot this week. A fresh pot of coffee needs to be brewed.