For close to 10 years, Hadar’s Rising Song Intensive has been a gathering place for lovers of Jewish music to sing, study, and experience the depth that song has to offer our communities.
We’re saddened that the state of the world doesn’t allow us to gather in person during a year in which communal music is so desperately needed.
Against that backdrop, we’re trying something new and exciting: A one-day virtual seminar for folks of all musical backgrounds to “gather” and create a space for musical expression, learning, and community.
An amazing line-up of musicians and educators will share insights, ideas, and melodies that will be useful in your COVID-era living room and set the stage for post-COVID music-making.
From singing traditional tunes from a variety of Jewish cultures to hearing current creative voices, from the study of musical torah to the exploration of best practices for (virtual) collaboration, this year’s Rising Song Intensive will be a thrilling first for us and we want you in the “room”!
Our time together will finish with a livestream concert featuring Joey Weisenberg and members of the Hadar Ensemble. Sing with us from your own homes as we broadcast live from Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York on Wednesday, December 30, from 7:30-9:00 PM Eastern. Registration for the intensive also includes a ticket the concert.
- Enter a community of ba’alei tefilah, cantors, community organizers, lay leaders, musicians, rabbis, and students looking to explore of communal musical dynamics.
- Unearth the spiritual underpinnings of song and study the complex intersection between individual and communal voices.
- Explore with renowned musicians diverse voices within the global Jewish musical heritage.
Hadar’s Rising Song Institute aims to cultivate the grassroots musical-spiritual creativity of the Jewish people. Taking place in New York City, the Rising Song Intensive is one of many projects aimed at furthering this vision. Read more about our Rising Song Institute, explore master classes in Jewish song, and listen to music from Rising Song Records.
Rabbi Yosef Goldman is Senior Advisor of Hadar’s Rising Song Institute. Raised in a mixed Orthodox Ashkenazi and Mizrachi home, Yosef has taught and led prayer in communities of every Jewish movement. He has served as a ba’al tefillah for some of the most spiritually vibrant and creative prayer communities in the United States and Israel, including Romemu and B’nai Jeshurun in Manhattan, the Kitchen in San Francisco, and Beit Tefila Yisraeli in Israel. For over a decade, as a consultant, Yosef has advised synagogues and prayer communities seeking to deepen the communal spiritual experience through musical prayer. Yosef’s original Jewish music is sung at synagogues, schools, and camps across the country. As a sought-after vocalist, Yosef performs and records with a wide range of Jewish artists. He is a longtime featured vocalist in the Hadar Ensemble (led by Joey Weisenberg) and a founding member of the Middle Eastern Jewish music ensemble the Epichorus. Along with trombonist Dan Blacksberg, Yosef was selected by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts for its 2018–19 Jazz Residency. His first album of original music, Open My Heart, will be released by the Rising Song Institute in fall 2019. Yosef received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2013, with a concentration in pastoral care and counseling, and was also awarded a Master of Sacred Music. He most recently served as Rabbi and Director of Sacred Music at Temple Beth Zion–Beth Israel in Philadelphia.
Rabbi Elie Kaunfer is President and CEO of the Hadar Institute. Elie has previously worked as a journalist, banker, and corporate fraud investigator. A graduate of Harvard College, he completed his doctorate in liturgy at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was also ordained. He also received semikha from his long-time teacher, Rav Daniel Landes. A Wexner Graduate Fellow and Dorot Fellow, Elie has been named multiple times to Newsweek’s list of the top 50 rabbis in America. Heis the author of Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us About Building Vibrant Jewish Communities (Jewish Lights, 2010). Elie serves on the board of Natan and on the advisory board of Upstart.
Following in the path of her ancestors, Batya Levine uses song as a tool for cultivating healing and resilience in her work as a communal song leader, musician, shaliach tzibur (Jewish prayer leader) and cultural organizer. She believes in the liberatory power of song to untie what is bound within us, and sustain us as we build a more just and beautiful world. Batya is a founding core team member of Let My People Sing! and serves on the Cultural Organizing Team for Linke Fligl. She offers song, ritual, and workshops in a variety of communities, including Linke Fligl, SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva, Rising Song Institute, and The New Synagogue Project. She composes original music made of Ashkenazi yearning, queer heart-medicine, and emunah (faith/trust). She has just released her first album, Karov. Batya is also a lover of the ocean, queer dance parties, and puns. You can check out more about her work and music at www.batyalevine.com.
Deborah Sacks Mintz
Deborah Sacks Mintz is the Community Singing Consultant of Hadar’s Rising Song Institute, serving as a resource to communities across North America and beyond who seek to deepen their practice of empowered song and connective prayer. A composer, ba'al tefila, and educator, Deborah facilitates prayer-leadership workshops nation-wide, and can be found regularly collaborating with a diverse array of voices in the Jewish soundscape, including as a vocalist in the Hadar Ensemble. Her debut album of spiritual music, The Narrow and the Expanse, was released on Rising Song Records this past spring. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, Deborah is pursuing rabbinic ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and serves B'nai Jeshurun NYC as a rabbinic fellow. Learn more about Deborah's work at www.deborahsacksmintz.com.
Born in Sydney, Australia, to Iraqi and Indian Jewish immigrants, George Mordecai was immersed in the musical liturgical traditions of his family from an early age and weaves this rich cultural heritage into his work. Co-creator of the performance project Shalom/Pax, George pursues devotional music that speaks to the sacred interconnectedness of all humanity. He released the album Safra on Rising Song Records in 2018.
Chloe Pourmorady is an award-winning artist known for the versatility of her creative expression. A recent winner of both the Global Music Awards and Independent Music Awards for debut album,"Begin Majesty," the music she creates is innovative and imaginative, influenced by tradition, yet modern. Chloe has comfortably sang in over 10 languages, plays violin, kamancheh, and guitar, and writes music in many different styles; instrumental, liturgical, folk, modal, and more. Chloe studied music and pedagogy in the U.S. and abroad, blending global influences into her work. Chloe currently works as a music educator, an active musician and composer, and is involved in spiritual leadership as well. Inspired by art, prayer, truth, and life, she hopes to leave her listeners feeling elevated through songs of hope, prayers of love, and words of truth.
Chana Raskin lives in the Galilee Mountains in Israel. Her song-filled Hasidic upbringing infuses her with tfila (prayer) and nigun (Jewish melody), and carries her in each moment of work and rest. Her appreciation for quiet spaces that invite deep listening, receiving, and connecting, has moved her to lead tefila spaces, as well as teach and perform niggunim in and around New York, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv. Still on a journey of her own self-healing from injury and trauma, Chana strives to hold a space with others recovering from illness or traumatic injury, through the healing powers of quiet, laughter, humming, singing and movement. She is the founder and main facilitator of RAZA_רזא, a musical project that seeks to explore the feminine voice in old chassidic melodies.
Rabbi Aviva Richman is a Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar, and has been on the faculty since 2010. A graduate of Oberlin College, she studied in the Pardes Kollel and the Drisha Scholars' Circle and was ordained by Rabbi Danny Landes. She is completing a doctorate in Talmud at NYU. Interests include Talmud, Halakhah, Midrash and gender, and also a healthy dose of niggunim.
Musician, composer, and teacher Joey Weisenberg is the founder and director of Hadar’s Rising Song Institute, which aims to cultivate the grassroots musical-spiritual creativity of the Jewish people. He is the author of The Torah of Music (2017 winner of the National Jewish Book Award) and Building Singing Communities. He has released seven albums with the Hadar Ensemble, most recently Nigunim Vol. VII: Songs of Ascent (2019).
Ariel Root Wolpe
Rabbi Ariel Root Wolpe is a mother, musician, and spiritual educator. She currently resides in Atlanta, GA, where she founded and directs Ma’alot, a Jewish outreach organization dedicated to integrating music and nature with Jewish wisdom. Ariel studied Jewish music as a Rising Song Resident in Philadelphia, where she began working on her third album through Rising Song Records. Currently, Ariel resides with her husband and two children in Atlanta, GA where she runs Ma’alot, a Jewish outreach organization which draws on her passion for music and nature. She is continuing to compose music and shares current projects through Soundcloud. Ariel is completing a book on Jewish texts and rituals to usher in motherhood.
Each elective slot throughout this day of song and learning will include a variety of opportunities to engage with Jewish music. In general, each slot will include one offering from each of the following tracks:
Torah of Music; Music of Prayer: Study Jewish texts with Hadar faculty to engage your mind and spirit around the theme of music.
Traditional Music: Take a moment to rewind and connect to traditional Jewish music, with an emphasis on the Mizrahi and Sephardic traditions.
Rising Voices: Fast forward to the present and future by learning and listening to these rising voices in the Jewish musical world.
Communal Song: A for um for learning and sharing best practices for creating meaningful song both in the COVID-era and beyond.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it for me?
If you have a passion for Jewish communal music: yes! If you’ve come before, yes! Come again to learn new music and to review your favorite tunes and melodies!
When is it?
Tuesday, December 29, 1:00-9:00 PM Eastern: Virtual Learning.
Wednesday, December 30, 7:30-9:00 PM Eastern: Virtual concert with Joey Weisenberg and the Hadar Ensemble, recorded live from B’nai Jeshurun in New York City.
Where is it?
This year's intensive will take place entirely online.
How much does it cost and what’s included?
We recognize that the reality of this moment has made finances a complicated and challenging issue. In light of that, the rate for this program will be on a sliding scale between $18-$72. We ask that you pay what you can and please reach out to us at [email protected] if finances pose an obstacle. We would love to learn with you!.
I have more questions. Who should I ask?
Get in touch with us here!
Registration for this program is now closed.