Debbie Friedman

None of this would exist without Debbie. 

Debbie Friedman (z”l), of blessed memory, was a songleader’s songleader. She was, and still is, at the heart of what it means to create a singing community in a liberal Jewish context. Debbie not only wrote hundreds of songs that are the backbone of many liberal Jewish prayer and sacred text repertory, but she taught generations of songleaders and worship leaders, and lifted up the voices of women in our community. In the last years of her life, she taught at the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, the Reform Movement's Seminary. The Cantorial program, upon her death, was renamed the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music. 

 

Her setting of Psalm 96 is the text for which this organization is named. Her voice, her spirit, her unending commitment to and passion for the healing power of singing together has been the fuel that has given life to this organization, to its founder Rosalie, and to the many colleagues, friends, singers, musicians and clergy who come to this work because of Debbie.

 

Sing Unto God is grateful for the “blessing” of Cheryl Friedman, Debbie’s sister and we look forward to working with Cheryl as she continues to build and celebrate Debbie’s legacy.

If you are new to Debbie, we encourage you to read about her here. You can also find information about an anthology of her work here.

While a truly great songwriter, she was most alive when songleading and performing. Here's some suggestions to listen to and watch:

 

Not By Might, 1990 (an example of masterful songleading) 
 

Mi Shebeirach, 2001 (URJ Biennial)
 

Debbie Friedman: My Music, My Story Part 1
 

Debbie Friedman: My Music, My Story Part 2
 

Debbie Friedman Tribute: In her own words


You can find her sheet music from Transcontinental Music Publications here.

(full book or individual pdf)

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