Tribute to Debbie Friedman

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Larry Kaufman, Board Member, URJChicago, IL
Country: USA
Tribute: I write with tears in my eyes, as I contemplate the death Sunday morning of Debbie Friedman, even as we all know that her music will live forever.
Rabbi Jefrrey K. SalkinColumbus, GA
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Israel, Columbus, GA
Tribute: The poet-laureate of the Jewish people, Chaim Nachman Bialik, once wrote a poem in which he extolled someone who died "before his time and before anyone's time. He had one more song to sing, but now that song is stilled forever."
Ed Nickow, Temple ChaiLong Grove, IL
Country: USA
Tribute: Haiku: Remembering Debbie Friedman
Rabbi Paul KipnesCalabasas, CA
Country: USA
Congregation: Congregation Or Ami, Calabasas, CA
Tribute: I write with tears in my eyes, as I contemplate the death Sunday morning of Debbie Friedman, even as we all know that her music will live forever.
Donald Cohen-CutlerNew York City, NY
Country: USA
Tribute: It wasn't such a long, long time ago that I could remember a time without cell phones. It also wasn't such a long time ago that I could pick my mom up at the gate when she came...
Rabbi Phyllis SommerGlencoe, IL
Country: USA
Congregation: Am Shalom, Glencoe, IL
Tribute: The Jewish community lost a remarkable presence today. Debbie Friedman died early this morning. Debbie has always been a presence in my life. Even before I met...
Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the URJNew York City, NY
Country: USA
Tribute: Debbie Friedman was an extraordinary treasure of our Movement, and one of its most influential voices.
Mark Pelavin, Director of the Commission on Social Action of Reform JudaismWashington, DC
Country: USA
Tribute: I knew Debbie Friedman's music long before I came to work for the Reform Movement, and long before I knew Debbie.
Cantor Rosalie Will BoxtKensington, MD
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Emanuel, Kensington, MD
Tribute: Debbie gave voice to many texts and experiences that before her were often either difficult to find, or were left to the purview of cantors or music professionals. And she gave voice, the permission to express ourselves fully, to so many in the Jewish community.
Adam GraubartHopkinton, MA
Country: USA
Congregation: Congregation B'Nai Shalom, Westborough, MA
Tribute: I just read on Facebook and confirmed with an online Jewish newspaper that Debbie Friedman has passed away this afternoon. She was hospitalized for a few days with pneumonia. I always wanted to meet Debbie Friedman.
Lori CohenNaples, FL
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Ahavat Shalom/Temple Shalom, Palm Harbor and Naples, FL
Tribute: I became a Cantorial Soloist about 25 years ago. I learned my craft from Debbie. Her songs moved me to pray through singing. Her music/her message gave me the ability to find my own spirit.
Judith AlbanNorthridge, CA
Country: USA
Congregation: Ahavat Shalom, Northridge, CA
Tribute: Her music was my youth...I mourn the loss of all the music we will never hear. She was young and there were more notes for her to write.
Judy BernsteinPhoenix, AZ
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Chai, Phoenix, AZ
Tribute: I am deeply saddended by the untimely passing of Debbie Friedman. I first heard her music in the late 1970's at a Jewish Cafe - Elijah's Cup in Chicago. I took pleasure in her music and have listened to and enjoyed her music ever since. Her voice, her words are magical and will be sorely missed. Rest in peace Debbie.
Lynn Sherman NFTYite foreverBellerose Village, NY
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Tikvah, New Hyde Park, NY
Tribute: I was reading all the tributes from Rabbis and Cantors and those esteemed among us , and I was feeling a bit empty. How does an ordinary 50 something Jewish woman who sang with Debbie in her teens write about this loss?
Jill Morales-RatnerSacramento, CA
Country: USA
Congregation: Congregation B'nai Israel, Sacramento, CA
Tribute: Debbie, your music and blessings touched and lifted people (Jewish and non Jewish) around the world. G-d sent you and your angelic voice to us to comfort us when we are down, lonely, sad, in pain or in sorrow. You also lifted our spirits with joyful sounds and brought us together as a community.
Kareen HartwigKing of Prussia, PA
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Brith Achim, King of Prussia, PA
Tribute: Debbie was a inspiration our family in so many ways. Singing Andy's Song to my son, Andy, in place of the parents' speech at his Bar Mitzvah service brought tears not only to the congregation but also to the Bar Mitzvah boy. I am sure that Debbie's memory will be a true blessing forever and her music will continue to inspire generations to come.
Steven GrayNelson, MN
Country: USA
Tribute: As a Minnesota boy, I feel privileged to have been present at the genesis of Debbie's songwriting and song leading career. She was a remarkable spirit and force in the World. What a true and inspiring leader!
Trina MillerBeachwood, OH
Country: USA
Congregation: Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple, Beachwood, OH
Tribute: Debbie, You'll be rockin' and rollin' up in heaven and leading the kumzitz. I had the pleasure of seeing Debbie at Carnegie Hall in March of 2009 at the Zamir and Hazamir concert. As usual, Debbie was fantastic.
Rabbi Elizabeth WoodForest Hills, NY
Country: USA
Congregation: Reform Temple of Forest Hills , Forest Hills , NY
Tribute: Debbie was one of the most patient and influential teachers I've ever known. She inspired countless people with her musical talents, but she also inspired so many of us with her gifts as a teacher and friend.
Rabbi Tom AlpertNeedham, MA
Country: USA
Tribute: The news of Debbie Friedman's passing has hit all of us. Although she has been battling health issues for such a long time, it was perhaps the very fact of this that made her loss such a shock. It seemed that, somehow, she would always prevail.
Cantor Lisa LevineBrookeville, MD
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Shalom, Chevy Chase, MD
Tribute: My memories of Debbie begin at UAHC Camp Swig when I was a youngster where she inspired me to sing, to write, to love being Jewish. From our time together in classes with Cantor William Sharlin in LA to CAJE Conferences and our many emails and the concerts I attended and we shared, her music, her spirit, her smile and her heart captured me in a way I can never express.
Joanne L. BlumDallas, TX
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, TX
Tribute: Debbie Friedman's music, her use of folk music to tap into Jewish spirituality, inspired me on my own spiritual journey. I grew up with "classical reform" music at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation in the 60's and 70's and loved, it but when I heard Debbie's music, it got into my heart and made my soul leap with joy.
Rabbi Gerald KaneLas Cruces, NM
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Beth-El, Las Cruces, NM
Tribute: In the summer of 1971, a "wet behind the ears" assistant rabbi from Portland Oregon was invited to spend two weeks at Camp Swig, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations camp in Saratoga, California. The purpose was to serve on the faculty and better connect with students from Congregation Beth Israel whose families sent their children to the camp for Jewish enrichment and fun.
Joel GluckWarwick, RI
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Beth El, Providence, RI
Tribute: Thank you Debbie for the wonderful music. You will be remembered by the way you transformed syngagogue worship and spirituality. I remember the time when we performed together 19 years ago. It is a memory that I will carry forever.
Evelyn (Evy) AschChicago, IL
Country: USA
Congregation: Chicago Sinai Congregation, Chicago, IL
Tribute: Debbie was my youth group leader in 1972-73 at Temple Emanuel, Chicago. She was hardly older than we were. She was an amazing, talented, charismatic, funny, and loving person, and we adored her. She taught us to sing and to be joyful in our Judaism.
Karen Busch AnolickMorristown, NJ
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple B'nai Or, Morristown, NJ
Tribute: Singing Debbie Friedman tunes to me is know different than breathing. It comes naturally, and is something I feel like I have done forever. It was probably Cantor Jeff Klepper who introduced her music to me when he was a student cantor at my congregation in New Brunswick, NJ.
Giberti FamilyCenterville, MA
Country: USA
Congregation: Cape Cod Synagogue, Hyannis, MA
Tribute: My children will always remember so many of your songs and forever sing Aleph Bet. Thank you for shining your music on them.
Babette JacowitzOld Bridge, NJ
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Shalom, Aberdeen, NJ
Tribute: To a very unique musician whose words and music transformed my husband's and my life. We listened to one of her CD's , singing with her all the way from Old Bridge to South Euclild ,Ohio,to visit my sister and family.
Amy Dattner-LevyBaldwin, NY
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Beth Shalom of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR
Tribute: Kutz Camp, 1971...a young woman sits against the wall in the Program Room..we all sing along. Freehold, New Jersey...a woman stands on the bima leading a congregation in song. Mt. Scopus, Israel...a frail woman is brought to the stage in a wheel chair, her music strengthens us all.
Jennifer GubitzBrooklyn, NY
Country: USA
Congregation: HUC-JIR Rabbinical Student, New York, NY
Tribute: We sit side by side, staring up at the power point screen, the newest innovation in summer camp songleading. It’s a hot summer evening in Warwick, New York, and yet she wears jeans and a long sleeved shirt, sweating maybe, but looking calm and cooled by, I can only guess, the youthful voices around us
Diane Prince GoulaScottsdale, AZ
Country: USA
Tribute: I was a member of PAFTY, Pennsylvania. Federation of Temple Youth, in middle school. Debbie was the state song leader. I remember her energy and spirit, her beautiful voice and the incredible chords and range of her 12-string Martin guitar.
Sam BarshNew York, NY
Country: USA
Tribute: I knew Debbie my whole life and had the opportunity to perform some concerts with her through the years. I feel like as my life progressed, Debbie's music was always with me. Though she's gone now her music will stay with us who have known and loved it, and will reach many more generations. I will miss her.
Alex CicelskyKibbutz Lotan
Country: Israel
Congregation: Kibbutz Lotan, Arava Valley, Israel
Tribute: My favorite Shabbat services on Kibbutz Lotan are those when Inda (Inspired particularly by Debbie and the many other song and prayer leaders who blessed our camps and congregations with music) and our son Shahar lead us in prayer and song. They use their guitars as guides so that the cadence of our words stride together with rainbow of our unique voices.
Prayables.comSchaumburg, IL
Country: USA
Tribute: Debbie Friedman introduced a new way to pray to so many people. The women of are inspired by Debbie's creativity and honor her legacy in our multi-faith community. Prayer must continue to evolve and show relevance. There is no better role model than Debbie Friedman, and no sweeter sound than her music.
Rabbi Robert ScheinbergHoboken, NJ
Country: USA
Congregation: United Synagogue of Hoboken, Hoboken, NJ
Tribute: Whether or not the name of Debbie Friedman is familiar to you, you have undoubtedly heard (and probably sung) her music. For the last twenty-five years or more, she has been the most outstanding composer and performer of contemporary American Jewish synagogue music.
Rebecca SchwartzJenkintown, PA
Country: USA
Congregation: Congregation Kol Ami, Elkins Park, PA
Tribute: Debbie's music is a tradition at my temple and URJ Crane Lake Camp. Her music, words, and memory will continue to live on through those she inspired as well as our Jewish youth. She was my teacher and guide, and opened up the door for my voice to be heard. Thank you, Debbie.
Cantor Susan CaroSchaumburg, IL
Country: USA
Congregation: American Conference of Cantors, Schaumburg, IL
Tribute: Walking into my first song session, more than 30 years ago at Kutz Camp, I knew that I had come home. The music danced through my head, becoming the soundtrack of my youth and of my life.
Rabbi Stephen WiseOakville, ON
Country: Canada
Congregation: Shaarei Beth El, Oakville, ON, Canada
Tribute: Its hard to imagine a world without Debbie Friedman. From an early age I knew I loved the prayerful music from our songleaders at camp and religious school even before I knew the composer. As I aspired to become a leader in the Jewish world, her music has inspired both my own religious journey and my connection to prayer.
Marcia StorchOlean, NY
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple B'nai Israel, Olean, NY
Tribute: On behalf of my congregation, we would like to send our sincere condolences to all who have been touched by Debbie Friedman and her music. We will miss your energy and presence,but her music and tunes will be heard loud and clear for generations. May her memory be a blessing.
Susan TabinGreensboro, NC
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Emanuel, Greensboro, NC
Tribute: She made me want to sing and brought joy to our lives. May her spirit continue to move us to song.
Michael LinderPlantation, FL
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Kol Ami - Emanuel, Plantation, FL
Tribute: Debbie has had a profound affect on the role of Judaism in my life. This started with what was billed as a "spirituality workshop" held at my temple at least 10 years ago. On this occasion, she taught me that the words we sung did not necessarily tell the whole story; it had other dimensions. The song reached into my heart, my soul, my guts, never to leave me.
Rabbi Sue Levi ElwellPhiladelphia, PA
Country: USA
Congregation: Rodeph Shalom, Philadelphia, PA
Tribute: The Tanach calls David, the pre-eminent poet of his time, “the sweet singer of Israel.” The sweet singer of Israel of our time, Debbie Friedman, has died.
VickiBrighton, MI
Country: USA
Tribute: I feel so blessed to have been part of Debbie's world as she first exploded with her genius. It was pure joy and a blessed spirit from the beginning. Debbie, z"l , will live in so many hearts forever – I am happy to be one.. .Thank you – now, Rest In Peace.
David "Tree" SobelNew City, NY
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Beth Sholom, New City, NY
Tribute: Debbie made a tremendous impression on my life with her songs, which I sang for 11 years at camp and in NFTY. Now, my daughter sang her songs last year at Eisner Camp for the first time, and the traditions continue. L'dor v'dor, it is now time for the next generation to feel the power, beauty and relevance of her songs. Thank you Debbie, from me, and from all future generations of Reform Jews.
Joanna Roth ButlerCicero, IN
Country: USA
Tribute: When I heard of your passing, I stood in disbelief. I have never known a time when you haven't been a part of my spiritual life, a constant presence, a reassuring nod; I grew as a Jew with your soundtrack in the background. In your memory, I played all the albums, loud. Loud enough to drown out the sound of my sobbing. You will not be forgotten. I will sing your songs. Loud.
Leon AdatoCleveland, OH
Country: USA
Tribute: I am adding my voice to those who mourn the passing of this fixture of modern Jewish music. I don’t expect to offer any new insights into who she was, and I certainly don’t expect to say anything new given the outpouring of love from all corners of the world.
Rabbi Edwards, Cantor Porat, Cantorial Soloist ChalinLos Angeles, CA
Country: USA
Congregation: Beth Chayim Chadashim
Tribute: Many of you have already heard the sad news that Debbie Friedman has died, after a brief illness. Composer, Jewish liturgist, singer-songwriter, prayer leader extraordinaire, member of the lgbt community--Debbie touched our lives in ways too many to count.
Judy (Glatzer) GordonYardley, PA
Country: USA
Tribute: I first witnessed Debbie's magic was she was the NFTY Senior Songleader at Kutz with David Altshuler in 1970. She enthusiastically taught us new songs and also how to lead a group in song. The songs I heard then have continued to follow me thruout my life and I always smile remembering her music's influence on my Jewish life and think of the joy she shared with us all. She will be physically missed but her music will endure.
Monica CortonNew York, NY
Country: USA
Congregation: Central Synagogue, New York, NY
Tribute: Last year, Debbie taught a series of classes on Hanukah at my synagogue, Central Synagogue in NYC. The classes were team taught with Joe Septimus and were just amazing. At the end of the first class, Debbie challenged us to write a story about dedication and be mindful of the parts of the story that are true and the parts that we use to elaborate on the truth (like the oil lasting eight nights saga).
Richard HoltzOrmond Beach, FL
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Beth-El, Ormond Beach, FL
Tribute: We have lost one of the crown jewels of Judiasm. Debbie will be missed by all of us who come to know and love her. We are fortunate however that her spirit may live forever in her music and melodies.
Etta BarryMinneapolis, MN
Country: USA
Congregation: Adath Jeshurun Synagogue, Minneapolis, MN
Tribute: Debbie's music has woven it's way into many parts of my life. We've used her music for our children's Bris/Brit Milah, for our anniversary, birthdays and healing/funeral of my mom. I used her music to teach young children at my synagogue's Sunday School and I've played her music on my boom boxes, CD players and Ipods.
Jacob PerlinLos Angeles, CA
Country: USA
Tribute: Growing up the son of a Reform Rabbi, Debbie Friedman’s music was everywhere. I listened to it at temple and before I went to bed. I sang it at song sessions at camp and as I sat around the family dinner table. I knew every word and sang each song with Ruach — a Hebrew word which I actually learned from her song “Not By Might.”
Lisa Rothstein GoldbergLouisville, KY
Country: USA
Tribute: I grew up in Houston at Congregation Emanu El. I grew up on Debbie's music. The spiritual connection she gave all of us with her music cannot be overstated. She had a unique gift for giving every one of us a voice in prayer and I cannot thank her enough for it.
Shari Schwartz WalterWilmington, DE
Country: USA
Tribute: Dear Debbie, As a 1980's teen, your music gave me an entry-point to Judaism through a mode I could innately understand and use. It is still relevant in my life today. Thank you for everything.
Shaun SarvisHuron, SD
Country: USA
Tribute: The most recognizable voice in Jewish music. She helped children and adults connect with their faiths.
Linda K. WertheimerLexington, MA
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Isaiah, Lexington, MA
Tribute: Singer Debbie Friedman helped me find something I often lacked during childhood and young adulthood. She helped me discover a love for my faith and the beauty and meaning of many prayers.
George FredlundFort Lauderdale, FL
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Bat Yam, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Tribute: Debbie's sweet music has brought so much comfort to broken bodies and souls. Her efforts have brought Tikum Olam closer one person at a time. Thank you Adonai for this one...
Marilyn PriceEvanston, IL
Country: USA
Congregation: Beth Emet, Evanston, IL
Tribute: Debbie's music pulled your heart in and allowed room for prayer and joy. A woman of great spirit and story. A woman to remember with each chord. She would be humbled by all of the tributes as she was in life.
Amy JacobsonSydney, NSW
Country: Australia
Congregation: Etz Chaim, Lombard, IL
Tribute: I still remember my synagogue cantor teaching us Debbie's latest melody to "Mi Chamocha" one Sunday morning at Sunday School, in the mid-1990s. Years later, I took a snapshot of friends at one of her OSRUI concerts, and it became their engagement photo, depicting one of the happiest moments of their life together.
Melissa Patack BerenbaumLos Angeles, CA
Country: USA
Tribute: Debbie Friedman fanned the flame of my Judaism. From the first time I learned her songs from song leaders at Kutz Camp and Joseph Eisner Camp and at NFTY conclaves in central NY in the 1970’s [Temple Beth Emeth, Albany New York was my home base at that time], I was hooked.
Melissa CohaviRye Brook, NY
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Sinai, Stamford, CT
Tribute: My connection to and love for Judaism started with music -- Debbie's music. I am not a singer or musician, but I was (and still do) able to connect so deeply to my faith through Debbie's music. So thank you Debbie, for your personal gift to me. May your memory be a blessing. Rest in peace.
Naomi GrossWhite Plains, NY
Country: USA
Tribute: You made a difference for more than i can begin to count. Todah Rabbah, thank you, a hartz'kn dank.
Rabbi Phil BentleyHendersonville, NC
Country: USA
Tribute: Phyllis and I first met Debbie before she was Debbie Friedman. In 1970 just back from Israel she was a song leader at Kutz. We became friends and made music together. I actually engineered (i.e., ran the tape recorder) for what may have been the first Debbie Friedman recording with the Haggigah choir. Even then we knew she was an extraordinary person.
TJ Feldman HalpernWarwick, RI
Country: USA
Tribute: Debbie Friedman z"l wrote about the youth seeing visions and the old dreaming dreams, but she was the voice,heart and soul of the Reform movement and her music&words are a rich legacy. Her words and music informed by religious school and Nfty experience and stay with me to this day.
Deborah HarrisPrairie View, IL
Country: USA
Congregation: Lakeside Congregation, Highland Park, IL
Tribute: When I was 16 years old, my rabbi announced that he had hired a new youth group advisor for us. He had heard her sing at our regional URJ (then the UAHC) camp, Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute. To be honest, we had been kind of used to having the synagogue’s assistant rabbi be our TYG advisor, and we weren’t sure we were too happy about this. Don’t worry, the rabbi said, you’ll like her. She’s a terrific songleader.
Rabbi Alysa StantonGreenville, NC
Country: USA
Tribute: Debbie's impact on my life and consequently on my rabbinate was transformative. I first heard her music in the 90's when she came to our temple to do a concert. Her music touched my soul. I later met Debbie at a C.A.J.E. conference and joined her in song with other choir members of the conference. There was an instance during rehearsal, when she stopped singing and playing the guitar.
Meryl ShaderSacramento, CA
Country: USA
Congregation: Congregation Beth Shalom, Congregation B'nai Israel, Sacramento, CA
Tribute: Debbie Friedman's music is the sound of my youth. I can not hear her songs and not feel myself to be a teenager at Jewish summer camp. Her death feels like a personal loss although I never met her.
Rabbi Michelle PearlmanRumson, NJ
Country: USA
Congregation: Monmouth Reform Temple, Rumson, NJ
Tribute: On a personal note, her music has such deep meaning for me. I was raised in our Reform Movement, and fell in love with Judaism through singing. As I think back to my days in youth group and youth choir, Debbie's melodies were among the first that stirred my soul. I became passionate about Jewish life because I was encouraged to sing and make the prayers my own. I wonder if I would have ever become a rabbi without her influence.
Abbie SilberCedar Rapids, IA
Country: USA
Tribute: While looking through old videos I recorded of Debbie over the years my tears needed to write a song. This is what I wrote today. The world will be so hard without her. This song is called, "You are the Inspiration" and was written the day of her funeral in Jerusalem, Israel.
Ariel J. FriedlanderLondon
Country: UK
Tribute: Your Ears Should Hear
Robin FremerColumbus, OH
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Beth Shalom, New Albany, OH
Tribute: Debbie's music was a favorite in our home. My children all sang in the choir and her songs were taught in my sunday school classes. Thank you Debbie. You will live on in our voices.
Rabbi Eleanor SteinmanToronto, ON
Country: Canada
Congregation: Temple Sinai, Toronto, Canada
Tribute: The Jewish world has lost an immense talent who transformed the nature of prayer in our synagogues and taught a generation how to pray.
Carole IvinsChandler, AZ
Country: USA
Tribute: In 1971 Debbie Friedman changed my life. She had recently completed 'Sing Unto God' and came to the PAFTY Winter Convention in Monroeville PA.
Barbara WexlerWhite Plains, New York
Country: USA
Congregation: Kol Ami, White Plains, New York
Tribute: For many years at Kol Ami, we had a monthly healing service. Whenever she could, Debbie would come and sing with us and to us. These were beautiful evenings I will never forget. She sang with such pure joy and conviction, it always went deep inside me. You were truly as blessing for all of us, Debbie.
Susan Jacobs LeonidasTampa, Florida
Country: USA
Tribute: When I was a member of JFTY in the early 80's, Debbie's songs were a source of inspiration to me. I was saddened to learn of her passing - may her memory AND her songs live on in all of us who were touched by them...
TBY ChoirSt. Augustine, Florida
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Bet Yam, St. Augustine, Florida
Tribute: Debbie, you taught us how to sing. May God bless you. You will live forever in our hearts.
Sally WeberLos Angeles, California
Country: USA
Congregation: Valley Beth Shalom, Encino, California
Tribute: I first met Debbie in 1982. I brought her to Adat Ari El, where I was program director, to participate in a new Shabbat evening program for families.
Kenny EllisAgoura Hills, California
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Beth Ami, Santa Clarita, California
Tribute: Debbie Friedman and I had a very special relationship. Not only did I adore her and her amazing music, but, we also looked forward every year to doing comedy together at CAJE. May she be blessed as she goes on her safety and in love! Kenny
Karen HumphreyWaco, Texas
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Rodef Sholom, Waco, Texas
Tribute: This week we read the Torah portion B'shalach, which includes the Song at the Sea (Shirah Ha-Yam). This shabbat has come to be known as Shabbat Shirah, the Sabbath of Song.
Marsha FreemanBuffalo Grove, Illinois
Country: USA
Congregation: Congregation Beth Am, Buffalo Grove, Illinois
Tribute: Debbie's music has brought so much meaning into my life and my whole family. She brought new meaning into our Jewish belief and her music will live on in our family.
Rabbi Joui HesselWashington, DC
Country: USA
Congregation: Washington Hebrew Congregation, Washington, DC
Tribute: Debbie's music gave us the opportunity to connect to our Judaism on a deeper level by inviting our souls to reach out to God. Her memory will be for a blessing, and her legacy will be honored through every song performed, and by every note sung from the youngest of children at our schools and camps to the eldest of congregants at Women's Seders and Shabbat services.
Larry KasanoffLos Angeles, California
Country: USA
Tribute: She will never die because her music will live on forever - Larry Kasanoff
Pam (Salsburg) WilliamsAtlanta, Georgia
Country: USA
Congregation: Beth Jacob, Atlanta, Georgia
Tribute: As a high schooler in the late 1970's, I was active in NFTY. Besides enjoying the social life, I was most attracted to the original jewish music by Debbie Friedman and others. It kept me spiritual. It kept me wanting to know more about Judaism.
Jen GubitzBrooklyn, New York
Country: USA
Congregation: HUC-JIR Rabbinical Student
Tribute: We sit side by side, staring up at the power point screen, the newest innovation in summer camp songleading.
Jay Alhadefflakewood, California
Country: USA
Congregation: temple israel, long beach, California
Tribute: Debbie was one of the reasons why I enjoy Jewish music and her music brought so much to me and my students at Temple Israel. May her memory be a blessing for all of us who have enjoyed her music and who will enjoy her music in the future. May she rest in peace.
Barbara and Larry ShumanPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Sinai, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Tribute: We were fortunate to be among Debbie's 5000 closest friends. We have many wonderful memories from the URJ Kallot where Debbie was frequently on the faculty.
Jacob PersilyMarlboro, New Jersey
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Rodeph Torah
Tribute: It is difficult to fathom the fact that Debbie Friedman is no longer with us. As a percussionist, I see the true scope of Debbie Friedman's music on the music of Reform Judaism. Playing Debbie's music on this Shabbat, Shabbat Shira, a Shabbat in song, will be very difficult.
Judy Caplan GinsburghAlexandria, Louisiana
Country: USA
Congregation: Gemiluth Chassodim, Alexandria, Louisiana
Tribute: I was so honored and privileged to know Debbie on a number of different levels. As an adoring fan, I met her at my first CAJE Conference in 1986. As the years went by, she became a friend, colleague, mentor and teacher as I would see her, work with her and hear her sing each year at CAJE, at Hava nashira and at URJ Biennial Conventions. I was honored to be able to learn from her and perform with her.
Caryn Mirriam-GoldbergLawrence, Kansas
Country: USA
Congregation: Lawrence Jewish Community Center, Lawrence, Kansas
Tribute: Debbie's music meant so much to me from the time I discovered it in youth group in the early 1970s through many Camp Kutz and NFTY (also JFTY -- I grew up in NJ) events, and I wanted to share some of what I wrote. This music profoundly influenced me as a poet, writer and songwriter, but even more so, as a soul who is part of the greater spirit as we all are. Thank you so much, Debbie, and rest in peace.
Rabbi Adam RosenwasserLos Altos Hills, California
Country: USA
Congregation: Congregation Beth Am, Los Altos Hills, California
Tribute: I, along with so many others, grew up with Debbie's music as the soundtrack to my childhood. In Rabbinic school, I had the amazing opportunity to get to know this incredible woman a little better. After delivering my senior sermon, Debbie emailed me to correct me about a quote which I had attributed to Woody Allen.
Cantor Neil SchwartzSaskatoon, SK
Country: Canada
Congregation: Congregation Agudas Israel, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Tribute: Debbie helped create Hava Nashir, the URJ songleader training at OSRUI. While I saw Debbie most summers at CAJE and other venues, it was our time together at the one Hava Nashir we shared that gave me an opportunity to get to know her better as a friend as well as a colleague.
Ethel LiebmanBoynton Beach, Florida
Country: USA
Tribute: I first met a very young Debbie at Camp Eisner during the summer when my daughter was a CIT and Debbie was the song leader. As a child, I attended camps where singing was very much an integral part of everyday camp life, but I can vividly recall the solemn joy that I had never before experienced when I heard Debbie leading the children in the prayerful songs she had written. I immediately became a fan.
Rabbi Cy StanwayOcean, New Jersey
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Beth Miriam
Tribute: When I was about 15 or so and active in the Holy Blossom Youth Group, we had an extraordinary TYG director, Rabbi Bob Kirzner. Bob was formative in my life in so many ways. One way, though, is that he played guitar and was singing songs that I had never heard before. They were unlike anything I had heard. Of course, they were Debbie's songs
Shelly LohmannBaltimore, Maryland
Country: USA
Congregation: Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, Baltimore, MD
Tribute: My children & I grew up singing your tunes as our prayers were put to your music. Your music made Judaism come alive for all of us. You will be sorely missed by the world.
Jamie LazarusRockville, Maryland
Country: USA
Tribute: I grew up with Debbie Friedmans songs. She will forever be a figure in my Jewish life. No one can forget her. She was a blessing.
Sally FrankDes Moines, Iowa
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple B'Nai Jeshurun
Tribute: Debbie helped shape my relationship to synagogue worship. I have 3 older sisters, all of whom were active in JFTY and NFTY. Growing up, I heard them singing the music of the movement, Debbie's music. I was in JFTY from 1972-6. Her music permeated our lives in JFTY.
Sue ThorntonBoynton Beach, Florida
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Beth Torah, Wellington, FL
Tribute: When my children were young, I was thankful to Debbie for bringing an energy to Jewish song and life and enabling my children to feel comfortable with prayer. I was thankful to her for giving a common voice, a community voice to many Jewish children who lived in small towns without a Temple to run to. They met and they sang and they knew from Debbie God loves song.
Wendy Tanson & James FalekChapel Hill, North Carolina
Country: USA
Congregation: Chapel Hill Kehillah, Chapel Hill, NC
Tribute: Having remained an active member of my congregations and regular attender at services, Debbie's music has made the services so much more beautiful than I could have imagined.
Lisa Roth ElliotRochester, New York
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple B'rith Kodesh, Rochester, NY
Tribute: Debbie played an active role in my life, especially during my teen years. Among the many life lessons she taught me, three stand out. 1) Stand up straight; 2) Participate; and 3) Always give your best effort. I can still hear her voice in my head saying, "A one, a two, oh you know what to do!" Yes, Debbie, I do know what to do, because you taught me. Thank you. I will miss you.
David E. Powers, Ph.DCharlotte, North Carolina
Country: USA
Tribute: I first encountered Debbie's music as a young rabbi in Philadelphia, and like many of the (now) older _men_ in the movement, I wondered if it was too far outside the Jewish musical tradition. But then it grew on me and grew and grew, and the two times I heard her perform I gained yet more joy
Marlene and Barry HorowitzEncino, CA
Country: USA
Congregation: Valley Beth Shalom and IKAR, Encino, CA
Tribute: Debbie was an eshet chayil and her music was and will be legendary forever. During her lifetime, Debbie was an angel doing God's work Her physical pain now has ended, but her neshama lives on. We send our deepest condolences to her family that she loved so much.
Gail Smiley HeppenPlainview, NY
Country: USA
Congregation: Midway Jewish Center, Plainview, NY
Tribute: I grew up through the Reform Youth Movement on Long Island and spent my summers at Warwick in the late 1960's. As a songleader, I was well aware of the power of music in reaching to the very depths of a person's soul and making bonds between people that would last a lifetime.
Emily BlankWashington, DC 20599
Country: USA
Congregation: `
Tribute: I remember at a workshop at the end of October, she told us that she had had dry spells as far as writing songs. She mentioned (during a song-writing class) even using a bra size to try to get a melody started! I said "you've got to be kidding", but she said she was perfectly serious.
Rabbi Sharon L. SobelThornhill, ON L4J 7P7
Country: Canada
Congregation: Holy Blossom Temple / Temple Kol Ami, Thornhill, ON, Canada
Tribute: My father, Rabbi Richard J. Sobel, z"l, was an early fan of Debbie's from the time she was a young song-leader as a teen-ager. They developed a fast friendship and kept in touch as she progressed on her journey. He was the one who introduced me to Debbie's music when I was a child.
Jimmy Richman, husband of Amy Citron RichmanTampa, FL 34667
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple B'nai Israel, Clearwater, FL
Tribute: I have never met Debbie as a youth but my wife Amy Citron was a friend and a co-conspiritor in the PAFTY organization. I finally did meet her at our temple a few years back and her attitude and spirit reminded me of people I have known who have impacted the world.
Lauren HershSacramento, CA 95816
Country: USA
Congregation: Congregation Beth Shalom, Carmichael, CA
Tribute: I became acquainted with Debbie Friedman's music late in life, but I've so appreciated her music within our worship. I find myself humming her melodies well after Shabbat is over, keeping me mindful of Hashem during the week. What an incredible loss to our community, but what an incredible impact Debbie has/will have for generations!
The Saul Mirowitz Day School - Reform Jewish AcademySt. Louis, MO 63131
Country: USA
Tribute: The Saul Mirowitz Day School- Reform Jewish Academy Faculty and Students send love to the family of Debbie Friedman. Our 5th Graders prepared a t'fillah service today dedicated to the music and life of Debbie Friedman. Please view the attached video.
Debi KleinPlano, TX 75023
Country: USA
Tribute: I have personally known Debbie since the late 1970s or early 1980s when we both lived in Houston, Texas, and I have such fond memories of our friendship. Her music has always been a large part of my life, especially as a music leader and choir member at various congregations in the Houston and Dallas areas, and as a youth group advisor for a large Reform congregation in the Houston area.
Abraham EzekowitzJoplin, MO 64804
Country: USA
Congregation: United Hebrew Congregation, Joplin, MO
Tribute: I never had the honor or pleasure to know or meet Debbie Friedman personally, but her music and her talent has touched my life and will be part of my life forever, as I know it has touched countless millions. May her memory be for a blessing. She will be greatly missed.
Carol GreenspanColumbia, MO 65201
Country: USA
Tribute: Debbie brought joy and depth to Jewish music and included women. She will be missed, but her music will be a blessing she has left us. Some is already "traditional," e.g. her Mi Shebeirach. Wherever she is, she is leading people singing in joy and dancing with Debbie's timbrels.
Merle and Arnie Weiner, Sharon and Jason FisherScottsdale, AZ 85250
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Chai, Phoenix, AZ
Tribute: Our family was so lucky to have Debbie as a friend, mentor and teacher. We shared from the silliest of moments to some very difficult moments in our family. No matter where we were or wherever Debbie was, she was there for us, weather it be something she said, how it was said, or sung and the timing, there was always a comforting and encouraging word.
Helayne PfefferThiells, NY 10984
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Beth El, Spring Valley, NY
Tribute: What a loss to our reform movement. Debbie has a spiritual presence, like few we know. I was very lucky to be at several URJ /WRJ Conventions to witness how she can light up a room of 5,000.
Susan Turitz CooperRichardson, TX 75081
Country: USA
Congregation: Tempel Emanu-El, Dallas, TX
Tribute: The Mishaberach was not in the classic Reform service in my memory. Yet we all need a channel in which to pray for those dear ones in our lives who are ill. I give Debbie Friedman much credit for re-introducing the Mishaberach into Reform liturgy.
Rabbi Lisa Edwards, Cantorial Soloist Fran Chalin, Cantor Juval PoratLos Angeles, CA 90035
Country: USA
Congregation: Beth Chayim Chadashim, Los Angeles, CA
Tribute: Composer, Jewish liturgist,singer-songwriter, prayer leader extraordinaire, member of the lgbt community--Debbie touched our lives in ways too many to count.
Rabbi Lisa TzurHillsborough, CA 94010
Country: USA
Congregation: Peninsula Temple Beth El, San Mateo, California
Tribute: Abraham Joshua Heschel said that there are three ways to mourn: the first is to weep, the second is to grow silent, the third is to transform sorrow into song.
Hope ChernakNew York City, NY 10024
Country: USA
Congregation: Shaaray Tefila, New York City, New York
Tribute: It's incredible to watch the use of online social media over the last few days to connect a community in morning.
Larry KarolDover, NH 03820
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Israel, Dover, New Hampshire
Tribute: I have always had my tape recorder (or other recording device) at conventions in case there was some song, or insight, that I wanted to have at my fingertips.
Cathy GlassmanCoral Springs, FL 33076
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Beth Orr, Coral Springs, Florida
Tribute: I met Debbie when she was songleader at NFTY leadership camp at Camp Kutz, the summer of 1969. I had grown up in a Reform congregation but had never heard spirit and spirituality like that I heard from Debbie. We we mezmerized by her talent and spirit, and she changed my view of Judaism and awakened my spirituality. She will be missed.
Dana Wallennew Orleans, LA 70118
Congregation: Shir Chadash, New Orleans , Louisiana
Tribute: I was able to see Debbie in concert here in New Orleans, and I will never forget it. Also I was in California last Year with my family, and we went to a Jewish museum and while I am in the gift shop I saw a Debbie Freidman cd, and I had to have it and bought it. I loved every Since I Will miss her and her gift of music and i am sure it will live on forever. May her memory always be a blessing.
Taia HartmanVernon Hills, IL 60061
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Chai, Long Grove, Illinois
Tribute: In a country and an era where many people grow up with no real feelings or commitment to their parents' religion, Debbie Friedman's music helped me to grow up feeling connected to something much larger than myself.
Sandra MerovicToronto, ON L4J 4H5
Country: Canada
Congregation: Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto, Canada
Tribute: The music of Debbie brought my husband and I to the Temple. Until my first Caje, I was not connected to the prayer. Debbie gave me the connection. Her power of making us to desire to be good and connected, to make a difference in the world, had definitely change my relation with Judaism. This power will not die, it is forever. May she rest in peace and continue blessing us from above.
Rabbi Fred GreeneRoswell, GA 30075
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Beth Tikvah, Roswell, Georgia
Tribute: Debbie Friedman has died this week and I must say that it has shaken me quite a bit. I didn't know her well at all, unlike so many others. But I have been singing her songs and praying with her melodies since I was a little boy. I didn't realize that my childhood bedtime lullabies were actually NFTY melodies for shacharit (the evening service), some of which Debbie wrote. She was an innovator.
Harold SingerBoca Raton, FL 33433
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Israel, Duluth, Minnesota
Tribute: I met Debbie at Oconomowoc at a youth group Winter Conclave in the late 1950's. She was the song leader for her temple in Minneapolis or St Paul. I was the Youth Director for our temple in Duluth. Debbie soon became the regional song leader and her songs soon replaced the popular songs of those years, which the kids sang along with a few Hebrew songs. Most of the music was popular.
Lou GinsbergHattiesburg, MS 39401
Country: USA
Congregation: Southern Federation of Temple Youth, Ark, MS, LA, Tenn, Mississippi
Tribute: I met Debbie at Henry S. Jacobs Camp in 1978, and I was inspired by her. She was SoFTY's Songleader when I was an Advisor. The kids loved her and so did all the adults. When I saw her at a NFTY convention 20 years later, she remembered me. I shall never forget what a wonderful woman she was and how we all loved her music. I can close me eyes and hear her sing.
Leslie GottliebNew York, NY 10021
Country: USA
Congregation: Stephen Wise Free Synagogue , New York, New York
Tribute: Her music was spiritual and stirring. Its beauty will live on.
Elizabeth SavageAltadena, CA 91001
Country: USA
Congregation: Beth Chaim Chadashim, Los Angeles, California
Tribute: Thank you to you, Debbie. Thank you to your family for their devotion and love. You left the world a better place than you found it.
Diane and Sidney BravmannBALTIMORE, MD 21208
Country: USA
Tribute: Diane and I went to a long weekend program in Phoenix, AZ several years ago. Debbie was one of the presenters, and we both felt honored to have met her, and we continue to be inspired by her works.
BethMarion, OH 43302
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Israel, Marion, Ohio
Tribute: Thank you for making our lives sweeter, more joyous and more wonderful. Your life has been for a blessing and now your memory will be as well.
Barbara SabesBuffalo Grove, IL 60089
Country: U.S.
Congregation: Temple Chai, Long Grove, Illinois
Tribute: Our children grew up listening to Debbie's music at home, at temple and at OSRUI. She will be missed so much, but the songs and prayers that inspired so many of us live on.
Chari SchwartzThornhill, Canada L4J5C9
Country: Canada
Congregation: Temple Kol Ami, Thornhill , Canada
Tribute: About 10 years ago, I attended a CAJE conference with a small group of people from Toronto. Ontario. I got the idea of making this into a little mini vacation and dragged my mom along with me. She was baffled as to why I would want to bring her with---after all---this was about my work and getting some ideas on good teaching and managing a supplementary school. Little did she ( or I) know what a transforming experience this would be.
Anne AndrewVancouver, BC V6P 5W1
Country: Canada
Congregation: Temple Sholom, Vancouver, Canada
Tribute: I met Debbie Friedman at my first CAJE in 1986. I was wearing the first timer's ribbon and Debbie made sure to say hello to me and make me feel welcome. Years later, I was the one to register her in to her dorm room at the CAJE in Seattle. Despite her great fame, she still roomed with the rest of us. I have such a fond memories of being in Debbie's CAJE chorale and of a multi-session course with Debbie and Rabbi Kelman. Debbie sang at Temple Sholom in Vancouver and it was a memorable evening for all concerned - we raised the roof and danced in the aisles for hours. Debbie's songs form the basis of our Temple's healing service held every Yom Kippur afternoon. Thank you Debbie.
Cantor Jacqueline Shuchat-MarxManalapan, NJ 07726
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Emanu-El, Edison, New Jersey
Tribute: Sunday, January 9, 2011 10:10 PM, EST Debbie Friedman died this morning. A very important voice of song in the Reform Jewish music has been stilled. I was taken aback at how hugely her death jarred me. So many reasons....
Debra SteinEast Hampton, NY 11937
Country: USA
Congregation: The Jewish Center of the Hamptons, East Hampton, New York
Tribute: While Debbie's music will live on in our lives and our hearts, and future generations will sing her words and melodies, our soul's are dimmed this on this Shabbat Shira. She has touched us all deeply, may her memory forever be a blessing to all who knew her.
Saul Mirowitz Day School- Reform Jewish AcademySt. Louis, MI 63131
Country: USA
Tribute: The Students and the Staff at the Saul Mirowitz Day School- Reform Jewish Academy remember Debbie Friedman. The students led a t'fillah service on Wednesday, Jan. 12th, 2011 to remember the music and life of Debbie Friedman. May her music and spirit live on for generations to come.
Rachel Mersky WodaProvidence, RI 02906
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Beth El, Providence, Rhode Island
Tribute: Like so many, I felt the strong pull towards my congregation this week for Shabbat after learning of Debbie's death, particularly since it is Shabbat Shira.
Barbara ShumanPittsburgh, PA
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Sinai, Pittsburgh, PA
Tribute: In preparing to lead a beit midrash discussion at my congregation this Shabbat, I came across an extraordinary midrash.
Rabbi Daniel Hillel Freelander, Senior Vice President, URJ, New York, NYNew York, NY 10017
Country: USA
Tribute: This week closes with Shabbat Shira, named for the “Song of the Sea.” At the end of these verses, Miriam the Prophet lifted her timbrel and led the women in song and dance. For centuries these particular words were unsung. Then along came Debbie Friedman. Her music raised them to God and changed us forever.
Cissy CohenAtlanta, GA 30082
Country: USA
Congregation: The Temple, Atlanta, GA
Tribute: We sang with Debbie CAJE conferences. What an amazing experience, singing and dancing with you. Those of us who were fortunate enough to have been there will never forget it. It is a memory I treasure. I know that you will forever be a blessing.
Liz OrnsteinRochester, NY 14625
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Sinai, Rochester, NY
Tribute: I consider myself so lucky to have many many memories of Debbie. From feeling like I was praying for the first time as I sang her T'filat HaDerech swaying with 500 other women as Debbie concluded a women's seder for us; to standing on stage with my then 3 year-old daughter after Debbie invited the children to join her; to being privileged to be one of the 6000 people in attendance at the San Diego Biennial and singing Mi Sheberach to Debbie; and so many more.
Rabbi Rachel GurevitzBridgeport, CT
Country: USA
Congregation: Congregation B'nai Israel, Bridgeport, CT
Tribute: ‘O Sing Praises, sing a new song, sing a new song…’ These words, close to the start of the ‘Live at the Del’ album, were my first introduction to Debbie Friedman. It was around 1992 and I’d been attending a workshop in London about contemporary Jewish female composers who were doing remarkable things. In the UK Reform headquarters bookstore, this cassette was all they had.
Ruth J. SwaabDallas, TX 75230
Country: USA
Tribute: My heart is heavy. My grandchildren grew up with Debbie Friedman's music. Her tapes were always going in the car so they could always sing along with her. I sincerely hope her music will continue for other children to enjoy.
Ted BernsteinNorth Bend, WA 98045
Country: USA
Tribute: Dearest Debbie, Your incredible and amazing musical gift to the world fills us all with AWE... music overflowing with inspiration, purpose, depth, spirit, spirituality, passion, and life. We just LOVE LOVE LOVE to sing your songs!
Cheryl CohenPleasanton, CA 94566
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Beth Torah, Fremont, CA
Tribute: Debbie not only touched the lives of individuals but whole families as well. She touched those who could hear her music and those who could not! Since 1997, my family had the honor of seeing Debbie in concert,spending time personally and learning from her at CAJE Conferences, Biennials, Hava Nashira, and Carnegie Hall.
Dr. Jeffrey RossBellaire, TX 77401
Country: USA
Congregation: Congregation Emanu-El, Houston, TX
Tribute: I remember first meeting Debbie Friedman at the age of 16 (1969) at the Leadership institute at Kutz Camp. Debbie was a songleader along with les Bronstein and Ramie Arian. I remember how talented she was then, and had the priviledge of joining her a a number of occasions here in Houston, particularly at the last Houston Bienniel.
Estaire Press & Jeannelle LaManceLos Angeles, CA 90048
Country: USA
Congregation: Beth Chayim Chadashim, Los Angeles, CA
Tribute: Debbie's music was a gift. It helped bring me closer to G-d and Judaism in my first and following years of sobriety. Listening to her CDs helped my mother let go of this life and helped my father and I move on after.
Cantor Jeff KlepperBoston, MA
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Sinai, Sharon, MA
Tribute: I first met Debbie Friedman in the summer of 1969 at the National Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) Kutz Camp in Warwick, NY. I was a 15 year-old high school sophomore, sent by my synagogue to the NFTY Song and Dance Leaders Institute and Debbie was one of my teachers. She had just graduated high school in St Paul, and song-leading at the camp was her first national gig.
Cantor Dawn BernsteinThornhill, Ontario
Country: Canada
Congregation: Temple Kol Ami, Thornhill, Ontario
Tribute: I am a songleader. I have been labeled a cantorial soloist, a teacher of music, a singer of Jewish liturgy-but ultimately I am songleader. I stand in front of my congregation, my community--guitar strapped onto my shoulder, and I facilitate prayer and spiritual awakening through music. I have always wanted to be a songleader ever since I heard my first Debbie Friedman song.
Rabbi Eve RudinNew York, NY 10018
Country: USA
Congregation: Director of Camp Excellence and Advancement for the Foundation for Jewish Camp
Tribute: If you want to feel the pulse of a camp community you have only to stand in the chadar ochel - the dining room - when a whole camp sings together. When the community is strong and spirited, the ruach - spirit - of a song session is transcendent and contagious. When a community is in need of repair, a skilled song leader can use the power of music and singing to mend what is broken.
Rabbi Jonathan BlakeScarsdale, NY 10583
Country: USA
Congregation: Westchester Reform Temple, Scarsdale, NY
Tribute: Debbie Friedman (1952 - 2011) was a musical instrument in the hands of God. With creativity and singularity of purpose, she answered with the melody of her life to the touch of God's hands. We all feel terribly bereft to say farewell to the voice of a Jewish generation but greater than our grief is our gratitude because we have heard the melody.
Peter YarrowNew York, NY
Country: USA
Congregation: Founding member of Peter, Paul, and Mary
Tribute: So many of us have followed the work and life of Debbie Friedman, and been enriched by her remarkable artistry and her tireless efforts to inspire and be a source of healing amongst us. Now that she is gone, I find myself sharing many thoughts and feelings that recall the time following the passing of Mary Travers -- occasioning a huge change in my life, of course, with a mourning process, ongoing.
Cantor Zoe JacobsLondon
Country: UK
Congregation: Finchley Reform Synagogue, London, UK
Tribute: Debbie had an incredible gift: She managed to make everyone with whom she came into contact feel special. She would listen carefully, and think before she responded. In concert, she would take her audience on a journey - creating, even for a British audience, the space both to laugh and cry. Whether in concert or in a workshop, Debbie was a true shaliach tzibbur - a messenger of the community, but she was also a messenger to the community: Her songs and stories gave voice to texts and liturgy that we might otherwise never have known. She brought the words of our ancestors to life, and helped us connect to God in the most humble and honest way.
Dr. Lisa Braun-GlazerSan Diego, CA 92037
Country: USA
Congregation: Congregation Beth Israel, San Diego, CA
Tribute: I first encountered Debbie some 17 years ago at the URJ Kallah. There, I felt something that I had never before experienced. When Debbie sang, and in turn, encouraged us to join her, the Divine energy was palpable; Debbie channeled God.
Julie StandigRoslyn Heights, NY 11577
Country: USA
Congregation: Congregation Rodeph Sholom, New York, NY
Tribute: Miriam quenched our thirst. Debbie fueled our souls. May we always sing her song.
Rabbi Robert N. LevineNew York, NY 10024
Country: USA
Congregation: Congregation Rodeph Sholom, New York, NY
Tribute: In 1997 Debbie Friedman's brilliant music and incredible spirit filled the sanctuary of Congregation Rodeph Sholom. People of all ages sang and danced to her music. Kids who were not easily moved spiritually were swaying to her familiar chords and inspiring words. Debbie was a sensation and her warmth and music not only found its way into every school and camp, but became an integral part of our liturgy.
Cantor Rebecca GarfeinNew York, NY 10024
Country: USA
Congregation: Congregation Rodeph Sholom, New York, NY
Tribute: I was a young girl the first time I heard Debbie Friedman. I had found a record of her song, Arise My Love, in my home in Tallahassee, Florida and I played the record over and over again in my parents’ living room. I would sing along with the recording, learning the melody as well as the harmony, imitating all of the nuances of Debbie’s voice.
Rabbi Andrew BossovCherry Hill, NJ
Country: USA
Tribute: "The Song You Gave Was You," In Memory of Debbie Friedman, Music and lyrics by Andrew Bossov, 1/9/11
Alison and David PinsleyBronxville, NY 10708
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Israel, New Rochelle, NY
Tribute: We'll always remember Debbie Friedman's contribution to the Jewish Community. Her music will continue to resound for many, many years. She will be missed. Our condolences to the family the world at large. We have lost a great composer. May she rest in peace.
Lisa ChinskyErie, PA 16506
Country: USA
Congregation: Abshe Hesed, Erie, PA
Tribute: When my son, Daniel was recovering from his second bone marrow transplant, people all over the world were singing Debbie's misheberach formhim. At one point during his recovery I realized that while his body was getting better, his spirit was not. Just knowing the words that she gave to us was a comfort...
Fay B. MayCincinnati, OH 45241
Country: USA
Congregation: Rockdale Temple, Cincinnati, OH
Tribute: Debbie Friedman's music has added so much to our lives and liturgy. We will conitnue to sing her songs with joy, remembering the blessing that she has given us and keeping her memory alive in song.
Alex RosenbergDelray Beach, FL 33483
Country: USA
Congregation: Congregation Etz Chaim, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Tribute: We had the great pleasure and honor to host Debbie Friedman for a concert just last year. It was a wonderful concert and such a treat to hear her perform live the music that we had come to know so well from regular shabbat services.
Linda and Byron ChalemGlenview, IL 60026
Country: USA
Congregation: B'nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim, Deerfield, IL
Tribute: Debbie music has been sung for many years at B.J.B.E. by choir members, like my husband, Byron, and our congregation as a whole. Her extraordinary musical talent will be heard and loved for many generations to come. Debbie's memory is truly for a blessing.
Rabbi Linda Henry GoodmanBrooklyn, NY 11238
Country: USA
Congregation: Union Temple, Brooklyn, NY
Tribute: She was, quite simply, a miracle.
Connie Levy HornungLima, OH 45806
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Beth Israel-Shaare Zedek
Tribute: I never got to meet Debbie Friedman in person, but I attended a concert of hers in Cincinnati, Ohio in November, 1993, two days after my mother's funeral. My mother had been ill for years and we had been told to prepare for her death so many times, that I had no reaction when she died. I already had my free tickets to Debbie's concert, and felt compelled to go. As she sang the Mishabeirach to the audience, slowly, hushed, the tears began to fall, uncontrollably.
Deborah Plutzik BriggsBaltimore, MD 21030
Country: USA
Tribute: Debbie Friedman was a rare talent whose melodies connected young people across time and place, all with a desire for community and good works. She will be missed but not forgotten, because her music will stand the test of time.
Zack MargolinDublin, CA 94568
Country: USA
Tribute: I had the honor of being a member of Shir Chadash the New Reform Congregation when Debbie Friedman was the Cantor. During this period my father passed away, I was only 25. Debbie’s music was played at his funeral and comforted me. Debbie helped me through a difficult time in my life, she was kind and supporting of my feelings.
Ronnie DubrowinStartford, CT 6614
Country: USA
Congregation: B'nai Israel, Bridgeport, CT
Tribute: Debbie was the beginning of my healing from a horrible divorce. She was the center of many celebrations, in the US and in Israel. She was a something familiar among the unfamilair. She will live forever in the lives she touched and continues to touch.
Judy AronsonLos Angeles, CA 90069
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Israel, Hollywood, CA
Tribute: So much more than a fine composer and performer, Debbie was a great teacher with an amazing sense of humor. The core of her family, she gave them and us blessings for health, gratitude and courage. What will we do without her?
Bernice SaxeNatick, MA
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Israel, Natick, MA
Tribute: So many years ago Chazzan Robert Scherr brought you to Temple Israel of Natick where we heard your music and your voice which will always be with us.
Lauren DeutschLos Angeles, CA 90005
Country: USA
Tribute: I just realized that Debbie succeeded me (by many years) as song leader / counselor @ Camp J & B Harlam in PA. She is quoted as saying that she composed many songs so that there were other, Jewish songs to sing besides the "folk" / camp songs of the times. Yes, of course.
Cantor Kathy BarrNew York, NY 10463
Country: USA
Congregation: Temple Shalom, Succasunna, NJ
Tribute: I first met Debbie in the early 90's, where she was part of a workshop in Spirituality at a Cantors Assembly convention. She spoke about reaching the (then) 77% of Jews that were unafilliated. She wanted to write music that would speak to them. Some of the chazzanim in the audence snickered. She nevertheless continued, and then she sang her V'Sham'ru (the one on her "Blessings" CD. You could hear a pin drop.
Laurie BoritzKirkland, WA 98034
Country: USA
Tribute: I will continue to listen to her music, and sing along...she brought music and spirituality to prayer and she will live on. May she rest peacefully...she is a blessing.
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