Harmoniyah Mission Statement:
The mission of Harmoniyah (Reconstructionist Music Network) is to nurture, facilitate, and energize the evolving musical culture of Jewish civilization in accordance with the values and principles of Reconstructionism Judaism. Harmoniyah will serve to connect all who are involved in the musical transmission of our religious civilization by providing a central place for philosophical, educational, material, and logistical knowledge to be disseminated and shared by all of its members. Harmoniyah bylaws attached at the end of this page. read more »
We experienced a wonderful opportunity for learning, professional development, spiritual growth, lots of music-making and seeing old and new friends in the JRF world.
The 2011 Harmoniyah Shabbaton was hosted by Congregation Darchei Noam in Toronto, Canada (http://www.darcheinoam.on.ca/)
Friday afternoon November, 11 through Sunday morning, November 13, 2011.
The goal of this Shabbaton was to continue to build a participatory, community-affirming network of rabbis, cantors, lay leaders, music directors, educators, liturgists, musicians and music lovers that joyfully celebrates our collective experiences, skills and resources in the ongoing preservation and creation of music of and for the Jewish People.
Shabbaton Highlights included (see schedule below):
- Workshops on Music for the Jewish year, finding your voice, davennen leadership skills, and Jewish folk music. - Several opportunities to share and learn music composed by musicians in our own
movement for Shabbat and other times.
- Creative and traditional services for weekday and Shabbat in Darchei Noam's beautiful
environmentally innovative building, surrounded by the beautiful voices of Harmoniyah members.
- Lots of opportunities to hear and share original music as well as known favorites.
The Shabbaton, primarily for the Canada region, but was attended by Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal members, as well as members of Reconstructionist communities in Denver, CO; Palo Alto, CA; Cleveland, OH, and Baltimore, MD, including:
· Cantors / Soloists / Rabbis / Shlichei Tzibbur/ Music Directors and Educators
· Choirs (not necessarily expert musicians, but those willing to devote time to practice)
· Congregational Singers
· Music and Congregational Life (education for families, adults, children; tikkun olam, the arts, programming outside of worship services, etc.)
Our goals are to help participants to be able to return to their home congregation with new tools, melodies, materials and ideas to enrich congregational life. We also hope this retreat will continue the task of growing and building connections among ourselves and our movement.
Coordination took place with other Harmoniyah travelers through the music listserve (www.jrf.org/listserves).
Harmoniyah is the music network of the Jewish Reconstructionist Movement. We are comprised of a group of professional and volunteer members, who serve JRF congregations in a myriad of musical, prayerful and spiritual ways.
Submitted by Phyllis Greenberg, David Lefkowich, and Rabbi Shawn Zevit of the
Harmoniyah Board and Darchei Noam, 2011 retreat host congregation
It is with great sorrow that we note the passing of inspirational Jewish singer, healer and liturgist, Debbie Friedman this past week. While Debbie's influence was particularly felt in the Reform movement- her music reached beyond any one stream of Judaism and many of her melodies are part of our prayerful music in Reconstructionist communities as well, and among the musicians, liturgist, rabbis, cantors, educators, song-leaders and shlichei tzibbur in our own music network, Harmoniyah (www.jrf.org/music)
She wrote once, when asked to share about a sacred moment she had experienced, "My confrontation with death and my acceptance of aloneness freed me to incorporate spiritual consciousness into my life. For me there is no separation between spirituality and living. Spirituality is at the core of Life ."(Lilith Magazine 1988) read more »From the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association: The rabbis of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association extend condolences to the family and friends of Debbie Friedman. Her words and music helped many to express the prayers of the heart. In an all too short lifetime, she created a legacy that will long endure. Along with the many people whose lives were touched by her spirit, we will miss her.
The work of Jewish Reconstructionist composers will be performed at "No Rock Like You: Songs for the Jewish Soul." This Shalshelet concert will be at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13 at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in downtown Washington, or at workshops the day after. The concert will feature inspiring new works — pop and classical to Latin and klezmer — performed by gifted soloists, a full choir, drums and more. Free creative workshops for music lovers, musicians, and composers will take place on Sunday, Dec. 14, also at Sixth & I. Visit www.shalshelet.org for details and tickets.
Participants include Manel Frau-Cortes, Cantor Marcelo Gindlin, Mark Glicksman, Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael, and Rabbi Shawn Zevit. Read more to learn about these talented Reconstructionists. read more »
October 16, 2008 - Cantor David F. Tilman, Jewish Exponent Feature
There are many achievements of the Reconstructionist movement of North America pointing to the undeniable reality that this stream of modern Jewish thought and practice has become a major component of the American Jewish community. At its first music retreat, "Harmoniyah -- Let Us Make Harmony to God," it brought together professional and lay synagogue musicians for a gathering at Or Hadash: A Reconstructionist Congregation in Fort Washington.
Several of the participants were eager to share their motivations for coming to the conference. Lauren Resnick, member and organist of Congregation Dor Hadash in Pittsburgh, was attracted to it for the rich and innovative musical experiences she had found at the Reconstructionist Federation conventions: "I have found a live musical tradition being created day to day, week to week, month to month, by the leaders of the movement."
At the gathering, Resnick found that contemporary Jewish music reflects the philosophy and culture of Reconstructionists. "The Friday evening service seemed to be traditional, and the Shabbat morning service featured a lot of drumming," she said.
Marjan Helms, a Jew by choice, is a member of a small Reconstructionist congregation in Michigan, and a classically trained pianist and composer. Her 90-minute work for the Michigan State University Children's Choir, "Voices of a Vanished World," is based on Holocaust music. read more »
Come join us for an exciting array of musical, prayerful and inspirational Hamroniyah community workshops and events at the JRF 2008 Convention! To register go to www.jrf.org/convention
Integrating New Music and Choruses into Services
Workshop Block A, Thursday, Nov. 13, 9:00-10:30am
Integrating new music into services can be difficult -- as much as people want it and appreciate what it brings to services, there are real challenges involved in getting a congregation to participate, and we’re often left with a chorus that simply “performs" and interrupts the flow of the service. This tune-filled workshop will help provide the tools to help your congregation explore new Jewish music and expand its repertoire while increasing participation and building community.
Workshop Presenters: Barry Brian and Richard Yospin
You Too Can Create Reconstructionist Liturgy read more »
(L-R, rear) Barry Brian (Or Hadash), Elaine Moise (Kedem), Cantor Rachel Epstein (Adat Shalom), Doris Dyen (RRC, Dor Hadash), Rabbi Shawn Zevit (JRF), (L-R, Front) Barbara Nordstrom-Loeb (Mayim Rabim), Lauren Resnick (Dor Hadash) read more »
Music is flowing in the Reconstructionist movement! Voices raised with kavanah, moving renditions of favorite classics, and brilliant interpretations of liturgy seamlessly intermingle with fresh explorations of the meaning of God, Torah and Israel in their broadest sense.
The Harmoniyah Music Retreat is looking for volunteer presenters to submit proposals for workshops. The application form is attached.
Two new recordings are now available in the resources section of this site. The first is for Hassal Siddur Pesach, the concluding prayer of the Hagaddah. The second is a recording of the Kiddush (prayer sanctifying the beginning of the holiday). Enjoy!