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.
For information on joining Harmoniyah: The Reconstructionist Music Network see the bottom of this page.
From roughly 1999- 2002, JRF ran a music and litugry program. Once this folded, a small group of rabbis, music leaders, cantors and shlichei tzibbur began to discuss what might come next. Harmoniyah was founded as a grass roots movement by musicians attending the JRF Biennial Convention in 2004. There was a general feeling that musicians, composers, singers and service leaders throughout the Reconstructionist movement wanted a forum by which they could network easily together.
The main goals identified at that time and put into place since then included:
1. Create a list serve, now hosted by JRF.
This was achieved quickly by successful collaboration of Harmoniyah member Barry Brian with JRF Staff member R. Shai Gluskin. The list serve has over 100 subscribers. The list, while moderated, is used freely by its members to pose questions, make announcements, organize meetings, share resources, and is used to organize music events approaching the JRF biennial convention and Harmoniyah retreats.
To sign up for the listserv you must be a member of a JRF congregation, a graduate of RRC, a member of the RRA or an individual member of JRF: Go to http://jrf.org/listserves
2. Create an on-line Music Catalogue for Reconstructionist music, with links to other resources. (In process).
3. Energize Reconstructionist gatherings with music, both nationally and locally.
With the help and support of JRF Staff, Harmoniyah prepared a number of workshops and programs for the JRF Biennial Conventions since 2006. This has included in various combinations: a Saturday night Community Kumsitz, Music Sharing workshops, Friday night Shabbat Music and Storytelling offerings, skills-building and nusach workshops, and teaming with other groups in JRF to help with Shabbat song leading duties.
A very successful and inspiring Harmoniyah Shabbaton was held in Philadelphia, in November, 2007, with over 40 participants from 20 JRF congregations present and again in 2009 hosted by Adat Shalom in Bethesda, MD with over 50 participants.
The 3rd biennial Harmoniyah retreat will be hosted by Darchei Noam in Toronto, Canada, Nov. 10-13, 2011.
4. Provide for continuing leadership
After the convention in Portland a Steering Committee of volunteers was formed and has led the network up to the present day. The Steering Committee members were invited to join the committee by founders from Portland. The committee includes a member who is the liaison between Harmoniyah and JRF Staff. This relationship has proven to be very helpful and successful.
In June, 2008, the JRF board unanimously recognized Harmoniyah as part of the Reconstructionist movement. In Nov 2010 we transitioned from a volunteer steering committee to a membership organization with bylaws and a board.
We are proud of what we have achieved so far with limited resources, and feel we are able to refine and achieve our goals in the years ahead!
The Harmoniyah Board, November 2010:
Barry Brian, Or Hadash, Ft. Washington, PA (Chair)
Robert Glatzer, Kol Emet, Yardley, PA (Co-Chair)
Elaine Moise, Keddem Congregation, Palo Alto, CA (Secretary)
Andy Kaplan, Beth Hatikvah, NJ, (Treasurer)
Rabbi Micah Becker-Klein, Temple Beth El, Newark, DE (Camp JRF Liaison)
Doris Dyen, Dor Hadash, Pittsburgh, PA (RRC Student Liaison)
Hazzan Ayelet Piatigorsky, West End Synagogue, NY, (Cantors Liaison)
Jane Susswein, Bnai Keshet, Montclair, NJ, (JRF Board Rep)
Rabbi Shawn Zevit (Reconstructionist Movement Staff Liaison), Kol Halev, Shaker Heights, OH
Phyllis Angel Greenberg, Darchei Noam, Toronto, ON, (2011 Retreat Chair)
Former Harmoniyah Steering Committee
Rabbi Micah Becker-Klein, Temple Beth El, Newark, DE
Barry Brian, Or Hadash, Ft. Washington,PA
Doris Dyen, Dor Hadash, Pittsburgh, PA
Cantor Rachel Hersh Epstein, Adat Shalom, Bethesda, MD
David Lefkowich, Darchei Noam, Toronto, Ontario, CAN
Elaine Moise, Keddem Congregation, Palo Alto, CA
Rabbi Margot Stein, Mishkan Shalom, Philadelphia, PA
Rabbi Shawn Zevit (JRF Staff Liaison), Kol Halev, Shaker Heights, OH
Other founding committee members:
Ilana Axel (Chair 2004-7)
Rabbi Steve Segar (2004-7)
Cantor Sharon Hordes (2004-6)
Barbara Nordstrom-Loeb, (2004-09)
Cantor Eric Schulmiller (2007-10)
Lauren Resnick (2007 Retreat co-chair)
Rabbi Shai Gluskin (former JRF Web Liaison), Jenkintown, PA
For general Harmoniyah info, please contact either co-chair Barry Brian, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Elaine Moise, email@example.com
To become a member of Harmoniyah:
If you are a member of a Reconstructionist congregation, the RRA or RRC, you are already a Reconstructionist movement member and just need to join Harmoniyah. You can join Harmoniyah through https://harmoniyah.wufoo.com/forms/harmoniyah-annual-membership-form/ and subscribe to the Harmoniyah music listserve at http://lists.jrf.org/lists/info/music.