From Camp to Conferences: New Jewish Music From My Soul For Yours

Joshua C. Cohen

I am beyond excited and honored to be entering my fifth High Holy Days as the Music Educator here at Temple Ohabei Shalom. Jewish music has been a part of my life ever since I was a little kid. From attending Friday Night Services with my mother to countless Jewish conferences and going off to Jewish Summer camps, it has been ingrained in my soul ever since. It is exciting that each year I get to teach the children of our community melodies that I learned when I went to summer camp, as well as new, modern melodies I hear when I attend yearly Jewish conferences.

Every year I attend several unique Jewish conferences across the country such as Hava Nashira, NewCAJE and the URJ Biennial. When I am not performing my own Jewish music as an artist at these conferences, I get to choose sessions that I believe will provide me with new melodies and skills to bring back to our amazing TOS community to enhance our music.

There are four primary areas of Jewish music in which I am always looking for something new: preschool music to teach our littlest ones at TCEE, music for our next generation of Jewish youth at ARS, some rockin’ and beautiful melodies to enhance our Friday Night services, and all the amazing Jewish Holidays. Some of my favorite Jewish songs that we sing are for the holidays even though we only sing them once a year! Some of my personal favorites are: “The Latke Song” for Hanukkah or “Pharoah Pharoah” for Passover.

As it is the start of a new year with the High Holy Days right around the corner, I could not think of a better time to introduce new melodies to our community at our Tot and Family Services. While you may not think of High Holy Day music as “rockin’,” there are some new amazing and soulful melodies that we will get to sing at this incredibly special time of year. Even though the melodies may be different, the words will still be familiar. To make sure you do not have to worry about learning a new song and can just sing your heart out when the time comes, I am including a playlist within this blog post with all the new melodies, along with some familiar ones too, that we will be singing together during our Tot Shabbat and Family Services.

Myself, along with our amazing clergy, cannot wait to sing all together with you in person!

Shanah Tova,