A Podcast

By Jewish songwriters. About Jewish songwriters. For you.

1.10 | Peri Smilow - "The Priestly Blessing"  

Hailing from New Jersey, this week's Jewish songwriter, Peri Smilow shares "The Priestly Blessing" and how she found her way to Jewish music after a difficult period working with troubled teens.  Special thanks to the URJ and Bruce Raden for their onsite recording and technical help with this week's episode.

As always, you can listen to all of the compositions from this season on the Jewish Songwriter YouTube Playlist or Spotify Playlist.  

Peri Smilow is an internationally recognized contemporary Jewish music performer and composer.  For over 25 years Peri has brought new, inspiring and social justice infused music to the Reform Movement in the US, Canada, England, Singapore and Israel.  She has recorded four albums of original music and produced an album of new social justice anthems to benefit the Religious Action Center (Together as One). Known for her interfaith work, Peri created The Freedom Music Project, an 18-voice choir of young black and Jewish men and women singing the freedom music of their traditions. In addition to her work in music, Peri holds a Masters in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  She has worked as a Cantorial soloist, community educator, organizer and non-profit administrator and enjoyed a brief career in professional theater.  Peri currently serves as Director of Program and Engagement with ARZA (the Association of Reform Zionists of America).  She shares her life with daughter Allie and former Reform Movement song leader and husband Budd Mishkin.

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This week's episode was brought to you by Bandzoogle which makes it easy to build a stunning website for your music in minutes.  Click here to try it free for 30 days and get 15% off the first year of your subscription.

1.9 | Josh Warshawsky - "El Baruch (The Blessing One)"  

This week, Chicago born Jewish Songwriter Josh Warshawsky chats about his song "El Baruch (The Blessing One)."  

As always, you can listen to all of the compositions from this season on the Jewish Songwriter YouTube Playlist or Spotify Playlist

Josh Warshawsky is a songleader and songwriter, currently studying in rabbinical school in LA. Josh spends his weekends and summers in residency teaching and sharing music and Tefillah at synagogues and camps across the country. He has two albums, which can be found on iTunes, and is now recording a third. You can hear his songs "Mah Rabu" and "V'ahavta at camps and synagogues across the country.

Josh's YouTube Page 
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This week's episode was brought to you by Bandzoogle which makes it easy to build a stunning website for your music in minutes.  Click here to try it free for 30 days and get 15% off the first year of your subscription.

1.8 | Stacy Beyer - "Good Trouble"  

This week's guest is Nashville, TN based songwriter Stacy Beyer who shares about her song "Good Trouble" which was inspired in part by Congressman John Lewis.

As always, you can listen to all of the compositions from this season on the Jewish Songwriter YouTube Playlist or Spotify Playlist.

Stacy is a producer, composer, singer, musician, arranger and conductor. She’s written for film, tv and the recording industry. Once a staff writer for EMI Publishing, Stacy had a #1 in Australia. Songs from her 4 cds of original Jewish music have found their way into congregations around the world, and have been performed by the Nashville Symphony. Stacy is also an activist/lobbyist. Inspired by this work she’s created even more new music, and performed her song 'She Has the Right’ for the United Nations, and 'Good Trouble’ to close the Women’s March, in Nashville this past January. Most recently Stacy co-produced a cd of 8 new social justice songs, entitled ‘Together As One’. She is also the co-founder of the Facebook, live streamed music venue, Harmony In Unison, with nearly 17 thousand members.

Stacy's YouTube Page    
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Stacy's Website

This week's episode was brought to you by Bandzoogle which makes it easy to build a stunning website for your music in minutes.  Click here to try it free for 30 days and get 15% off the first year of your subscription.

1.7 | Todd Herzog - "Returning to Who I Am"  

On this week's episode, I welcome Phoenix based Jewish songwriter, and fellow Jumbo (Tufts Alum), Todd Herzog to talk about his brand new composition "Returning to Who I Am."

Todd Herzog is an artist who takes the raw material of life experiences and creates soulful, spiritual, acoustic pop music along the lines of John Mayer, Jason Mraz, and Marc Cohn. His mission is to use music to open the hearts of his listeners to love, wisdom and spirituality. 

The music industry has taken notice of Todd’s talents. He has worked with some of the top songwriters and artists in the world, including Burt Bacharach, Tonio K, Dave Koz and Michael Lington. With his most recent release, Something to Believe In, Todd returns to his singer/songwriter roots and includes moving songs of personal revelation alongside songs of shared humanity. Todd’s Bridging the Gap CD won the award for “Best Jewish Album” in the Just Plain Folks Music Awards. His music and voice have been featured in television and film. His children’s album, Everyday Blessings, was distributed nationwide by the PJ Library. He is the creator of the Desert Gathering Jewish Music Fest, which has now become a staple of the Phoenix arts and cultural calendar. Todd has performed at URJ Biennials, CAJE, Hava Nashira, Unity and New Thought churches as well as corporate events and various other spiritual and secular venues. He has been an instructor at Songleader Boot Camp alongside fellow Jewish educator/performers Rick Recht and Sheldon Low and has been an Artist-in-Residence for Vocal Music at the JCC Maccabi ArtsFest. He has been profiled on NBC’s Arizona Midday Show, in AZ Jewish Life Magazine, The Jewish News, in Chosen magazine and many other online and print media outlets. He travels around the country and around the world, captivating audiences of all ages.

Todd's YouTube Page   
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Todd's Website

This week's episode was brought to you by Bandzoogle which makes it easy to build a stunning website for your music in minutes.  Click here to try it free for 30 days and get 15% off the first year of your subscription.

1.6 | Shira Kline - "The Sun Shines Down On Every One"  

This week, I'm happy to welcome ritual leader and Jewish songwriter, Shira Kline, and we talk about her song "The Sun Shines Down On Every One" which she co-wrote with Lee "Free" Frisari and Avi Fox-Rosen.

Recognized as a “revolutionary educator” and named one of the “new re-engineers of Jewish life,” Shira Kline plays worldwide as a performance and ritual artist.  She specializes in creative musical worship with adults and children's spirituality.  Her work is in the garden of life: activating imagination, expression, and heart opening.  On Shira’s tours, she performs in communities of all ages throughout the United States and stages in Israel, England, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.  She also presents extensively across the denominational spectrum for clergy, educators and lay leaders, and is adjunct faculty for the HUC-JIR Debbie Friedman School for Sacred Music. Shira is a co-founder of Lab/Shul NYC, an artist driven, God-optional experimental community for sacred Jewish gathering where she is the Director of Worship. Her award winning ShirLaLa Jewish kiddie rock albums along with her parent and teacher resource center, “Blog Sameach,” are featured worldwide.

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1.5 | Noah Aronson - "Anneini"  

My guest this week, NYC based Jewish Songwriter Noah Aronson talks about his song "Anneini."

After earning a degree in Jazz Composition and Piano from Berklee College of Music, he held the position of Composer-in-Residence at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, MA where he produced 4 albums of Jewish communal music with his mentor Cantor Jodi Sufrin. 

As a solo musician, Noah has released three full-length albums and songbooks entitled 'Am I Awake,' 'Left Side of the Page,' and his latest 'More Love' including his 4 member all Israeli-Berklee alumni band. Music from these albums are now sung in progressive communities and summer camps worldwide and has been included as part of the Cantorial curriculum at the Hebrew Union College's Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music in New York City. 

Renowned for his unique and engaging style of prayer leadership, he had the distinct honor of leading over 5,000 people in Shabbat worship at the 2013 URJ Biennial in San Diego, CA. 

Noah serves on the faculty of the annual Hava Nashira and Shabbat Shira workshops in Oconomowoc, WI and the Shirei Chaggiah workshop in London, England. 

In 2015, Noah partnered with Behrman House, the largest distributor of Jewish educational materials, to create an innovative, music-based curriculum entitled Hebrew in Harmony. His music has also been featured on two compilations from the PJ Library series. 

Noah lives in New York City and is currently serving as the Creative Director of Sacred Music NY, a non-profit organization that organizes concerts and events around New York City bringing together spiritual musicians from diverse backgrounds to inspire interfaith dialogue and social change.

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1.4 | Joanie Leeds - "Shayne Punim"  

This week we welcome Jewish Songwriter Joanie Leeds to the podcast and we chat about her song "Shayne Punim." 

As one of the top nationally touring kindie rock singers, New York-based Joanie Leeds has played for thousands of families all across the country. As a singer/songwriter, Joanie has won first place in the USA Songwriting Competition, an Independent Music Award, Gold Parents' Choice Award, NAPPA Gold Award and she has been a John Lennon Songwriting Award Finalist and an International Songwriting Competition Finalist. Her original music with her band Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights has been featured in People Magazine, USA Today, Parents Magazine, New York Times and Washington Post. She is currently touring the USA promoting her 8th children's CD, 'Brooklyn Baby'. Her songs are played on many radio stations nationwide climbing up the chart to #1 on Sirius-XM's Kids Place Live and WXPN's Kids Corner.

Joanie's YouTube Page
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1.3 | Josh Nelson - "Avadim Hayinu / Wade In the Water"  

On this week's episode of Jewish Songwriter, Josh Nelson shares about his powerful new medley of "Avadim Hayinu" and "Wade In The Water."

One of the most popular performers and composers in modern Jewish music, Josh Nelson brings his extraordinary message of hope, unity and spirituality to concert stages and worship services across the globe. Josh is a gifted multi-instrumentalist and songwriter whose work is celebrated and integrated into the repertoire of congregations, camps and communities around the world. His music builds community, lifting up congregations and concert audiences alike through experiences that are at once energizing and deeply moving.  

A classically trained musician who is equally versed in rock, jazz and world music, Josh combines his broad range of influences into a breathtaking musical style that is accessible to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. He was recently hailed by Time Magazine as a “star of the New Jewish Music.”  

Josh lives in Brooklyn, NY with his two children and a goldfish named Dorothy.  

Josh's Youtube
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1.2 | Chava Mirel - "Stand Up"  

In this week's episode, we hear from Seattle-based Jewish songwriter, Chava Mirel and her new song, "Stand Up."  This song is part of the Religious Action Center of the Union for Reform Judaism's brand new collection of social justice songs titled "Together As One: New Songs of Social Justice" which you can download here.  All proceeds from the sale of this collection will benefit The RAC.  

Chava Mirel is a singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist who combines rich, luxurious vocals with deep pocket rhythms to bringing a new approach to Jewish music. With themes of gratitude, self-acceptance, balance and responsibility for each other, Chava’s songs bring comfort and uplift the spirit. 

As an award-winning Jewish musician, Chava has worked for decades as an educator and prayer leader in Reform, Conservative and independent congregations throughout areas of New York, Los Angeles and Seattle. She has recorded two full-length albums under her own name, and also writes and records in a duo project, Josh and Chava, with musical partner Josh Niehaus. 

Chava now tours all over North America as an Artist-In-Residence. She was recently selected as a fellow by Joey Weisenberg’s Rising Song Institute. Her songs are featured on the URJ “Together As One” Social Justice Music Project album, the Behrman House "Hebrew in Harmony" curriculum, and the "Gift of Music" collection curated by Jewish Rock Radio. In between performing, composing and leading worship, Chava enjoys life in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her sweet husband and son, both drummers.

Chava's YouTube Page  
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1.1 | Joe Buchanan - "Home (Etz Chaim)"  

This week we welcome Joe Buchanan and chat about his song "Home (Etz Chaim)."

Texas born and southern raised, Joe Buchanan makes Country/Americana music that is steeped in Torah. A convert to Judaism, he grew up struggling with religion and his place in the world. Then, one day outside of the Holocaust Mueseum in Washington D.C. and 13 years into their marriage, his wife told him that she was Jewish. An exploration of faith led the way home for the whole family and kicked off a whirlwind of songwriting, ultimately leading to Joe's debut album - Unbroken. 

Since then, he's toured around the US leading an original Shabbat service, concerts, and workshops on his conversion to Judaism. Joe also serves as an artist in residence for communities, guiding an entire weekend of prayer and song. He's been featured at numerous conferences and festivals as well as synagogues and house shows all across this great land. The goal of his music is to help drive connection to the thing that connects us all and to hold the door for other seekers. It's music that highlights humanity and the Holy. This is feel good Amerciana with a Jewish soul and you can crank it to 18. 

In addition to touring, Joe is the host of Jewish Rock Radio's Emerging Artist Showcase, highlighting some of the exciting new artists in Jewish music. He also serves as an artist for the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute ​​of Southern Jewish Life and visits Jewish communities throughout the South, providing music and prayer leadership.

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