2010-11 Legacy Heritage Innovation Project:
Beth El Synagogue, St. Louis Park, MN - Conservative
Through the “Beth El ShulPod Literacy Initiative,” Beth El Synagogue will develop a curriculum for all ages, identifying Jewish music – liturgical, folk and popular – to enhance a person’s life inside and outside of the synagogue. The components: (1) training a cadre of lay leaders who will engage in peer-to-peer education; (2) creating ShulPods (mini-MP3 players with music and lyrics); (3) training religious school teachers on the proper integration of Jewish music into the curriculum; (4) establishing a leadership committee to integrate music into most synagogue programming.
Kane Street Synagogue, Brooklyn, NY - Conservative
Through “Kol Echad,” Kane Street Synagogue is developing a cross-congregational musical curricular approach to teaching congregants of every age a common body of Jewish music through which the community celebrates the Jewish year. A “Va’ad Ha-Shira” representing all demographics guides the process, including: (1) a congregational shiron (songster), to be integrated into the adult educational program; (2) a prayer leader certification training program, the graduates of which lead adult and youth services; (3) workshops to deepen the teaching staff’s capacity to integrate singing into Jewish learning; and (4) a song-leading training program for teens who use the skills in leading children and family services and progams, as well as Tikkun Olam activities.
Or Hadash, Atlanta, GA - Conservative
Through “Shabbat in the Home” initiative, the congregation will train musical a group of “musical ambassadors” (zamirot) to visit and teach members the musical aspects of home and synagogue Shabbat observance, leading intergenerational Shabbat dinner gatherings in members’ homes, and at Shabbat dinners in the synagogue, culminating in a musical Shabbaton on Shabbat Shirah. The synagogue will create a Shabbat musical manual for home observance, and the zamirot and those they’ve trained will visit senior care centers to offer music on Shabbat and holidays.
Shaare Zedek Synagogue, St. Louis, MO - Conservative
Through a program of intensive workshops, Shaare Zedek is developing a diverse cadre of musical “ambassadors” (Malachei HaShareit), trained to bring musical resources to home-based Shabbat celebration to congregants with whom they are matched as mentors and guides. A “niggun of the month” provides consistency and coherence throughout the synagogue. Building upon a successful musical Shabbat evening service, the congregation is expanding music into Shabbat morning by engaging local musicians and teachers to lead Hebrew chant, adding a more musical p'sukei d'zimra, and developing a monthly havdalah drum circle. Future components include festival and Israeli music and an intergenerational choir enriching services and visiting nursing homes and hospitals.
Temple Habonim, Barrington, RI - Reform
Habonim will infuse music throughout the congregation system through five core strategies: (1) identifying disseminating and recording a core congregational repertoire; (2) training a cadre of adults and teens to serve as song leaders; (3) developing capacity to use music as a focal point for religious education; (4) piloting a “Musical Shabbat” model; and (5) bringing the music to local seniors/elderly.
2009-10 Legacy Heritage Innovation Project:
Congregation Ahavas Achim, Highland Park, NJ - Orthodox
Ahavas Achim's approach will integrate these elements: (1) expert training of new and current ba'alei t'fillah in ways to creatively utilize music in the context of Orthodox davvening; (2) a series of interactive, educational concerts exploring the diverse canon of Jewish music, each concert focusing on a different musical style, and including audience participation and discussion about the music's historical and social context; (3) a year-long adult education focus on music; and (4) development of a new youth choir which will support the congregation's gemilut hasadim activities. Each of the main areas are structured to build capacity within the shul's approaches to learning, prayer and tzedakah .
Congregation Beth El, South Orange, NJ – Conservative
Beth El will expand its current congregation-wide musical approach on Shabbat to engage congregants in the rhythm of the Jewish holidays. A cross-congregational curriculum will engage each constituency in learning music for each holiday, and will utilize music to weave together the different elements of the congregation for home and synagogue holiday celebration, starting with three holidays and adding three each year to the curriculum over a three-year period. The goal will be to provide congregants with musical tools (training, CDs/mp3s, etc.) which help facilitate home observance and add meaning and depth to the congregation's communal celebration. Each demographic will take responsibility for an aspect of pre-holiday preparation, culminating in the actual celebration of the holiday at home and at synagogue.
Congregation Beth Hatikvah, Summit, NJ – Reconstructionist
Through “Let Our Spirit Move You,” Beth Hatikvah will enhance and expand its musical programming by training a cadre of adult and teen song leaders and instrumentalists; creating structured opportunities for these participants to use their skills in key congregational settings such as Tot Shabbat, congregational holiday observances, religious school family events, and Shabbat services; identifying and creating resources to help congregants engage more fully in musical offerings; and, on the basis of this experience, developing a training manual to document techniques and resources.
Congregation Beth Jehudah, Milwaukee, WI – Orthodox
The CBJ Music Initiative will integrate a progression of musical programming with an overall curriculum of instruction, utilizing existing congregational resources to create an infrastructure and train a volunteer base for its perpetuation. The initiative will feature weekly nusach and trope classes for children and adults aimed at developing new sh'lichei tzibur ; instruction on recorders and basic instruments for parents and children, utilizing a new curriculum; choral-related classes of note reading, vocal technique, leading to father-son and mother-daughter choirs; and quarterly lectures on the history of Jewish music, quarterly melava malkas featuring congregant instrumentalists, and intergenerational opportunities at Jewish Home and Care Center facilities.
Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, Dewitt, NY – Conservative
CBS-CS will develop a model entitled “The CBS-CS Music Box: Rhythms of Jewish Life,” utilizing textual and musical materials in a synagogue and home-based, congregation-wide curriculum addressing all ages and constituencies. The approach will focus on creating musical memories around Shabbat and holiday celebrations and teaching skills relating to musical aspects of mitzvot such as bikkur holim . The “Rhythm Series” will teach text and ritual skills in a musical context, and will include High Holiday Rhythms, Sukkot Rhythms, Pesach Rhythms, Davening Rhythms (utilizing experiences daveners to train additional lay prayer leaders), Chanukah Rhythms, and Environmental Rhythms: Tikkun Olam. The congregation will introduce a new theme of the “Rhythm Series” each Rosh Hodesh, and will integrate relevent niggunim at meetings and classes, to set sacred intentions and create spiritual focus. At the end of yearlong programming, the congregation will harmonically celebrate the year with a communal zimriah at the annual meeting.
Fairmount Temple, Beachwood, OH – Reform
Fairmount Temple will develop an innovative instrumental music program as an entry point into many areas of synagogue life. Utilizing Cantor Steve Puzarne's consulting expertise, they will develop an inter-generational instrumental ensemble, a teen band, and an instrumental group for younger children, establishing an organizational framework designed to sustain the program over time. The bands will be integrated with existing musical activities and programs in every aspect of congregational life, including ritual and social action activities.
Kane Street Synagogue, Brooklyn, NY – Conservative
Through “Kol Echad,” Kane Street Synagogue will develop a cross-congregational musical curricular approach to teaching congregants of every age a common body of Jewish music through which the community celebrates the Jewish year. A “Va'ad Ha-Shira,” representing all demographics, will guide the process, the components of which include: (1) a congregational shiron (songster), to be integrated into the adult educational program for the year; (2) an eight-session prayer leader training program ( “m'shorer”) leading to certification, the graduates of which will lead adult and youth services; (3) workshops to deepen the teaching staff's capacity to integrate singing into Jewish learning; and (4) a song-leading training program for teens who will use the skills in tikkun olam activities.
Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center, Vineyard Haven, MA – Reform
MVHC will create a model for maximizing musical capacity in a smaller, more Jewishly-isolated community, through an ongoing set of activities including workshops to train professional and volunteer musicians, families, and young musicians; monthly community music sessions; increased access to musical materials; a monthly Shabbat service co-led by the trained volunteers; and a highlighted "song of the month" thematically linking all aspects of the project. The approach trains volunteers to lead, teach, and excite the community regarding Jewish music, creates amore musically educated community, and develops supportive materials for learning music at home or in synagogue.
Shaare Zedek Synagogue, St. Louis, MO – Conservative
Through a program of intensive workshops, Shaare Zedek will develop a diverse cadre of musical “ambassadors” ( Malachei HaShareit ), trained to bring musical resources to home-based Shabbat celebration to congregants with whom they are matched as mentors and guides. A “ niggun of the month” will provide consistency and coherence throughout the synagogue. In addition, building upon a successful musical Shabbat evening service, “ Shabbat Rinah,” the congregation will expand music into Shabbat morning by engaging local musicians and teachers to lead Hebrew chant, adding a more musical p'sukei d'zimra , and developing a monthly Havdalah drum circle. While the first year focuses on training the “ambassadors” to bring the music of Shabbat into congregants' homes, future components include festival and Israeli music. Longer-term, the vision includes an intergenerational choir enriching services and visiting nursing homes and hospitals.
Temple Ahavat Achim, Gloucester, MA – Conservative
Ahavat Achim will focus on developing the musical capacity of volunteers through a yearlong program of educational and experiential enrichment, developing a corps of dedicated singers and musicians to engage congregants and create participatory musical experiences throughout the year. A “Guiding Group” will develop a roadmap and specific steps for nurturing the musical aspects of Jewish life, assisted by a professional musical “catalyst” who will train the congregation's teachers and expose the entire community to a broad range of Jewish music. The congregation will nurture and develop its musically talented members to grow a corps of song leaders for neighborhood-based Shabbat dinners focusing on different Jewish musical genres, incorporate additional musical elements into holiday services, and develop a month-long series of musical events leading up to up Hanukkah and the dedication of a new synagogue building.
Temple Beth Israel, Pomona, CA – Reform
In a two-pronged approach, Beth Israel will (1) create parallel curricula for adults and children, teaching core texts and values using music as a catalyst, and integrating the approach with music used in congregational worship, and (2) train congregants to create an intergenerational ensemble of vocalists, utilizing a varied musical repertoire representing different aspects of Jewish thought, history and culture, and engaging ensemble members as musical and song leaders reaching out to seniors and chavurot . Teacher training will be a major focus, and the congregation will unite these efforts under a branded marketing structure, providing musical support resources through conventional media and Internet delivery integrated with social networking.
Temple Beth El, Boca Raton, FL – Reform
Beth El will develop “Shir Ruach,” an intensive program to train teens as song leaders who will intensify the role of Jewish music within the congregation, serving as role models for other students, bringing music into programs previously lacking that dimension, accompanying youth group retreats, enhancing the religious school music program, and bringing music to social action programs. After two years in “Shir Ruach,” teens will serve as teaching assistants training new participants in the program. The synagogue will develop a curriculum and chordster, using proceeds from an annual concert to create an endowment fund to sustain the program.
Temple Beth Elohim, Wellesley, MA – Reform
Beth Elohim will develop and implement an integrated music curriculum for communal worship, religious school classes, and social action activities, train faculty, and engage congregants as performers in Shabbat Rinah, a more instrumental approach to worship, augmented by adult learning opportunities. A musical curriculum will be integrated into Beit Midrash, an alternative family-based educational program for students in grades 3–5, and a congregational production of “Milk and Honey,” integrating the different demographics of the congregation, will link them to the synagogue's theme of Israel in the year ahead.
Temple Beth Or, Raleigh, NC – Reform
Beth Or will intensify its existing musical approach by integrating three major strategies: developing curriculum for an annual "Shulhouse Rock" intensive training workshop for high school students in Jewish music and song-leading; creating a new model for an erev Shabbat service, "Shabbat Simcha: A Shabbat in Story and Song," including Iyyunim by the clergy and new melodies led by a congregational band, who will receive additional training from a musician-in-residence; and the development of volunteer-led musical Havdalah monthly programs.
Temple Sholom, Chicago, IL – Reform
Through “Niggunei Shalom,” Temple Sholom will develop adult and children's instrumental groups which will perform separately and jointly, eventually replacing professional musicians the congregation utilizes for services and special occasions. This initiative will be linked to the larger congregation as well by offerings on musical themes throughout adult education, periodic “Young People's Concerts,” integrating music into Tot Shabbat and pre-school children's programming, and by introducing a instrumental component into social action activities. Lay leaders will be trained to identify, recruit and organize instrumental groups under the cantor's continued guidance.