Singer Debbie Friedman Is Hospitalized

By Ben Harris (JTA)

Published January 06, 2011.

Songwriter Debbie Friedman has been hospitalized in Orange County, Calif.

Friedman is reportedly sedated and on a respirator, according to an email sent Wednesday from the West Coast office of the Union for Reform Judaism. The email asked that prayers be said on Friedman’s behalf, as well as for her mother, sister and aunt.

A spokesperson for the URJ told JTA the union has received no further updates on Friedman’s condition.

An immensely popular singer and songwriter, Friedman, who is in her late fifties, is widely credited with reinvigorating synagogue music by introducing a more folksy, sing-along style to American congregations. In 2007, she was appointed to the faculty of the Reform movement’s cantorial school in a sign that her style had gained mainstream acceptance.

She is best known for her composition “Mi Shebeirach,” a prayer for healing that is sung in many North American congregations.



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