Posts Tagged: debbie friedman Results 9
Jodie Foster’s speech at The Golden Globe Awards Sunday night was rambling, provocative and prompted strong reactions. She seemed to come out as a lesbian, upending one of Hollywood’s oldest open secrets. And she made an ardent, funny case for respecting her privacy. Some people loved it. Others did not. Based on my Twitter and Facebook feeds, lots of folks struggled to follow what she was trying to convey. But I found Foster utterly comprehensible. And the justification of her desire for privacy, for her right to keep private whatever part of her personal life she wishes, reminded me a great deal of Debbie Friedman.
Due to my husband’s long work hours, dinner at our house is often ladies night, adapted for the Mommy-and-Me set. Like any top chef, I start Lila’s meal with an amuse bouche. That is, I let Lila chomp on some Cheerios, while I design that night’s dinner menu. Sometimes Lila and I just chat over dinner — her comments made largely in Lilese — but on most nights, we have musical accompaniment.
When Lila began eating solids last fall, we listened to WFUV, my favorite New York radio station, then branched out to Pandora’s Raffi station. However, ever since my sister brought us a 2-CD set of Debbie Friedman classics in February, Friedman’s voice has been our go-to evening soundtrack.
Soon after Debbie Friedman died about a year ago — her first yartzheit is later this month — I heard about the version of “Shalom Aleichem” she penned and shared, but never had a chance to record.
Something didn’t sound quite right to me at last week’s dedication of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, the cantorial school at the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion.
The Jewish world lost a great light with the untimely death of Debbie Friedman on January 9. She was an inspiration to multiple generations of song-leaders and Jewish musicians, congregants, campers, students, friends, rabbis, cantors and educators. Her impact on Jewish music and worship has been so widely felt across the Jewish spectrum, across movements, across generations and across oceans that it leaves a massive, gaping, black hole —dense with energy and aching with potential.
Debbie’s music provided the soundtrack to my childhood, whether it was her “Alef Bet” in Hebrew school, “Im Tirzu” and “Not By Might” at camp, or “Miriam’s Song” and “T’fillat HaDerech” at NFTY conventions. I sang Debbie’s “L’chi Lach” at my confirmation, at my high school graduation and again at my college baccalaureate. She was a personal mentor to me at a crucial period in my life when I was “coming up” in the song-leading world, and helped me land my first job when I moved from California to New York to work as a freelance Jewish musician in the years before cantorial school.