Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Sountrack of Our Spirit

Rebecca Schwartz

Cantorial soloist and music director
Congregation Kol Ami
Elkins Park, Pennsylvania
Age: 58
Nominated by: Herself
Song: “Yotzeir,” Rebecca Schwartz/Liturgy

Jewish music has been my life since 2001. My synagogue was in need of a song leader, and I stepped up. As I started to lead those around me in Jewish prayer and song, I became inspired to write my own music and compose my own texts. Before I knew it, I was leading song in three different synagogues and in Jewish summer camp.

This experience has brought incredible meaning and joy to my life. Singing Jewish music with all ages creates a sense of well-being, soothes the soul and brings us all closer together as a Jewish community. Singing with children is quite delightful; they’re so happy and excited, while I’m instilling Jewish values and teaching sacred text. It’s also very fulfilling to watch seniors lighting up as they clap, sing along or simply listen. That’s the perfect word for this sacred work: fulfilling. Jewish music makes my life complete, and benefits and inspires those around me. — Rebecca Schwartz

INFLUENCES: Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, Joan Armatrading, Debbie Friedman.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.