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Cantorial soloist
Temple Emanu-El
San Diego
Age: 27
Nominated by: Himself
Song: “Common Ground,” Marshall Voit

Wondering if it would be possible to harness the uniting powers of music to build bridges across denominational lines, I began making music with Unitarian Universalist communities. As it turns out, U.U.s love Jewish music.

In June I had the opportunity to lead the largest annual gathering of U.U.s in song. As we raised our voices to the chorus of “Bashana Haba’ah,” I felt so deeply connected to all the Jewish communities, abroad and at home, with whom I’d sung that melody throughout my life. The song I’ve submitted, “Common Ground,” is my first venture into songwriting for social justice. May we all find cause to walk together, hand in hand, toward justice, toward freedom, toward true and lasting peace. And may the songs we sing together inspire us to get there. — Marshall Voit

INFLUENCES: I’m inspired by seekers of justice and singers of the people’s songs all around the world. My first tattoo quotes Miki Gavrielov and Arik Einstein’s Israeli folk song: “Ani v’atah n’shaneh et ha’olam — You and I will change the world.” I have been inspired by Jewish song leaders at synagogues and camps since I was a child, and eventually have had wonderful opportunities to study and learn from some of the best: Debbie Friedman, Cantor Rose Boxt, Dan Nichols, Rabbi Ken Chasen and so many more.

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