Educational Resources

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Music for Children of All Ages

Giora Feidman, Klassic Klezmer. BMG, 2008.
Can’t stop singing music from Fiddler on the Roof? If you’re feeling an itch to give your child a sense of the Jewish TRADITION, playing the music of clarinetist Giora Feidman is a perfect solution. Klassic Klezmer includes both festive and melancholic melodies typical of the klezmer genre.

Debbie Friedman, Songs of the Spirit: Debbie Friedman Anthology. Jmg/Jewish Music, 2005
Debbie Friedman is the quintessential modern Jewish songstress -- if you have ever been to a Friday night Shabbat service, there is a good chance that her songs have been incorporated into the ceremony. Her “best-of” anthology includes both traditional Jewish hymns and newly composed songs, all of which reflect her desire to make the old teachings of Judaism relevant to listeners today. With her undeniable omnipresence, Debbie’s folk-inspired music will connect you to both the Jewish community and your child.

Cantor Rebecca Garfein, Golden Chants in America. Bari Productions, Inc., 2005
If you need a break from “kiddie” music, Cantor Rebecca Garfein’s vocals will put you at ease. Her classical background coupled with the musical selection of English, Hebrew, German, and Yiddish songs reflect a poignant Jewish-American 350-year history. Mothers Circle participant Alicia Scotti gushed, "We are so blessed to have this absolutely magnificent voice in our congregation leading and inspiring us each week (not that I go every week!). Her voice is not only a main attraction, but also it's a real gift -- heavenly. Cantor Garfein has performed at Carnegie Hall!"

The Klezmatics (Lyrics by Woody Guthrie), Wonder Wheel. Jmg/Jewish Music, 2006.
This Grammy-nominated album succeeds because of the depth to Woody Guthrie’s lyrics and the variety and artistry in the melodies by the Klezmatics. Wonder Wheel intertwines the traditions of klezmer, Latin, Celtic, Afro-Caribbean, and folk music, all the while addressing issues of social justice and the human life cycle. Mothers Circle participant Theresa calls the Klezmatics “fabulous,” and this album lives up to it.

Rabbi Larry Milder, Bible and Beyond. Craig 'n Company, 1999.
The “musical mensch” Rabbi Larry Milder’s third album is a collection of songs with Jewish and Biblical themes. With a style that evokes James Taylor, Milder intertwines elements of folk, bluegrass, and rock to bring Judaism to your daily life. The album includes both introspective ballads like “Jacob’s Dream” and witty ones like the Tom Lehrer’s song “Hanukkah in Santa Monica.” The lyrical wit and musical variety of the album will put you and your younger tots in a joyful mood.“

Craig Taubman, My Jewish Discovery. Craig 'n Company, 1995.
A Parent’s Choice Gold album, Craig Taubman’s My Jewish Discovery mixes elements hip-hop, rock, rap, zydeco, and “inspirational.” Comprised of entirely original recordings, My Jewish Discovery celebrates Jewish culture and the questions all Jews have about their religion. The upbeat nature and variety in the music contributes to its “cool” factor – something your older kids will certainly enjoy.

Mare Winningham, Refuge Rock Sublime. Craig 'n Company, 2007.
If you are looking for a different spin on traditional Jewish music, look no further than Mare Winningham. The Academy Award-nominated actress turned singer converted to Judaism in 2003, and this album is a testament to her religious journey. Sung with a folksy, bluesy twang, songs range from “Hatikvah,” (the Israeli national anthem), to “A Convert Jig.” Her soothing voice coupled with the strings of the banjo may be a welcome respite from your child’s more high-energy music.