Monday, January 10, 2011

Debbie Friedman: The Reform Shlmo Carlbach?

An admission: Until Debbie Friedman died yesterday, I doubt that I ever heard her name. and I'm only now first learning about her work, and discovering her music. Though I was half-expecting to find a familiar melody in her oeuvre all of it, so far, is new to me. Am I unusual? Probably not. I'd bet that most people of my age and background are equally ignorant of her and her contribution to Jewish music.

A further admission: I was surprised to see obituaries and tributes to her memory in so many different places: NPR, the Wall Street Journal and several others covered her death.  I can't imagine any of the Jewish music names I know receiving that sort of after-death recognition.

Here's something a few of the obituaries are calling her most famous composition:

And this is her version of Pslam 30 which is nice enough, I guess, but not really my thing.

Someone I know called her the Reform Shlmo Carlbach, which is high praise indeed.

(Was her passing noted on VIN or YWN? I don't know but would be surprised if either site picked it up.)

Search for more information about Debbie Friedman at

No comments: