Thanks to the generosity of Dennis & Phyllis Malinger, in honor of their brother, we have the Alan J. Malinger Rock Shabbat Fund. Three to four times a year, we bring in Jewish artists to shake up Shabbat at Temple Shalom.
We've always been a musical congregation - and yet, there is something wonderfully irreverent about having a live band or musician on the bimah. And it's clear from the attendance and participation that the congregation loves it!
But is Rock Shabbat really so new and different? In some ways, yes. The Torah never envisioned electric guitars or drum kits during prayer. But it did envision musical instruments. Psalm 150, written two millennia ago, says "Halleluhu b'teika shofar, b'nevel v'chinor - Praise God with blasts of the horn, with harp and lyre" when describing an orchestra that played in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem.
Jewish music has always evolved with the times. That's why Yemenite Jewish music and Polish Jewish music sound so different - they grew up in different parts of the world and were heavily influenced by the surrounding cultures. So when we bring in new instruments, and write new melodies, we are following in the footsteps of our ancestors who did the same. We are drawing from our culture and imbuing it with sanctity, giving Jewish meaning to something that already speaks to us.
Can you really "rock" Shabbat? You sure can! Judaism teaches us that in every generation, we should "Sing to God a new song." There is nothing more Jewish than what we do on these Friday nights.
Next Scheduled Events
Ross M. Levy will be with us on Friday, October 21, 2022 for our first Rock Shabbat of 5783!
I attended the University of Hartford and worked as an educator at Temple Beth Israel in West Hartford and fell in love with teaching. I believed it was my job to give those students the experience I did NOT have. I wanted religious school to be fun, exciting, and most of all, relevant. I took this passion and began to create contemporary Jewish music. Jewish music became a huge passion of mine and I recorded two studio albums, “What Goes Up” and “Where the Future Lies”. I have been featured on four URJ Ruach Series compilation CD’s and have had the privilege to play at National conferences for the URJ and NFTY as well as synagogues and organizations across the country. I was honored to be the winner of the Jewish American Idol competition at the CAJE conference in Burlington, Vermont. I am also proud to be a featured artist on Jewish Rock Radio and continue to work on composing new Jewish music all the time while working at Main Line Reform Temple in Wynnewood, PA. I live in Elkins Park, PA with my incredibly talented wife, Cantor Amy E. Levy and our two beautiful daughters, Aria and Yakira.
Rose Snitz will be with us on Friday, February 3, 2023.
Rose Snitz is a Jewish educator, songleader, and songwriter living in Brooklyn, NY. She is a proud product of the Reform camping and youth movements. She works and performs in the Reform and Progressive movements, highlighting her unique take on traditional and contemporary songs, and exploring new intersections between music and education.