Debbie Friedman – A Personal Reflection

Whenever I heard her songs at a bar or bat mitzvah (and it was universal in the dozens my son attended his 13th year), I was reminded again of the sweep of her contribution in the hearts of the young and their families. Her concerts were also a remarkable experience: I will never forget a packed event at Carnegie Hall, usually a solemn venue, with young people dancing in the aisles and singing along with the music they embraced as their own.

Debbie Friedman’s Acceptance Speech, Covenant Award Recipient, 1996

And now that the sun has set on her life, there is comfort that Debbie’s work will live on, in the melodic flow of a thousand Shabbat services and the songs around campfires and the melodies and lyrics we carry in our hearts. She was an artist and a composer and a singer of songs, but we at Covenant will always remember her as a teacher, which deep within her, she preferred. We were privileged to have lived in her time. And we will miss her.

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