Music at Rishon
“Words are the language of the mind. Music is the language of the soul.”
— Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
At Rishon, the significance of music as "the language of the soul" is clearly perceived in all aspects of our temple. It has been carefully yet solidly woven into the fabric of our community: simple melodies of holiday songs stimulate our preschool children; the cadence of trope motivates learning in our Religious school; our social events frequently incorporate musical performances; and during worship, the crescendo of prayer at Shabbat services is infused with the language of music creating an impactful interaction of spirituality and prayer.
Helps Community Building
Throughout Jewish history, music has brought people together to create connections in a shared cause, purpose or belief. The joy of music permeates our community bringing us together for Shabbat and High Holiday prayer, for celebrations of marriage, births or b’nei mitzvah, for consolation in times of sadness and for sheer enjoyment with friends!
Our dynamic clergy intensifies the meditative spirit of our prayers by empowering us to sing with one voice, as a community. The most important aspect of our worship service is congregational participation. Prayer needs congregational engagement for it to be inspirational. When the congregation sings and participates, that is when it becomes prayer.
From the sanctuary to someone’s home, to a hospital room, or a shiva call, we bring sounds of music that promote healing and strength for those in need. Using the restorative power of music to help to relax the mind and body, we convey our sympathy to those who are ill or those who are grieving using melodic prayer.
Is Great Entertainment
Social events at Rishon are intertwined with musical performances or community singing. Recent concerts have included Jeff Warschauer and Debora Strauss’ klezmer duo, Sephardic Ladino vocalist Nicole Murad, Epichorus’ Jewish-Oriental folk rock presentation, Tizmoret, Queens College’s Jewish a capella group, or a classical piano recital by Itay Goren.
Brings Us Together
We offer a wide variety of opportunities for our congregants to participate in musical programs and services: Singing in Kol Rishon, our adult choir; chanting Torah portions and haftarah selections at High Holidays, Shabbat, and Festival Services; participating in our cabaret evening and social musical programs; singing or playing an instrument at our many special musical worship services.