Dear Colleagues,

We want to take this opportunity to share with you an exciting event. On Thursday, January 28 at 8:00 pm ET, the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College will commemorate Debbie’s tenth yahrzeit with an evening of song and memory. As we have done for the past nine years, we will gather to raise our voices, rejoicing in the incredible canon of Jewish music that Debbie lovingly created.

This year, of course, our gathering will be virtual, which — although challenging in many ways — offers us the unique opportunity to widen our tent as we welcome friends from across the country and around the world. Join us as we sing some of the beloved music that shaped our Jewish souls, our collective Jewish identity, and in so doing continue to be inspired and renewed by Debbie’s spirit!

Joining us for this special evening will be many of Debbie’s musician buddies, with whom she shared this music and much more:

Benny Koonyevsky, Cantor Benjie Ellen Schiller, Craig Taubman, Rabbi Daniel Freelander, Dan Nichols, Elana Arian, Ellen Allard, Cantor Ellen Dreskin, Ivan Barenboim, Cantor Jack Mendelson, Cantor Jeff Klepper, Cantor Jill Abramson, Josh Nelson, Joyce Rosenzweig, Julie Silver, Rabbi Ken Chasen, Cantor Leon Sher, Merri Lovinger Arian, Michelle Citrin, Peri Smilow, Cantor Richard Cohn, Cantor Rosalie Will, Shira Kline, and other special guests.

We invite you and members of your community to join us for this special event. Please consider sharing this save the date with members of your community or schedule a watch party. We will share more information about registration early next month.

Richard Cohn, Director, Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music
Merri Lovinger Arian, Faculty-Artist, Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music


HUC-JIR’s cantorial school, the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music (DFSSM), prepares our graduates to become collaborative leaders of prayer, builders of sacred community, interpreters of Jewish text, educators, pastoral counselors, and emissaries of Jewish culture. Our extensive and pluralistic faculty offers an integrative approach to Jewish music, incorporating a breadth of traditions into progressive contemporary cantorial practice. Our students are ordained as full members of the clergy, who then serve communities throughout North America and across the world.