Shabbat Shira 2015 Faculty bios
Merri Lovinger Arian has been coordinating the Shabbat Shira faculty and program since its beginning in 2010. She serves on the faculty of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. She teaches both cantorial and rabbinic students, offering courses in Music Education, Conducting, Congregational Singing, Worship, and Contemporary Congregational Repertoire. Merri previously served as Director of Music for Synagogue 2000 (S2K), a leading trans-denominational institute developing models for revitalizing synagogue life, and has more recently served as Synagogue 3000's consultant on liturgical arts at HUC-JIR in New York. In that role, Merri supervises rabbinic and cantorial students in creating worship collaboratively at the College-Institute. She holds an MA in Teaching, a BFA in Music Education, and a Certificate in Music Therapy. Merri edited R'fuah Sh'leimah : Songs of Healing. Her recordings include Nefesh : Songs for the Soul, a CD for S2K, and NFTY in Harmony, an album with an accompanying songbook of original choral arrangements. She has written on "Music, Prayer and Sacred Community," and on the educational value of youth choirs.
Noah Aronson is an energetic and soulful composer/performer whose unique musical style propels his music into communities across the country and in Israel. While studying Piano and Jazz Composition at Berklee College of Music, Noah simultaneously held the position of Composer-in-Residence at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, Massachusetts; teaching and composing a wide-array of new liturgical works. Noah conducted the Manhattan HaZamir Choir from 2008-2010 and his choral music received an honorable mention in the 2009 GTM Young Composer’s Contest. Noah released his first solo Jewish album in May 2011 and the title song ‘Am I Awake’ was a winner in the NewVoices song competition in July 2011.
Noah’s latest project ‘Left Side of the Page’ sets to music some of the poetic selections from the Mishkan Tefilah Prayer Book. He had the distinct honor of presenting music from this project at the 2013 URJ Biennial as he lead a community of over 5000 people in Shabbat prayer.
Noah’s music is now sung in progressive communities worldwide and has been included as part of the cantorial curriculum at the Hebrew Union College Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music. (www.noaharonson.com)
Michelle Citrin is a Brooklyn based singer/songwriter and producer. Whether playing in front of a sold-out crowd of thousands on the beach of Tel Aviv, or an intimate set at a coffeehouse in Melbourne, Australia, Michelle Citrin's soulful voice, skillful guitar playing, humorous in-between-song banter and unpretentious demeanor has captured the eyes and ears of her audience all over the world.
In 2008, Michelle co-created and starred in the hit YouTube sensations, "20 Things to do with Matzah” and “Rosh Hashanah Girl,” which to date, have received millions of hits, ranking in the top 20 most viewed music videos of the year. Michelle’s versatility and talent for writing catchy and meaningful songs has led to rave reviews and accolades including being named as one of Billboard Music's "Top Songwriters" as well as VH-1’s Song of the Year finalist.
In addition to performing regularly, Michelle leads workshops on developing self-expression and tapping into inner creative spirit. She sits on the Artist Board for Jewishrockradio.com and serves on Synagogue 3000’s Next Dor Committee. In January 2011, she released her first full length album, “Left Brained, Right Hearted."
Rabbi Noam Katz is one of the most exciting voices in contemporary Jewish music. He has shared his high-flying energy and soulful melodies with Jewish and interfaith audiences throughout North America, Africa and Israel. A longtime songleader at URJ Eisner and Kutz Camps, Noam has performed at the URJ Biennial, CAJE, BBYO International, Limmud - England, NFTY Convention, and countless summer camps and congregations.
In 2003, Noam embarked on the most exciting journey of his life, spending three months with the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda. He has since shared their powerful story and music with audiences young and old, incorporating the message of Jewish unity and tikkun olam wherever he goes. In any setting, Noam is committed to creating strong Jewish and interfaith community through the power of music.
Shira Kline, “ShirLaLa” is an internationally recognized, award-winning performer, educator and artist. Named as one of the “New re-engineers of Jewish Life,” she works in communities worldwide to enliven rituals, holiday celebration and love for Jewish life and prayer with children and adults alike. Shira has toured extensively throughout the United States as well as stages in Canada, England, Italy, Australia and New Zealand to bring programs that blend teaching, story and song. She also publishes “Blog Sameach,” a teacher and parent resource center and her popular ShirLaLa Jewish Kiddie Rock CDs are played in over 25,000 homes, classrooms and communities. She is on the faculty of the HUC-JIR Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music and the URJ’s Hava Nashira Music Institute. Shira is a founding creator of Lab/Shul and Storahtelling: An everybody-friendly, artist-driven experimental community for sacred Jewish gatherings. www.ShirLaLa.com
This program is underwritten in part through
a generous grant from the Daniel M. Soref Charitable Trust.