Donald Juran

2010Rise Up, My Love
Donald Juran has been a chorister and occasional bass soloist with countless choral ensembles, large and small, in the Washington, DC area for 35 years. He began composing in 1980 after two years of part-time study at the music school of Catholic University. In 1998 he founded the Mishkan Torah (Greenbelt, MD) synagogue choir, which he briefly directed. His works include psalm settings, liturgical pieces, a setting of the Ezekiel Dry Bones prophecy, a song cycle on poems written by one of his sons, and a Hanukkah cantata on his own text, which was performed by the Arlington (Va.) Metropolitan Chorus in 2007. Rise Up, My Love was written in 2009 as a 40th anniversary present for his wife and sung to her by him and their two sons at a family reunion.

Cantor Rachel Anne Hersh

 2010Shalom Rav

Rachel Anne Hersh has served as cantor of Adat Shalom Reconstructionist  Congregation  in Bethesda, Md. since 1996. In addition to a life-long love of music and singing, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in music and Masters’ degrees in social work and Judaic studies. Her cantorial training includes private study with Hazzan Abraham Lubin, and in 2002, she was invested by the Cantor’s Assembly. She is equally at home with Jewish folk music, congregational melody, and classical hazzanut. She delights in serving a spiritual community that is both lovingly devoted to Jewish tradition and embracing of change and evolution.  Rachel has been heard in concert with both locally and nationally known musicians. She is also a rabbinic student with ALEPH: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal.

Richard Kaplan

  2010Kinah le-Hurban Gan ’Eden
Concert performer, recording artist, composer, educator and ethnomusicologist Hazzan Richard Kaplan serves Conservative Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland, CA and the Shir Hashirim Minyan in Berkeley, CA. He specializes in Mizrachi and Hasidic music, as well as in the relationship between Jewish mysticism and music. His three CDs of Jewish World Music include Tuning The Soul (1999), Life of the Worlds (2003), and The Hidden One (2009), and he has also produced recordings in collaboration with Rabbi Moshe Aharon (Miles) Krassen (Invoking the Seven Beggars) and Kabbalistic Psychotherapist Estelle Frankel (The Kabbalah of Chanukah and The Jewish New Year). His formative years found him immersed in Zen Buddhism, Taoism, Siddha Yoga and Sufism, and on the musical side, rhythm and blues, Classical music, World Music, Early Music, and jazz. A former college professor and choral conductor, he holds an MA from UC Berkeley in Musicology.

Jeremiah Klarman

 2010Adonai Ori Kol ha-’AmimShiru L’AdonaiRomemu
Jeremiah Klarman began playing music at age four and wrote his first composition when he was six. He is now a freshman at the New England Conservatory of Music where he is majoring in composition.  Jeremiah is a graduate of  Gann Academy – The New Jewish High School of Greater Boston, the Rivers School Conservatory and the New England Conservatory of Music’s Preparatory Division, where he also studied piano and participated in  chamber groups. Jeremiah has written Jewish-themed choral, pop and liturgical music since 2008. His compositions have been performed by the Zamir Chorale of Boston and by Cantor Elias Rosemberg at Temple Emanuel in Newton. He is the inaugural recipient of the 2010 Generation to Generation Young Composer Award by the American Conference of Cantors and the Guild of Temple Musicians. In 2009, he received an ASCAP Honorable Mention for his orchestra piece, Festive Dance; in 2007 he received an ASCAP Morton Gould award for Dance Suite for Orchestra. His Symphony in C was premiered in 2009 by the NEC Youth Symphony and by the Boston Pops in Boston’s Symphony Hall (this performance subsequently aired on the radio show From The Top). He lives in Brookline, Mass.

Leonard Lightstone

 2016│Shir Ha Maalot    2010Tefilat ha-Derekh Song from Shir Ha Shirim
Leo Lightstone was raised in Ottawa, Canada and studied piano, French horn, guitar, as well as classical and jazz harmony. He earned degrees in Engineering Physics, initially paying his way through university playing French horn. Presently, he works as a full time engineer and devotes much of the remainder of his available time to his second passion: composing music. He enjoys writing for small instrumental and vocal ensembles, employing techniques of modern counterpoint and methods of layering in his compositions. Much of his work draws on liturgical texts and Hebrew poetry, past and present, as well as traditional Jewish musical idioms. In all his compositions he receives support and advice from his family, all musicians in their own right.

Peter Lohman

2010Yih’yu le-Ratzon Shalom Rav
Peter Lohman was born and raised in New York City and attended Oberlin College and Ohio State University, where he studied Philosophy, Music Composition, Music Theory and Voice. His compositional output includes songs, choral music and piano music. Coming from a non-observant Jewish upbringing, he experienced something of a Jewish renaissance later in life and celebrated his adult Bar Mitzvah in 2005. Yih’yu L’Ratzon and Shalom Rav represent his first efforts in the area of Jewish liturgical music, and were composed especially for the High Holy Days at Congregation Beth Israel in Austin, Texas, where he has been High Holy Days cantorial soloist since 2003. He also performs Early Music with the Texas Early Music Project and other groups around Austin. He is planning a song recital of his own compositions and works of Gabriel Faurè in 2011. He has worked as a software developer in Austin since 1984 and currently works at Pervasive Software, a small Austin-based company.

Ira Scott Levin

2010Lo Yisa Goi 2004│ Hashkiveinu
Ira Scott Levin is a singing-storyteller, instrumentalist, lyricist, composer, and recording artist dedicated to making the world a happier place. A theater major from Florida State University, Ira has appeared on PBS Kids as his alter-persona, Uncle Eye. He has performed on both sides of the Atlantic including the Fringe Festival in Scotland, The International Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam, The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, Paramount Movie Studios in Los Angeles, and as a featured performer for the United Way. His Hashkiveinu was honored at Shalshelet’s 2004 Festival. Currently getting established in the Hudson Valley region of New York, he continues to be involved in the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish community as a song leader, cantorial soloist, educator, and guest musician. He most often performs with his wife Julia Bordenaro Levin as The Levins Folk Pop Duo, as well as with their Levins World Folk Ensemble. All of his recordings can be found at and

David Lefkowich

 2010Modim Anahnu Lakh  2006Mah Tovu

David Lefkowich first picked up a guitar when he was nine years old and never put it down. Self-taught, he spent his early years in California within the Jewish summer camp movement as song leader. Through the years he has developed many musical styles, but has always stayed close to his folk and Jewish music roots. He is chair of the ritual committee and a lay leader at Congregation Darchei Noam in Toronto, Canada, where he regularly integrates his poetry and music to into services. With fellow congregants he formed the Nigunatics, a Jewish folk band that specializes in Israeli folk dance and Hebrew, Jewish, and Yiddish music.

Judi Lamble

2016 │EveAdam in Eden   2013│Come, My Help   2010Shema   2008’Oseh Shalom
Judi Lamble is a self-taught composer focusing on Jewish vocal music.  Most recently, her L’chu N’ran’na (Psalm 95) was included in the 2012 Annual Convention of the American Conference of Cantors; earlier in the year she premiered her Century Song Cycle of Jewish art songs for the American Composers Forum; and her choral and congregational works have been performed by several Twin Cities synagogue and community choirs.  Her compositions have been honored in previous Shalshelet Festivals.  She is co-founder and Chair of the Twin Cities Jewish Chorale, entering its fourth season in 2012, which celebrates the full range of Jewish music, including new works.  She lives with her family in Edina, Minn.,  sheet music at

Yosl (Joe) Kurland

2010Nisht Eyns/Not One 2008Der Meshiekh Vet Ersht Kumen

Yosl (Joe) Kurland took up violin in second grade in the Bronx and for years played only classical music. Later he learned guitar. While in graduate school in Chicago, he began playing for international folk dance and performed with the Balkanske Igre Balkan dance troupe. He was a founder of the Wholesale Klezmer Band in 1982 and composed his first Yiddish song, the title number of the group’s first album, Shmir Me, in 1988. His formal study of Yiddish began only after he turned 40, but he considers Yiddish to be the native language he didn’t learn as a child. Having grown up with traditional cantorial music in the synagogue, he realized that in order to hear it in rural western Massachusetts where he lives, he would have to learn and sing it himself. He serves as Ba’al Tefillah for High Holiday and occasional Shabbos services at two synagogues near his home. His day job involves printing ketubot and other artwork designed by his wife, calligrapher Peggy Davis, as well as his own photographic work. His songs appear on four albums released by the Wholesale Klezmer Band. His Der Meshiekh Vet Ersht Kumen was honored at Shalshelet’s 2008 Festival.

David M. Pinansky

2010Dodi Li • Psalm 23   2006May the Words honorable mention
David M. Pinansky has been composing for more than 30 years. Born in Portland, Maine, he has an undergraduate degree in music from Colby College and a law degree from New England School of Law in Boston. In addition to his instrumental works, he has composed works for the synagogue which have been heard in services and performances throughout the country. In 1982 he was the Grand Prize winner of the Second Biennial Jewish Composers Contest held at Temple Sinai of Sharon, Mass. He was a commissioned composer for the 1986 national convention of the American Conference of Cantors and Temple Guild Musicians. In 1988, the Texas Bach Choir premiered his new setting of L’Cha Dodi. In 1996, he was guest artist at the Greater Baltimore Cantors Association. In 2001, he was in residence for the Reston Chorale’s Seasonal Celebration concert in Reston, VA. In 2005, he was guest composer for the Sabbath of Song at Temple Emanu El in Houston, TX. His May the Words received honorable mention in Shalshelet’s 2006 Festival. He is a member of the Guild of Temple Musicians and is an occasional cantorial soloist at Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation. In his day job he is Counsel in the Legal Division of the Federal Deposit Insurance

Joel Nothman

 2010Shema Koleinu
Joel Nothman recently begun arranging and composing music while researching a Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics at the University of Sydney (Australia). In 2008 he was awarded a University Medal for his undergraduate studies in Computer Science, Linguistics and Classical Hebrew. He also has a keen interest and involvement in Jewish education, especially in non-didactic forms of study and the process of textual interpretation. He is a tenor vocalist, regularly leading synagogue services, and singing with a variety of groups ranging from a small Early Music ensemble to Jewish community choirs since 2006. While he has arranged a number of Jewish pieces, Shema Koleinu is his first setting of a liturgical piece, and is among his very first compositions.

Rabbi Miriam Margles

Rabbi Miriam Margles is an educator, artist and activist. Her liturgical compositions are sung in communities throughout the U.S., Canada and Israel. She facilitates workshops integrating creative exploration in movement, voice and creative writing with Jewish text learning and community building across lines of difference. She has led workshops with hospital patients, Israeli agunot (women denied a religious divorce by their husbands) and adults and young people of all ages. She is the co-founder of Encounter, an educational organization that fosters understanding through face-to-face encounters between North American Jewish leaders from across the religious and political spectrum and Palestinians in the West Bank. She served as the Associate Rabbi at Kehilat Lev Shalem in Woodstock, N.Y. and is an alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship and the Jerusalem Fellows Program of the Mandel Leadership Institute. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University, a Master’s degree in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, and rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She currently lives and works in Toronto.

Jeff Marder

 2013│ Mi SheberakhSheva Berahot  2010Song of MiriamEl Maleh Rahamim 2004Shalom ’Aleikhem

Jeff Marder is active in the Broadway world as a conductor, keyboardist, and synthesizer programmer. Broadway credits include: Newsies, Leap of Faith, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Wicked, Shrek the Musical, The Little Many), Disney’s Aladdin (5th Avenue, St Louis MUNY, Tuacahn Center for the Arts), Cirque du Soleil’s O, and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. His Jewish liturgical compositions have been presented at ACC/GTM conventions, and in synagogues throughout the United States. He is Vice President for Music Technology for the Guild of Temple Musicians.

Robert A.M. Ross

2010 Lekhu Neranena
Robert Ross was born in Philadelphia and remains active in the music scene there. He received a Bachelor’s degree in music education, and Master’s degrees in choral conducting and composition, all from Temple University. He is Artistic and Music Director of Voces Novae et Antiquae (a professional choral ensemble in Philadelphia), and Co-Artistic Director and Conductor of the Yavneh Ensemble (a Philadelphia Jewish chorus). He is a professional chorister and assistant to the cantor at Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Elkins Park, and for ten years served as Music Director of the Mak’helat Beth Sholom at Temple Beth Sholom in Cherry Hill, N.J. He is Associate Conductor of the Lady Chapel Singers of the Women’s Sacred Music Project in Philadelphia and is chair of the music department of Community College of Philadelphia, where he teaches theory and music history, as well as directing the CCP Vocal Ensemble. His compositional catalog numbers well over a hundred works, including choral works, cantatas, symphonies, instrumental chamber works, and experimental pieces. His work has been published by Coronet Press, Theodore Presser Company, Thomas House and Psalm 150 Publications (both now represented by Hal Leonard), Oxford University Press, and Laurendale Associates. His works have been recorded on the Premier label by the Gregg Smith Singers and the Arkay label by Voces Novae et Antiquae. He is the recipient of numerous awards and commissions.