This fall, singer-songwriter Debbie Friedman will teach rabbinical and cantorial students at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's School of Sacred Music in New York. Friedman's appointment is being heralded as an official stamp of approval of her style of contemporary music. School officials say it already is taught alongside traditional chazzanut, or cantorial music, at the seminary.
From her start as a composer of Jewish summer camp songs in the 1970s, Friedman has penned hundreds of songs for worship and performance. Some, like "The Water in the Well," are originals. Others, such as "L'cha Dodi" and "Sim Shalom," are reworkings of traditional Jewish prayers.