Skip to main content

How Good It Is To Be Together: Following Tragedy, Year-In-Israel Cantorial Student Becky Mann Shares a Song of Community

Main Content
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

From left: Year-In-Israel cantorial students Emily Hoolihan, Isaac Assor, Sydney Lazar, Ella Gladstone-Martin, Jordan Goldstein, and Becky Mann. 

Following the deadly attack on Tree Of Life - Or L'Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh on Saturday, October 27, 2018, the Year-In-Israel cantorial class was asked to share a piece of music at the Jerusalem Community Garden's first event of the year. The students chose a song by Year-In-Israel cantorial student Becky Mann. 

"This song just felt right," said Mann. "Through good times and bad, our community is stronger together. Hineh mah tov u'mah na'im shevet achim gam ya'chad. How good it is to be together."

Mann was inspired to write this song by the feeling of walking into a congregation on Friday evening, sitting down, and letting the restful wave of Shabbat peace wash over herself. "I have always felt a great sense of welcome in the Reform Jewish community, and I wanted to capture that sense of hospitality in this song."

Hineh Mah Tov

Open the door
Open your eyes 
Open your heart
See what’s inside  

Lay down your walls
Lay down your fears
Lean into love
You are welcome here  

Maker of day
Maker of night 
Feed me with song
Let me be your light  

Hineh mah tov u’mah na’im
Shevet achim gam echad 

Originally from Las Vegas, NV, Mann graduated from Indiana University in 2017 with a degree in Jewish Sacred Music. Her love of songwriting and sharing her music with the larger Jewish community led her to HUC-JIR, a place where she feels she can continue learning and growing as a Jewish musician and future leader. To hear more original Jewish music from Mann, visit her SoundCloud page


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu