University of Minnesota
Center for Jewish Studies

Center for Jewish Studies

Center for Jewish Studies

About Us

At the Center for Jewish Studies, we are dedicated to exploring the important questions about Jewish history and culture from antiquity to the modern age. Our acclaimed faculty, path-breaking research, expanding undergraduate program, and focus on deepening ties within the University attest to the success and ongoing promise of our mission: to foster a new understanding of Jewish culture and history.

We support the academic study of the historical, cultural, linguistic, ethnic, geographic, and religious diversity of the full range of peoples who identify themselves as Jewish, while fulfilling the educational mission of the liberal arts to promote critical thought, reflection on values, and analysis of sources.


Center for Jewish Studies Community Lecture Series Presents:

'Sing Unto God': Debbie Friedman and the Crucial Era in American Jewish Liturgical Change

Join us for an evening with Judah M. Cohen. Cohen is the Lou and Sybil Mervis Professor of Jewish Culture and Associate Professor of Musicology at Indiana University. His research and writing explores Jewish cultural expression as a dynamic and ever-changing process, created and recreated over time by artists, religious leaders, philosophers and activists. 

In this talk we will take a new look at the early career and music of composer/song leader Debbie Friedman (1951-2011). Today we know Friedman for her popular liturgical settings, including the Havdalah prayers and Mi Shebeirach. Yet, she developed her first projects as large-scale services that premiered in major Reform movement congregations (and only later came into summer camps). By looking at her early work at St. Paul's Mount Zion Congregation, Chicago's Temple Sinai and Houston's Temple Beth Israel, this presentation seeks to reassess Friedman as an artist and liturgist deeply engaged with new approaches to prayer that actively embraced major shifts taking place in American Jewish life.

Judah Cohen
Monday, June 27, 2016
7:30 p.m.
Mount Zion Temple

1300 Summit Ave., St. Paul


This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.




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