Debbie Friedman, Jewish music luminary, has passed way in California at the age of 59. A prolific songwriter, spiritual leader and Transformational force in contemporary Jewish life, she was a native of Utica, New York raised in MInnesota. Her formative and early productive years as a composer were spent at Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute in Wisconsin.
Her 19 albums and clear Joan Baez style vocal delivery were widely acclaimed. She was known for having written "The Aleph Bet Song", "Not By Might" and "Miriam's Song", but Friedman was best known for her Havdalah melody and for having taught many thousands how to pray for healing with her ubiquitous setting of "“Mi Shebeirach."
Ironically, the grace and poise she demonstrated in the face of her own health struggles seems to have taught as much as her music. Her approach to healing has been the foundation of renewed spirituality in countless congregations.
She performed to sold-out audiences at Carnegie Hall and in 2007 was named to the faculty of Hebrew Union College. Her funeral, attended by hundreds, was yesterday in California and broadcast over the internet.
KFAR Jewish Arts Center joins her many friends, family and all the Jewish people in mourning her passing. Zichrona Livracha, Devorah bat Gavriel v'Freda.