Advertise on ChoralNet 
ChoralNet logo
The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Jewish Choral Music

I need suggestions for (SATB) Jewish choral music, please.    accompanied or not.   small ensemble (22 voices, professional singers)
Working on a program of "Jewish Music" for the local synagogues.   I know Copland, Bernstein, Mendelssohn, and secular composers Kern, Gershwin, Berlin.
Also, suggestions for holocaust music.
B.Vick, Greenville SC
Replies (43): Threaded | Chronological
on December 1, 2015 12:18pm
Dear B. Vick,
I compose a good amount of Jewish choral music.
You may be interested in II. Oseh Shalom from my Two Prayers for Sabbath Evening, which won the Guild of Temple Musicians' Young Composers Award and the ACDA Brock Student Composition Competition. Watch the premiere performance of Oseh Shalom by the CSU Fullerton University Singers from the 2012 ACDA Western Division Conference on YouTube: This set of pieces is published by Transcontinental Music Publications ( On the same site, you may also preview the score and listen to a sample recording with Cantor Lori Corrsin and the Emanu-El Choir in NYC.
You might also be interested in May the Words of My Mouth, which won the National Lutheran Choir's 25th Anniversary Choral Composition Competition. Here is a recording of National Lutheran Choir, under the direction of David Cherwien: It is published by ECS (Catalog No. 8031). Here is a perusal score:
I have numerous other unpublished Jewish choral scores, and even a couple Judeo-Christian interfaith pieces. Please feel free to email me at fishbeinmusic(a)
Joshua Fishbein, Ph.D.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on December 1, 2015 5:17pm
Bing Vick asks about SATB Jewish music.
A good resource -- lots of wonderful, under-performed things -- is the Milken Archive of Jewish Music. (Among its accomplishments is a series of 50 CDs published by Naxos.) It archives, among other things, music composed for an annual new-music service at New York's Park Avenue Synagogue starting in the mid-'40s and running for 30-some years. Composers included most of the major figures in American music (Jewish and not) and many major Europeans; works range from individual motet-like pieces to entire synagogue services, and forces required from unaccompanied to full orchestra. One could readily build an entire program of selections from this spectacular collection -- I have, and it went over very well in Hong Kong both with the choir and the audience. Many of the pieces are otherwise-unpublished manuscripts, but it's all available.
Best regards,
Jerome Hoberman
Music Director/Conductor, The Hong Kong Bach Choir & Orchestra
Applauded by an audience of 1
on December 2, 2015 5:47am
Also check out for  lots of recordings and repertoire ideas.
Applauded by an audience of 2
on December 2, 2015 5:53am
There is a lot of great music out there, but you have to know where to find it.
Start with my annotated list of sure-fire repertoire by many composers at
Also volume 4 (Hebrew texts) of earthsongs "Translations and Annotations of Choral Repertoire"
I would suggest you choose a theme (or two) to narrow your search.
Have a great concert!
Applauded by an audience of 3
on December 2, 2015 5:53am
One can hardly do a program of Jewish music, particularly with a professional ensemble, without including some of the Sacred Service of Ernest Bloch, the Swiss composer who emigrated to America ... lived and composed here.  The choral writing in this work is superb.  It is possible to excerpt some of it rather than singing the complete work, but no matter how much or little, don't ignore it ... truly world class music.  
Applauded by an audience of 1
on December 2, 2015 8:05am
thanks, yes.  we are performing the Bloch Avodath Hakodesh (Sacred Service) and Bernstein Chichester Psalms next fall with Gville Symphony Orchestra.   The next program is for my chamber ensemble, and that is the repertoire I am not searching.
on December 2, 2015 6:21am
Joshua Jacobson is one of our greatest national treasures! Visit his choir's website,, and look at the resources links. You'll find everything you could possibly need!
Applauded by an audience of 2
on December 2, 2015 6:52am
If you have not discovered it before this, you should check the catalogue of Transcontinental Music Pub.  Until a couple of years ago, it was the most important publisher of Jewish Choral music in America.  My understanding is that it has gone out of business, but its catalogue is available through Hal Leonard.
Bruce Borton
Applauded by an audience of 2
on December 2, 2015 8:27am
Now hear this!
If you want to hear – and see – a little more...
...and if you'd like a sample score from A Tempo, please contact me at donaldpatriquin at
Donald Patriquin
on December 2, 2015 8:52am
Here are a couple of pieces from my time singing in a small synagogue choir:
and a short Meditation/Silent Amidah
Carol Barnett
on December 2, 2015 9:21am
Hi all,
Yes, Joshua Jacobson, you are a treasure!
Bing, we have done several programs of Jewish music at Chicago a cappella, with an ensemble usually of 9 professional singers, so much of our rep would easily translate to your group. Here are playlists for two of our most well-received Jewish programs: consider them curated lists if you will.
and (this one has program notes included):
"Days of Awe and Rejoicing" is also available as a recorded album on iTunes, Amazon, etc.
If you need specific information about any of the octavos on either one of these programs, feel free to ping me privately. (The invitation is open to any Choralisters.)
Donald McCullough's Holocaust Cantata (Hinshaw) is beautiful. Jeannie Brindley-Barnett also has done a cycle of songs with lyrics written by children in the concentration camps. Mati Lazar has a gorgeous a cappella arrangement of "Ani Ma'amin" with mezzo solo, and Transcon last year published my edition of Max Janowski's arrangement of "Ani Ma'amin" for choir and keyboard.
Also:  the rumors about Transcon's demise are not quite accurate. That sheet-music operation was purchased from the URJ in mid-2015 by the American Conference of Cantors, based here in Chicago. I have been told by the ACC that they plan to be up with retail operations sometime in 2016. Contact them directly if you want more info.
Jonathan Miller
on December 2, 2015 9:47am
He is the best composer of Renaissance synagogue music.
on December 3, 2015 4:40am
Hi Bing,
I have a website with my choral compositions for Chanukah,
There you will find my original melodies and SATB settings of traditional Chanukah liturgical and follk lyrics.
These new and fresh arrangements have been very popular with community, college and high school choirs,
and in addition many church choirs have sung them as part of their Christmas holiday concerts.
Arnie Harris
on December 3, 2015 5:36am
Dear Bing Vick:
ECS Publishing has a significant and growing catalog of Jewish and Holocaust-related choral music. For a complete listing of our holdings, visit the URL below
In most cases links to individual titles will include partial PDF previews and complete professional demo recordings.
Stanley M. Hoffman, Ph.D.
Chief Editor
615 Concord Street, Framingham, MA 01702
Canticle Distributing, 1727 Larkin Williams Road Fenton, MO 63026-2024 
ph 800-647-2117 (USA only)     
ph. 636-305-0100 (outside USA and inside metro St. Louis)
fax  636-305-0121
e-mail: morningstar(a) 
on December 3, 2015 6:44am
Since you are already into the Bloch Sacred Service ... there is another setting that is quite interesting by Darius Milhaud ... might be worth a look.  Also the music of Herman Berlinski is important 20th c. repertoire.  In practical synagog music, I always found the music of Max Helfgott to be quite interesting.  There are also 16th century pieces by Salamano Rossi, an openly Jewish Italian composer who set a number of Psalms.  They are available in the original Italian as well as having been fit with Hebrew texts as well.  The Rossi helps to make a program of all Jewish music a bit varied.  There tends to be the practical stuff, like Helfgott, which is Romantic in nature and the more essoteric dissonant pieces written more recently. 
Applauded by an audience of 1
on December 3, 2015 9:43am
Dear Bing,
Please listen to my Holocaust Remembrance song entitled "6,000,000." This song was first performed at the New Jersey State House in 2006 for Holocaust Remembrance Day. It has been performed numerous times under the auspices of the Anti-Defamation League, for Holocaust education programs and inter-faith conferences. "6,000,000" is also part of the statewide Holocaust Education curriculum in New Jersey for grades 3 through 12. A vocal/instrumental performance appears on my website as the 4th song on the "More Songs" page of the website. I have a beautiful SATB arrangement available free of charge.
Best wishes,
Hank Fellows
on December 4, 2015 9:02am
Having researched and performed a similar program a few years ago, I have a large file -
You must look at the music of Judith Shatin - I particularly recommend her "Songs of War and Peace" - settings of English translations of Jewish poems.  You can find her music on her website.
The Herman Berlinski Shofar Service is a wonderful piece if you can find the music - a great alternative to the Bloch.  uses a shofar! Originally published by Mercury, it used to be available in a facsimile edition from Mrs. Berlinski.  (Perhaps some of my former DC colleagues know about the availability of this music and other Berlinski pieces.) 
Also recommended is the music of 19-c. Ukrainian composer David Nowakowsky, published by Laurendale Associates.  I particularly like the Hashkiveinu No. 2.   Sounds like something from Dr. Zhivago.
Don't forget Kurt Weill - his setting of the Kiddush (European American Music) is a fine piece that is not well known.  Recordare (also EAM) is challenging and requires a capable treble choir.
Aaron Rosenthals' "Voices of Terezin" sets poems written by children in the camp.  Available in SATB version.
Gerald Cohen's "V'higad'ta L'vincha"  (Oxford) is a Passover Cantata in 6 movements.  Oririnally written for the Syracuse Children's Chorus, it also is published in an SATB version. 
Keith Reas
on December 4, 2015 9:33am
Hi Bing!
Here's a program I did with my mixed, professional group some years ago. Don't hesitate to ask if you have questions. I also have program notes if you'd like to see them.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on December 4, 2015 9:42am
Hello, Bing, thanks for your focus on Jewish choral music.
Let me offer you a few items from my own catalog.
You can see perusal scores and listen to recordings on my website, here:
I publish in inexpensive .pdf. 
Please contact me off-thread at davshalomov(a) if any of these are of interest.
I Bend the Knee of My Heart
SSAATTBB a cappella [5 minutes]
Canticle 14/ Menasseh
A broad artful expression of awe at Gods' power and the unworthiness of a famous sinful Old Testament king. Starts slow, solemn, moves ahead to a final fervent peroration on "I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life." 
SATB [5 minutes]
T or S solo (cantor)
piano, flute (opt.)
Traditional Hebrew text for the High Holy Days
Slow introduction, formal, serious blessing, ecstatic end, operatic solo part. Commissioned by Cantor Mark Saltzman, Sha’arei Am Synagogue for the High Holy Days.
Praise the Lord!
SSAATBB       5'
Organ, opt. suspended cymbal
A wild, slightly modern, fast, rhythmic (5/8) setting of Psalm 150, with a "Bulgarian Jazz" organ solo middle. Big bright ending.  Parts predominant practice MP3s also available.
Chanukah Tonight!
SATB (a few optional divisi) 2:45
with piano (also for string orchestra—or mandolins or balalaikas)
English lyrics by the composer
This exuberant song gives a quick glimpse of the legend, tradition, and modern observance of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, in a lively syncopated setting that builds from the quiet placing of one more candle in the chanukiah each night, to the bright celebration on the eighth night, with songs, food, and play. It is intended for both Jewish and non-Jewish choruses and audiences and is suitable for an inclusive (non-sectarian) Winter Holiday concert. (The tune and words are not traditional but newly made, in familiar style.) Tonal, in d minor, choice of big or gentle ending. Not difficult to learn.
Best regards,
David Avshalomov
Composer, Singer, Conductor
Santa Monica, CA
Winner, American Prize 2015 for Band Composition (First Place; also Semifinalist in 5 genres and Finalist in 3)
Designated "Honored Artist of the American Prize", 2014
Winner, TheC7Prize (Canada) 2014 (2 choral works)
Winner, American Prize 2014, Band Composition (3rd place)
American Prize 2014, Dual Finalist, Chamber Music and Orchestral Composition
4 Awards, VoxNova 15 Minutes of Fame Series, 2014-15 (solo pieces for clarinet, tuba, oboe, organ)
American Prize 2012, Orchestral Composition--Special Judges' Citation for Unique Artistic Achievement and Distinctive Merit
Winner, Sul Ross State University, TX, and Wind Ensemble Hillcrest Wind Ensemble (San Diego) Composition Contests 2013
Winner, “Polifonija” Sacred Choral Music Competition 2013, Siauliai State Chamber Choir, Lithuania
ACDA Silver Platter Award 2012 for Choral Repertoire of Outstanding Quality
Project : Encore, Schola Cantorum/Hudson, Recommended Choral Work of Exceptional Merit 2012
Applauded by an audience of 1
on December 5, 2015 4:28am
One piece that I had recently performed with my ensemble is Adon Olam by Kenneth Lampl. It is a beautiful piece and I highly recommend it!
on December 5, 2015 9:24am
Look around on my website:
Specific suggestions:
on December 5, 2015 9:50am
Hello Bing,
    Isn't this forum wonderful?  You receive so much great feedback.  I hope you will consider a composition of mine, "Ilu Finu Maleh Shirah."
     For SATB chorus with divisi. Ilu Finu Malei Shirah (if our mouths were filled with song) and also known as, Nismat Kol Chai (the soul of every living being) goes back to the first century at the time of the Jewish temple. Some have attributed this beautiful prayer to Saint Peter and the early Christians. Duration 4:15 with piano reduction.
    A reading by the Princeton Singers: 
   It may be ordered directly from me at or from JWpepper
John Beeman
on December 6, 2015 7:05am
Thanks to everyone for all this great information.  Now, comes the difficult task of selecting from this expansive list of suggestions.    Thanks to ChoralNet for providing this platform for exchange of ideas and information.   Thanks to all of you who have shared from your experience.      cheers and Happy Hanukkah!   Bing
on December 6, 2015 8:04am
Hello Bing, 
Adonai Ro'i Lo Eschar (Psalm 23) by Leonard Cohen is really beautiful! SATB with piano accompaniment. People have already metioned it's publisher Transcontinental Music Publications, but thought that this specific piece should get some attention. 
Applauded by an audience of 1
on December 8, 2015 5:58am
That's Gerald Cohen, not Leonard Cohen. Not all Cohens are alike. ;-)
Applauded by an audience of 1
on December 7, 2015 7:28am
G. Schirmer recently published my Adonai Ro'i, a setting of Psalm 23 in the original Hebrew for SATB, unaccompanied, and you can take a look/listen here:;
Also, the UVA University Singers commissioned my setting of the Priestly Blessing in the original Hebrew, and if you are interested in that, please let me know and I will be glad to share a score and recording. It is also SATB. In addition, I have Hark My Love, SATB + piano - a setting of verses from the Song of Songs. 
Judith Shatin
William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor
Founding Director, Virginia Center for Computer Music
McIntire Department of Music
University of Virginia
on December 8, 2015 4:57am
Are there any choral works by Bloch ? They would surely be good.
on February 1, 2016 11:59am
I know this is an old-ish thread, but for future searchers: My SATB a cappella arrangement of the Yiddish folksong "Tumbalalayka" will be premiered by San Francisco Choral Artists next month, and it is available for perusal and purchase here:
Many thanks,
Michael Kaulkin
on February 2, 2016 9:19am
Yes, David Avshalomov's music is wonderful and should be considered!
Also, if any of you are looking for something with more of a jazz feel, I would recommend the music of Chris Hardin, Music Director at Valley Beth Shalom (Encino, CA). He has numerous settings of traditional texts in beatiful and lively jazz arrangements.
on February 3, 2016 6:32pm
Louis Lewandowsky (; Ernst Bloch; Salomone Rossi; Handel's Oratorios "Israel in Egypt" and "Deborah" (no, he wasn't Jewish, but the oratorios are based on Torah stories). Max Janowski (, Abe Schwartz ( I have an arrangement of the Chanukah song "Mi Pi El."
on February 4, 2016 7:55am
G. Schirmer recently published my Adonai Ro'i, a Hebrew setting of Psalm 23, on Judith Clurman's Choral Series - Rejoice, Honoring the Jewish Spirit. 
I also have Songs of War and Peace, (SATB + Piano), a setting of four powerful Israeli poems on the topic, published by Wendigo Music.
And, Hark My Love (SATB + piano, from the Song of Songs). If you'd like to take a look listen, please contact me at asst(a)Judith
Judith Shatin
William R. Kenan Jr. Professor 
Director, Virginia Center for Computer Music
McIntire Department of Music
University of Virginia
on February 4, 2016 8:40am
Dear Bing,
I was alerted to your query by a member of the professional chorus here in Columbia, Colla Voce, who just performed a concert of Jewish music, all in Hebrew, featuring two major works of mine.
One, Akhat Sha'alti, SATB, can be sung either a capella or with percussion accompaniment. (We used 4 players--one marimba, glockenspiel, sizzle symbal, tam tam) It is fine a capella, too. My website has a video (with art) and score for viewing here
The other piece on that program, on a grander scale, is for SATB, sop and ten soloists, narr., organ, and 4 percussionists with a LOT of percussion instruments. Shacharit (Morning Service).  Here's that website page  (This was reduced from the original version for full orchestra and the same vocal forces.)
There are several other works you could consider, on my site under "choral" works.
Best wishes,
Meira Warshauer
Columbia, SC
on February 4, 2016 9:27am
There is also the Chanukah Candle Blessing, a lovely short piece for SATB and piano by Bruce Lazarus.
Michael Kaulkin
Applauded by an audience of 1
on February 5, 2016 7:30am
In response to Bruce Borton,  Transcontinental Music Publications is alive and well and a fantastic source.  The company is now Transcontinental Music Publications, A Division of the American Conference of Cantors.  I have been on the phone with them several times this week regarding a fabulous setting of Psalm 1 ("Blessed are the ones ...") of Simon A. Sargon. The staff has been extremely helpful.   You can also go to Mr. Sargon's website and see more of his wonderful compositions.  My community chorus will be performing the Psalm 1 and two of the four psalm settings from his collection "Hillel" in our concert of psalm settings in April.  There is a growing wealth 'out there'.  Happy hunting.
on February 6, 2016 8:00am
Srul Irving Glick was a Canadian composer who wrote some excellent choral music that might fit your group very well.  Check out his music at  His work for chorus and orchestra, "The Hour Has Come" was performed at the Salt Lake City ACDA Convention, conducted by Elmer Iseler.
Richard Householder
on February 16, 2016 6:22am
Actually, THE HOUR HAS COME by Srul Glick was performed at national ACDA convention in San Antonio.   My Furman Singers sang the performance.
on February 6, 2016 10:35am
Here's a link to some of the music of William Sharlin (1920-2012):
i sang many of his works in High Holy Days services led by his daughter, Cantor Lisa Sharlin. His music is eclectic, finely crafted, and often humorous. 
on February 15, 2016 5:53pm
on February 17, 2016 2:52pm
Compositions and Arrangements by Lee R. Kesselmanwith specifically Jewish Content or Interest
Mixed Voices
Kaddish for my Father (2012) – available through
            SATB, clarinet, piano
Let Peace Descend (2002)
            SATB; wind ensemble accompaniment; published by Kesselman Press
May the Words of My Mouth (1998)
            SATB; unaccompanied; published by Kesselman Press
River (2000)
            piano, hand-held drums and bass guitar accompaniment
            SATB; published by Boosey & Hawkes
Treble Voices
Schlof, mayn fegele (2013)
For 1 or 2 part chorus & piano
Yiddish folksong
(Published by Boosey & Hawkes)
Ani ehh’yeh (2011)
For 2-part treble voices piano, and optional violin
Text: composer
Commissioned by the Casper Children’s Chorale
Published by Carl Fischer Music
Festival Light (2010) – available through
For SSA, piano & tambourine
Commissioned by Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL
Rad Halaila (2007)
for unison treble voices, clarinet and piano
Traditional Jewish text combined with Hava Nagila
Commissioned by the St. Louis Children’s Choirs
(Published by Boosey & Hawkes)
Hineni (2004)
            2 treble voices; piano accompaniment; published by Boosey & Hawkes
Man, Keep Not Silent (1988; revised 2000) (Holocaust themes)
            treble voices; baritone solo, piano accompaniment; published by Kesselman Press
Schlof, mayn fegele (2013)
For 1 or 2 part chorus & piano
Yiddish folksong
published by Boosey & Hawkes
Shalom, Friends (1994)
treble voices; piano accompaniment; also arranged for chamber orchestra; published by Boosey & Hawkes
Songs of Songs (2004)
            1. So is My Beloved 2. I Am Come into My Garden 3. I Am My Beloved’s
            treble voices; piano accompaniment; published by Boosey & Hawkes
Tsvey Taybelekh  (2004)
for 3-part treble chorus and piano
Traditional Yiddish song (Holocaust themes)
Commissioned by the Portland Symphonic Girlchoir
(Published by Boosey & Hawkes)
also arranged for violin, cello, and piano accompaniment
Variable Voicings
Eiliyahu Hanavi (SA 1998,  SATB 1998)
            piano accompaniment, also arranged for chamber orchestra
            SA version published by Roger Dean
            SATB version published by Kesselman  Press
Kadosh/Benedictus (SAB 1999, SSA 2005)
            brass quintet and organ accompaniment
both versions published by Boosey & Hawkes
Solo voice
I Am Come into My Garden  (2009)
for voice and piano
Text: Song of Songs
There Will I Go (2012), for solo soprano & organ
Text: Book of Ruth
Published editions by other composers
            Handel: O Lovely Peace from Judas Maccabeus
            treble voices; piano accompaniment or orchestra; published by Boosey &Hawkes
            Handel: Thou Shalt Bring Them In from Israel in Egypt
            treble voices; piano accompaniment or orchestra; published by Boosey & Hawkes
on February 18, 2016 9:19am
Hello, Bing.
Below is a program I did with my professionial ensemble CANTATICA a few years ago - a bit of a broader/more inclusive programming sensibility in terms of Jewish music. Note especially VOICES FROM THE SHADOW: POETRY OF THE HOLOCAUST by Gershon Kingsley, a very powerful and effective work suitable for solo voices and chorus.
Set Me as a Seal: Choral Dance - Jack Gottlieb
Chamber Choir, Violin, and Piano
Achat Sha'alti - Paul Schoenfield
Flute and Piano
CHICHESTER PSALMS - Leonard Bernstein
(Sung in Hebrew)
Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone, Chamber Choir, Harp, Organ, and Percussion
Ufaratsta - Paul Schoenfield
Flute and Piano
Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, Baritone, String Quartet, Clarinet, Piano, and Percussion
TOOT SUITE - George Gershwin, arr. Gerald DuPuit
Soprano and Clarinet
Prelude I - George Gershwin
“Why Was I Born?” from SWEET ADELINE - Jerome Kern, arr. James Bassi
Chamber Choir
“I Won’t Dance” from ROBERTA - Jerome Kern, arr. James Bassi
Chamber Choir and String Quartet
Ver Hat Aza Yingele? (Who Has Such a Child?) - Traditional Yiddish, arr. David Spear
(Sung in Yiddish)
Mezzo-Soprano, Flute, Viola, Harp
Der Heyser Bulgar (Hot Dance) - Traditional, arr. Yoelin-Koffman
Klezmer Band
Chiribim, Chiribom - Traditional Yiddish, arr. Maxwell Street Klezmer Band
(Sung in Yiddish)
Chamber Choir and Klezmer Band
on February 19, 2016 3:17am
May I suggest that you take a look at my new series (REJOICE: MUSIC OF THE JEWISH SPIRIT) at G. Schirmer, and at various publications that I have also arranged and edited for Schott and other publishers. It includes the old, the new, the difficult, the historical, the easy, sacred and secular.  . . . It is an on-going series and there are some terrific pieces being engraved as I write this! We will add new music every year.
Many of the pieces have been recorded on CHERISHED MOMENTS: SONGS OF THE JEWISH SPIRIT.
Judith Clurman
on February 20, 2016 12:48pm
Dear Bing Vick!
Why you are building border between our ancient legacy and heritage and our modern life? At my page I clearly make it understandable, and pay credit to Jewish legacy. Also, being born in the most international country, I try my best to make it clear for all.
Please, add to Copland, Bernstein, Mendelsson, Kern, Gershwin, Berlin and other prominent composers - some other writers, who also originate from the most cosmopolitical country. (Not only Gershwin..., or me...). 
Wishing you a kind attitude to your origins!
Andrey Luchnik.
  • You must log in or register to be able to reply to this message.