Az Yashir: The Music Project

Share your thoughts with the Az Yashir Task Force

What else have you heard? Click to share your thoughts on music outside of AES

Music Videos Featuring a Variety of Anshe Emet Members to Help Us Connect with the Spirit of Shabbat

Enjoy this video of Emily Feder performing, Lecha Dodi To the Awakening Nigun by Deborah Sacks Mintz. Shabbat Shalom:

Jacob Kline brings up our mood for Shabbat with Bim Bam. Gather around to watch, especially if you have a participant in Shalom Shabbat:

Enjoy this version of L’cha Dodi by Dalya Lessem Elnecave to uplift us for Shabbat:

Join Nathan Appelbaum, his dad Daniel and a special appearance by his sister, Tess for this week’s Shabbat song, The Hope by Rick Recht, with a new verse written by the Appelbaum’s just for Shabbat:

Enjoy “Mozi’s Nigun – Ana B’Choakh” by Joey Weisenberg, as sung by Cheryl Krugel-Lee and Jacob Lee:

Rachel and Marc Luban help us get in the summer Shabbat mood with their cover of Josh Warshawsky’s L’cha Dodi:

Listen to Cantor Berke’s Curated YouTube Music Picks!

May 20, 2020

Have a listen to “Lma’ancha” performed by Eitan Katz. This is a niggun I was introduced to by Rabbi Russo; I used it last year for Kol Nidrei on the page with Han’shamah Lach, the original text Eitan Katz uses for this. It is a beautiful niggun (tune) on its own, with no words. I have been known to start Kabbalat Shabbat with it as a niggun, and also use it for parts of Hallel and Psalms in Kabbalat Shabbat. Enjoy!

—Cantor Berke

April 8, 2020

A special Passover musical greeting from the Israel Philharmonic, shared with me by Hazzan Mizrahi. Enjoy and Chag Sameach!

—Cantor Berke

April 1, 2020

Here is an upbeat and fun medley of Israeli songs – new and classic.  The video includes pre-quarantine rehearsal footage and dancers recreating portions of the dances on their own after quarantine.  I hope this brings some joy!

—Cantor Berke

March 26, 2020

As we tread through these challenging times, these words of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov come to mind: The world is a very narrow bridge, and the main thing is not to fear at all – kol haolam kulo, gesher tsar m’od. 

—Cantor Berke

Here is a well-known rendition (tune by Rabbi Baruch Chait – well known tune sung by Ofra Haza):

Here is a new tune by Yosef Goldman with the Hadar Ensemble:

March 19, 2020

This Shabbat we were going to welcome Craig Taubman to help celebrate Hazzan Mizrahi. While we can’t be with him in person, we can enjoy his music. Hashkiveinu is a prayer of protection that states: Lie us down to peace, Adonai our God, and raise us up to life, our king (protector), and spread over us the shelter of your peace, and direct us with good advice before You, and save us for the sake of your name, and look out for us, and keep from us enemies, plagues, swords, famines, and troubles from our midst …Guard our departure and our arrival to life and to peace, from now and ever more.

—Cantor Berke

March 5, 2020

This clip is a DJ Dance Mix with many popular Purim songs.  I am partial to the DJ’s name: DJ Shatz. Shatz is short for Shaliach Tzibbur, which is a term used for the person leading services, an emissary of the congregation.

Happy Purim!

—Cantor Berke

February 27, 2020

The month of Adar has started! When we begin Adar, we increase our joy, and with that in mind here is an upbeat song by the a capella group Six13. A Shabbat-oriented version of “Can’t Stop the Feelin'” – join in the fun of the song, and the joy of Adar and Shabbat!

—Cantor Berke

February 20, 2020

The Cantors Assembly has created a multi-part series called #WhatCantorsDo. This first video features Billy Crystal talking with his cantor, Chayim Frankel, about the power of the music in the service.

—Cantor Berke

Billy Crystal – Music Is Deeper Than Words

Billy Crystal sat down with his friend and cantor, Chayim Frenkel to discuss his feelings about Jewish music and cantors.This is the first of a 12-week series of super brief (no more than 30-45 seconds) videos from well-known personalities within the Conservative Jewish world and beyond exploring the often unseen value that cantors bring to their communities.Over the next few months, you'll hear from Rabbis David Wolpe, Bradley Artson, Angela Buchdahl, Daniel Nevins and more.We even got to sit down and talk to Billy Crystal, a committed Jew and lifetime lover of cantorial music. What he says in this video is absolutely correct: music touches the soul in a way the words simply can’t.Check out this video and then let us know in the comments how Jewish music has touched your life.#whatcantorsdo

Posted by Cantors Assembly on Thursday, February 6, 2020

February 13, 2020

All of this snow and moisture makes me think of Psalm 93, the Psalm for Friday, which is the last Psalm in Kabbalat Shabbat. This psalm uses water imagery and the power of water to talk about God’s might.

This setting of Ps. 93:4, below, is by Nava Tehila, a creative musical community based in Israel. Translation of the verse: “Above the voices of many waters, the mighty breakers of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty” (

—Cantor Berke

February 6, 2020

We are beginning this week in honor of Shabbat Shira -the Shabbat of Song.
This coming week is Tu B’shvat, the Birthday of the Trees.
In honor of this, we are sharing two new takes on Eitz Chayim Hee – It (the Torah)  is a Tree of Life, This is part of the liturgy for when we return the Torah to the Ark, at the end of the Torah Service.

—Cantor Berke

Naomi Less and Matt Check with a blue grass feel:

Jon Simon Shabbat Jazz taking a familiar tune and creating something new:


What is Az Yashir?

Az Yashir Moseh el B’nai Yisrael: Then Moses sang to the Children of Israel. This is how the Torah records the moment after the splitting of the Sea, and the wondrous sight of our people after their miraculous crossing. Shira, song, has always played a significant role in the life and the history of the Jewish people. In fact, the rabbis point out that the words Az Yashir can also be translated in the future tense, then he will sing; underscoring the idea that the song of the Jewish experience continues in every age. Az Yashir, our song, is rooted in the traditions of the past and ever evolving toward the future. This is our congregation’s Az Yashir moment.

This year, our congregation will begin to look forward as well. We fully appreciate the historic nature of the choice before us, and the seminal importance that Jewish music will play in our synagogue’s future. To ensure the best possible results for our community, we have planned a two-phase project to ensure that Anshe Emet will welcome a new Hazzan for the High Holy Days of 2021.

A Two Year Process

Phase One: Az Yashir Task Force
Rob Weinberg, who did such a masterful job with our LaAtid Task Force in education, will facilitate the process. The Az Yashir Task Force is made up of a rich and varied cross-section of our synagogue. Members of our community will have the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions in regard to Jewish music and liturgical presentation to the Task Force through focus groups and other forums. In addition, the task force will look outside of Anshe Emet to explore the landscape and trends in Jewish music heard in synagogues across America. All of the information, along with recommendations, will be gathered in a report that will be made available to the congregation by the Fall of 2020.

Phase Two: Az Yashir Search Committee
Following on the work in Phase One a search committee will be constituted, made up of some of the task force members and adding others to lead the cantorial search process. Guided by the findings in the report, they will bring the leading candidates to the congregation over a series of Shabbatot. Our community will have the opportunity to hear them and share their thoughts with the search team. This phase will conclude with a recommendation of a Hazzan to the Anshe Emet Board of Directors.


Stay tuned to this page as the process continues…


Leadership Team

Ricardo Rosenkranz, M.D.

Elizabeth Berke

Boni Fine

Cheryl Krugel-Lee

Ruth Rau

Barry Seeskin

Michele Sackheim-Wein

Rob Weinberg, Consultant

Task Force

Nate Appelbaum

Ava Berkwits

Lindy Hirschsohn

Sarah Hirsen

Emily Feder

Simon Fleischmann

Daniel Golden

Andrea Grostern

Ethan Kahn

Barbara Kantrow

Eli Kaufman

Marsha Nagorsky

Jonathan Norton

Fraeda Porton

Tani Prell

David Schwartz

Hayley Silver

Abe Trieger

Christie Chiles Twilie

Mimi Wallk

Ex Officio Members of the Task Force

Rabbi Michael Siegel
Senior Rabbi, The Norman Asher Rabbinic Chair

Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi

The Arnold H. Kaplan Cantorial Chair

Rabbi D’ror Chankin-Gould

Rabbi David Russo

Art Friedson