Blog  Meet Our Hava Nashira Faculty

Meet Our Hava Nashira Faculty

We have an amazing faculty for this year’s Hava Nashira Songleading Workshop.

Cantor Rosalie Boxt, Hava Nashira Program Director
Cantor Rosalie Boxt is the Director of Worship and Music for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ).  She also mentors clergy and consults congregations on issues of worship and music, synagogue transition and change. She directs the worship for the URJ Biennial, is a past Vice-President for Member Relations of the American Conference of Cantors (ACC) and is frequently asked to write about and present workshops on worship trends, to teach songleading to teens and adults, and perform a variety of styles in concert in a dynamic and warmly engaging style.

Ellen Allard
Ellen Allard is an award-winning Recording Artist, Performer, and Early Childhood Music Specialist who has been privileged since 1976 to perform children’s concerts and present teacher workshops/keynotes, seamlessly moving between both the Secular and the Jewish world of Early Childhood. Ellen has presented keynotes and teacher workshops at thousands of educational conferences for over 35 years, empowering participants to return to their young students and make music a central part of their curriculum. She shares music from her 13 recordings and 6 songbooks that are super easy-to-learn and just as easy-to-teach.

Merri Lovinger Arian
Merri Lovinger Arian serves on the full-time faculty of the HUC-JIR Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music. A faculty member of Hava Nashira since 1997, Merri has coordinated Shabbat Shira since its inception in 2010. A teacher at the North American Jewish Choral Festival, Shirei Chagigah and Synagogue 2000, Merri has twice conducted the URJ Biennial Choir. Merri is often invited as an artist-in- residence in synagogues across the country, and as a consultant, helping clergy teams explore ways to enhance worship in their congregations. Her newest book, Leveling the Praying Field, was just released.

Noah Aronson
Noah Aronson is an energetic and soulful composer/performer whose unique musical style propels his music into communities across North America and abroad. After earning his degree from Berklee College of Music and creating multiple congregational albums serving as Composer in Residence at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, Noah has put out four full-length albums of original music; Am I Awake? (2011), Left Side of the Page (2013), More Love (2017), and The Chai Project (2018). Noah has served on faculty for Hava Nashira, Shabbat Shira, Shirei Chagigah, Wexner Heritage New Member Institute and is currently serving as an adjunct faculty member of Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion’s Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music

Rabbi Ken Chasen
Rabbi Ken Chasen is the Senior Rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles, California.  Before entering the rabbinate, Ken enjoyed a successful career in television and film music in Los Angeles, editing and composing musical scores on numerous film and network television projects. Ken composes, records and performs original Jewish music as a member of the popular group, Mah Tovu, which is releasing its fourth CD this year. Ken is also an accomplished author whose writings have appeared in a wide variety of books and prominent print/online publications, including his co-authoring of two music-centered books – “Days of Wonder, Nights of Peace” and “Day of Days” – which guide Jewish families in the creation of meaningful Jewish rituals in the home. Ken’s melodies are sung in synagogues, schools and summer camps throughout North America, Europe and Israel.

Cantor Ellen Dreskin
Cantor Ellen Dreskin (www.ellendreskin.com) is an innovative worship leader in the liberal Jewish movement. She is a synagogue consultant and clergy coach in the areas of liturgical innovation, personal prayer practice, and communal worship skills. Ellen has worked as a scholar-in-residence at dozens of congregations across the country, and serves as an educator and worship leader at numerous Institutes, Camps, and Conferences, including the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, HUC-JIR, Hava Nashira, URJ Biennials, URJ Kutz Camp Leadership Academy, and the JCCA’s Sheva Center for Early Childhood Education.


Alan Goodis
Alan Goodis is a touring Jewish musician playing over 150 events a year. Alan is a strong presence in the Reform Jewish movement to engage and empower Jewish youth and adults through music. Alan tours throughout the US to serve as an Artist-In-Residence and performer at Temples, Youth Conventions and Jewish summer camps. He’s served as Musical Director for NFTY International Convention and on faculty at Hava Nashira. In 2011, he developed Nashir: an NFTY Teen Songleading Institute in partnership with the URJ to provide meaningful Songleader training to high school students.

Cantor Jeff Klepper
Cantor Jeff Klepper has written hundreds of songs and performed as Kol B’Seder (with Rabbi Dan Freelander) since the early 1970s. He was one of the first cantors to champion congregational singing and to use a guitar in Jewish worship.  He is co-founder of Hava Nashira (with Jerry Kaye and Debbie Friedmanz”l). Jeff is currently the cantor of Temple Sinai of Sharon, Massachusetts, and teaches at the School of Jewish Music of Hebrew College in Newton, Mass.


Shira Kline
Recognized as a “revolutionary educator” and named one of the “new re-engineers of Jewish life,” Shira Kline works worldwide as a performance and ritual artist. She is a co-founder of Lab/Shul NYC, an artist driven, God-optional experimental community for sacred Jewish gathering where she is the Director of Worship. When you flip her upside down, she is ShirLaLa, award winning Jewish kiddie rocker and spiritual educator with the little ones. Her work is in the garden of life, activating imagination and expression through music and heart opening.

Eliana Light
Through meaningful music, powerful prayer, excellent education, and creative consulting, Eliana Light works with Jewish communities worldwide to unlock the wonders of our sacred heritage. She is the author of Hebrew in Harmony, a curriculum published by Behrman House that teaches prayer and Hebrew through music, and the founder and director of the G!D Project, an educational initiative focused on accessible, meaningful conversations about G!D and spirituality through ritual, text, and creative expression. Eliana received her Master’s in Jewish Experiential Education from the Davidson School at Jewish Theological Seminary in 2016.

Josh Nelson
One of the most popular performers and composers in modern Jewish musicJosh Nelson brings his extraordinary message of hope, unity and spirituality to concert stages and worship services across the globe. Josh is a gifted multi-instrumentalist and songwriter whose work is celebrated and integrated into the repertoire of congregations, camps and communities around the world. Josh has served as the Music Director for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Biennial Convention, Faculty for the Hava Nashira Music Institute, and a Musical Artist in Residence for the JCC Maccabi Artsfest.

Dan Nichols
Dan Nichols is a singular talent in the world of Jewish music; his melodies have become an integral part of the spiritual and liturgical experience of countless individuals and Jewish communities. Dan’s anthology includes a wide range of sounds and styles, from energetic Jewish rock anthems to moving interpretations of traditional Jewish liturgy. Jewish youth and adults from around the world draw inspiration from Dan’s music and its positive message of Jewish values, identity and pride. He has served on the faculty of Hava Nashira since 2000.

Judith Silver
Judith Silver is a composer and singing leader from the UK, delighted that her songs have found their way across the pond and always happy to follow them over to perform, teach and share them in her unique warm and inclusive style. Her special and ever-increasing love for setting and arranging Jewish texts is reflected in the large segment of her work dedicated to them, including songs that have been selected and performed at Shalshelet (including ‘Gesher’) and those now widely sung in shuls and camps across America (including ‘Open’). Her song ‘Connected’ was recently included in the Transcontinental collection, ‘Chazak v’ematz, Jewish Songs of Protest and Hope’. Judith’s first songbook, ‘Jewish Songs for Harmony Singing’ was released in 2014, to coincide with her first invitation to be on the faculty at Hava Nashira and her new book, ‘The Time of Singing is Come’ has just been released – a rich mix of Jewish and secular songs.

Debra Winter
Debra Winter is a songleader, educator and musician working year-round with Jewish communities throughout North America. She has served summer programs at Harlam, Shwayder, Kutz, and Capital Camps; songleader training programs at NFTY’s Nashir and the JCCA’s LEV: Lift Every Voice conferences; and year-round gatherings in Reform, Conservative, and Pluralistic Jewish communities. Deb has been a featured songleader at the International Conventions of BBYO and USY, Music Director of NFTY Convention, Associate Music Director of the upcoming URJ Biennial in Chicago, and is thrilled to be joining in Oconomowoc as first-time faculty for her 14th Hava Nashira.

Feliza and Or Zohar
A musical duo based in the Galilee, Rabbi Or Zohar and Feliza Bascara-Zohar are composers of Jewish music and musical ambassadors of progressive Jewish spirituality in Israel and around the world. They have released two albums of sacred music (Lev Tahor; Mikolot Mayim) and a songbook. Or is the Reform Rabbi of the Misgav Region in the Galilee and is a doctoral student of Kabbalah Studies at Tel Aviv University. Feliza is a teacher of embodied prayer, a voice movement therapist, and a multidisciplinary artist. In recent years, Feliza & Or have been touring as artists-in-residence throughout North America, where their unique style of liturgical music has been gaining popularity among Jewish congregations.

To learn more about the 2019 Hava Nashira Songleading Workshop, see the event page.