Cantor Rosalie Will – Hava Nashira Program Director
Cantor Rosalie Will mentors clergy in the field and consults on issues of worship, music, and synagogue transition and change. She also serves as the Director of Worship and Music for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). From 2001 until 2017, Rosalie served as Cantor of Temple Emanuel in Kensington, Maryland, just north of Washington DC immediately after being ordained Cantor from the School of Sacred Music of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York.
Rosalie’s decades of experience as a worship leader, consultant, performer, visionary and leader in new worship trends, has set the course for the Reform Movement’s growth in the area of dynamic prayer at URJ Biennial and beyond. She is an expert in elevating the congregational voice while maintaining communal rituals and customs, training young songleaders and cantors in areas of leadership and collaboration, and finding intersectionality among diverse communities of background and accessibility in prayer spaces.
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.
Elana Arian is one of the leading voices in contemporary Jewish music. A composer, multi-instrumentalist, prayer leader, and recording artist, Elana inspires communities across the country with her soulful songwriting and spirit. Elana’s work has been published by Transcontinental Music in both their popular Ruach and Shabbat Anthology series, and her compositions are sung in synagogues, summer camps, and spiritual communities from Los Angeles to London, from Memphis to Melbourne, and everywhere in between. Elana works as an Adjunct Professor at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, a proud teaching artist in the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music. She has served on the faculty of leading conferences in Jewish music and worship, including Shirei Chagiga and now, Hava Nashira. She is thrilled to be working on her fourth album of original music, The Other Side of Fear. Elana has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Tanglewood, and perhaps most memorably, five separate appearances at the (Obama) White House. When not performing, recording, or writing, Elana spends her time chasing her daughters, Maya and Acadia, around Brooklyn with her wife, Julia.
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.
Steve Dropkin (info to come)
Rabbi Shir Yaakov Feit
Shir Yaakov is a singer, composer, designer, producer, teacher and Aba. He engages Jewish, multi-faith, and non-affiliated people around the world, building spiritual communities, facilitating and inspiring communal music, and helping people connect with their inner wisdom and truth. He works in formal and informal educational settings as a spiritual leader, teacher, and musician.
Shir Yaakov has recorded and released four albums of original music and co-founded and performs with The Darshan Project. His song “Broken-hearted” recently won the Jewish Daily Forward’s 2016 Soundtrack of Our Spirit songwriting contest. He and his partner Emily and their three daughters live in New York’s Hudson Valley, where they are helping to weave the Kol Hai community. Kol Hai’s Shabbat and Holiday gatherings draw upon Shir Yaakov’s extensive experience as a musician and reflect his unique ability to blend ancient and emerging wisdom to create a spiritual cultural Judaism that is contemporary, alive, and innovative.
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.
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 envisions a joyful, vibrant, heart-centered Judaism that speaks to the soul and moves the spirit, reminding us that we are One. She crafts ritual, writes music, trains educators, and consults with communities to bring this vision to life. Her most recent endeavor is the G!D Project, an educational initiative focused on accessible, meaningful conversations about the Divine through ritual, text, and creative expression. Eliana’s consulting work guides synagogues to discover the “why” of their prayer life, allowing them to offer deeper, more meaningful experiences to more people. She is also a sought-after songwriter and performer of catchy, content-rich tunes for all ages. Eliana received her Master’s in Jewish Education from the Davidson school at JTS in 2016, and is based in Durham, North Carolina.
Chava Mirel is a national touring singer, guitarist, composer, recording artist, spiritual leader and activist. Performing in Folk, World Music, Jazz and other genres, she imbues her music with the universal themes of hope, caring, connection, inclusion, women’s and environmental issues. Highly sought-after for collaborations and recording, Chava is known for her rich, luxurious vocals, lush harmonies, and rhythmic phrasing. She has toured and recorded with a spectrum of artists from Reggie Watts to punk icon Ari Up. Celebrated as a singer songwriter, World Music and Jazz artist, Chava has been featured vocalist for global Jazz Fusion band Duende Libre and has also played keyboards with the legendary Reggae artist Clinton Fearon (the Gladiators). In between her demanding schedule of recording, live performance and Synagogue residencies, Chava enjoys nature at home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and son
One of the most popular performers and composers in modern Jewish music, Josh 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.
Dr. Emily Teck
Dr. Emily Teck is a Jewish educator, musician and consultant dedicated to increasing and improving the ways communities educate and engage young children and their families in joyful Judaism. Dr. Teck, AKA ‘Miss Emily,’ travels to communities and conferences to present music and workshops while also consulting remotely, directing the NEXT program and JewishLearningMatters.com. She holds an Ed.D. in Jewish Education and serves on the faculty of Gratz College. Dr. Teck’s experience and expertise in distinct but related areas such as curriculum design, program evaluation, developmentally appropriate practice, digital communication, integrated learning, Jewish communal life, parenting, song and prayer leading combine to give her a uniquely informed approach to her work. Songs from her 5 albums of Jewish children’s music are used in classrooms and congregations around the world and have been featured by PJ Library and Behrman House. Her work has been published by The Jewish Educator, Kveller, RJBlog, ScaryMommy and more.
Rabbi Josh Warshawsky
Rabbi Josh Warshawsky is a nationally touring Jewish musician, songleader, and composer. Josh seeks to build intentional praying communities, and travels to synagogues, camp and schools across the country sharing his music and teachings on prayer. He is originally from Chicago, and has released three albums of Jewish music, with a 4th on the way in 2020. Josh’s melodies are written intentionally to express the deep meaning of the words of our tradition. Josh was ordained by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles. For more information check out www.joshwarshawsky.com .
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.