minnabromberg.com

Scholar-in-residence

Let’s unearth the songs yearning to be sung in YOUR community.

“As you sang the introductory phrases of your d’var Torah on Friday evening, we could sense immediately that we were in the presence of deeply resonant song.” — Rabbi Benjamin Weiner, Jewish Community of Amherst (read Rabbi Weiner’s full response)

You know how powerfully moving it can be to sing with others. Now imagine a song that emerges from the group itself — individual thoughts, feelings, yearnings, images woven together into a harmony much greater than the sum of its individual notes. How much more fully we hear one another when we sing our fellows’ joys, laments, fears, triumphs with our own voices. And how affirming it can be to hear our own innermost offerings lifted into song by everyone in the room.

In songwriting workshops, shorter sessions allow us to pick a theme and write a song together on the spot — Songs of Blessings, Songs of Complaints, Songs of Victory. Longer or multi-session workshops afford time for text study, individual songwriting and a deeper exploration of the connection between the physical act of singing and the process of songwriting.

“Rabbi Minna’s workshop hit my emotional core…in a good and healing way.” — a participant from Fabrangen

Here are some of my past offerings:
“Writing our own freedom songs” at the Jewish Community of Amherst (January 2014)

“Face-to-face with our struggles” at Fabrangen (December 2012)

“Those of you who davenned with us on Shabbat morning or who participated in the…song-writing workshop after Havdalah had the opportunity to experience Rabbi Minna Bromberg, an extraordinary woman with a magically soulful and resonant voice and a movingly powerful spirit.”

You can also Read about (and hear) a songwriting workshop in preparation for Shavuot. Or watch the video (in the upper righthand corner of this page) of a workshop I did with rabbis, rabbinical students, and other clergy in a pastoral education program.

Divrei Torah/Sermons through Song
My song-based divrei torah/sermons use song to build a connection between sacred text, everyday experience, and our own wholeheartedness. I weave together traditional texts and commentaries, with songs drawn from Jewish liturgy, my own originals, American folk tunes and even sea chanties. I love constructing new teachings to suit the weekly Torah portion, the season of the year, or the specific interests and desires of the community.

Here are some sample topics and songs:

“These are the words — Carrying Torah with us in Song”

“Turning Song — renewing creation in preparation for Rosh HaShanah”

Looking for a program for children? Check out Find it, Burn it: the Chametz Song — a Pesach teaching for children of all ages.

Contact me for more information on any of these offerings or to invite me to your community.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: “Do you use your guitar on Shabbat?”
A: For shabbat, I teach with or without my guitar as best suits the practices of the community.

Q: “Will you lead our worship services?”
A: I am happy to participate in both traditional and innovative styles of worship as desired by the community.

Q: “Our community loves/hates interactive teaching; is that what you do?”
A: While I deeply value community interaction, I am also quite comfortable teaching in a more frontal “concert” mode. Let me know what works for you (and how we might grow together)!

Q: “Where did you go to rabbinical school?”
A: Hebrew College.

Q: “What’s the most important thing to know about your work?”
A: I believe that your voice, your song is your unique contribution to the weave of Creation.

Let me hear you.