Classes & Events
Singing Communities Intensive

Stay tuned for information about our 2019 program

Singing Communities Intensive December 24-27, 2018


Program Overview

The Singing Communities Intensive is a chance to experience the depth of Jewish music, to study traditional melodies and sounds and to participate in the creative process of bringing new music into being.

Our 2018 program will focus on “The Art of the Nigun.” A nigun is a wordless melody, as well as the outpouring of our hearts and souls as they try to express what can only be said through song. It’s a communal musical-spiritual artform of the Jewish people.

At this year’s Singing Communities Intensive, we will explore:

  • Old and new nigunim from a variety of soundscapes and traditions.
  • Intersections between individual and communal voices.
  • Strategies for building singing communities.
  • Spiritual underpinnings of song.
  • Ideas for composing new nigunim.
  • How nigunim interact with instruments and various musical styles.


2018 Tracks

New this year at Hadar's Singing Communities Intensive: Multi-day learning tracks!

Expose yourself to something new, revisit something familiar, explore a different perspective. Each track will meet multiple times during the week with expert musicians and educators to focus on a particular angle of individual and/or communal song creation.


Track opportunities include:

Rhythm in My Bones with Richie Barshay
Learn body percussion and movement to enhance your rhythmic experience. Our ancestors appreciated the power of drumming, and we will explore how rhythm is a part of us even when we walk. Open to all.


Davening Leadership with Deborah Sacks Mintz
Take a deep dive into the art of davening leadership, exploring both technical skills in nusah, as well as strategies in strengthening empowered communal singing during tefillah. This track is for all who serve as ba'alei tefillah, communal prayer leaders—professionals and lay-leaders alike.


Spontaneous Musical Creations: Tuning the Internal Instrument with Jessi Roemer
Each of us is a musical instrument; we need only open ourselves to the song that is already in us. Tapping into our own sonic creativity, we'll immerse ourselves in the building blocks of group song and melody, and hone our skills in calling forth our own spontaneous, original music. Open to all.


Singing through Chaos: Stories from the Talmud with Aviva Richman
In this track, we will explore a series of messy Talmudic and Midrashic stories that highlight the role of song and silence in navigating a world of chaos. By studying these foundational moments in our canon, we will probe our own relationship to song and silence and think through the role music plays in carrying us through the tumult of joy, sadness, confusion, and everything else that life throws our way. Open to all.


Hadar, meeting in the West End Synagogue, 190 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10023. (Location subject to change)


$600 Full; $300 Student. Tuition includes daily breakfast and lunch as well as access to the Hadar Ensemble’s concert immediately following the program. We have limited scholarships available for this program. To apply for a scholarship, please fill out this form.

About Singing Communities Intensive

Led by Hadar’s Rising Song Institute's Creative Director Joey Weisenberg, we study the intersection of music, spirituality, and prayer. Our teachers have included Hadar faculty members Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, Rabbi Aviva Richman and Dena Weiss as well as guests, such as Hazzan Ramón Tasat, Rabbi Na'ama Levitz Applbaum, Rabbi Miriam Margles, Rabbi Yosef Goldman, Deborah Sacks Mintz, Cantor George Mordecai, Merri Arian, Cantor Rosalie Boxt, and Anat Hochberg. These four days of singing will culminate in the Hadar Ensemble’s largest public concert to date!

Join a community of rabbis, cantors, ba’alei tefilah, musicians, singers, students, lay leaders, and community organizers in an ongoing exploration of communal musical dynamics.

Hadar’s Rising Song Institute aims to cultivate the grassroots musical-spiritual creativity of the Jewish people. The Singing Communities Intensive is one of many projects aimed at furthering this vision. Read more about our Rising Song Institute and our recently launched Rising Song Fellowship.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it for me? If you have a passion for communal Jewish music: yes!
If you’ve come before, yes! Come again to learn new music and to review your favorite tunes and melodies!

When is it? December 24-27, 2018.

Where is it? The sessions will be held at B’nai Jeshurun, 270 West. 89th Street, New York

How much does it cost? $600 Full; $300 Student. Tuition includes daily breakfast and lunch as well as access to the Hadar Ensemble’s concert immediately following the program. We have limited scholarships available for this program. Please click here to apply.

Questions? Write to us at

2018 Schedule


Center for Prayer and Spirituality at B'nai JeshurunHadar is proud to partner with the Center for Prayer and Spirituality at B’nai Jeshurun to host the 2018 Singing Communities Intensive.

Sample Video (SCI 2017)