Volume 3, Number 151
'There's a Jewish story everywhere'

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Some background to R'tzey performed by Judith Levy

To hear Judith Levy sing R'tzey, please click here

By Cantor Sheldon F. Merel

SAN DIEGO—A few weeks ago, our editor, Donald Harrison received a glowing letter from Dr. Joel and Arlene Moskowitz praising cantorial soloist Judith Levy’s singing at Beth Shalom synagogue in Chula Vista. Don suggested I phone and request a copy of her CD, Threads of Blue which is a mixture of Liturgical, folk ,Ladino and Yiddish songs.

Born of a Sephardic mother and Askenazic father, Levy (photo, above right) grew up steeped in east and western Jewish culture and music, as well as an Orthodox religious orientation. She studied opera and voice in Canada and England, and has served as cantor at Temple Beth Shalom since 2003. She has previously served congregations in Vancouver, and Burbank, California, and has appeared with San Diego Light Opera, and Comic Opera companies.

She is also a recipient of several vocal awards in Toronto, Vancouver and from San Francisco Opera’s Merola Auditions. Copies of her CD are available on line, Judith Levy info@threadsofblue.com

I specifically chose this version of the R’tzey prayer from the Shabbat service, as I was instrumental in having it originally published by Transcontinental Music Company. Several years ago, while attending a mid-winter cantor’s convention in Phoenix, I heard this arrangement of R’tzey, written by my colleague, Cantor Stephen Richards. It received a warm

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