The Union for Reform Judaism mourns the passing of Debbie Friedman (z”l), legendary performer, composer, recording artist, teacher and passionate Jewish visionary. Debbie influenced and enriched contemporary Jewish music in a profound way. Her music crossed generational and denominational lines and carved a powerful legacy of authentic Jewish spirituality into our daily lives. While Debbie’s passing will be mourned by millions of followers, her music will fill the hearts of Jews for generations to come. May Debbie’s memory be for a blessing and may her family and friends be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
URJ President Rabbi Eric Yoffie noted that "Debbie Friedman was an extraordinary treasure of our movement and an individual of great influence. Twenty-five years ago, North American Jews had forgotten how to sing. Debbie reminded us how to sing, she taught us how to sing. She gave us the vehicles that enabled us to sing. Then she impacted our youth and our camps and, ultimately, from there she impacted our synagogues. What happens in the synagogues of Reform Judaism today -- the voices of song -- are in large measure due to the insight, brilliance and influence of Debbie Friedman.
Debbie's legacy and spirit will live on through her music. She would want nothing more than for us to lift our voices together, and sing "a new song unto God."