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Press Release: Debbie Friedman Memorial Service

JANUARY 10, 2011 (NEW YORK CITY) — IJPA, the International Jewish Presenters Association, the Fifth Annual Schmooze Conference and City Winery join the community at large in mourning the loss of the legendary Jewish performing artist, Debbie Friedman, who passed away Sunday from complications of pneumonia. Debbie will be missed for the truly talented artist and visionary she was for more than half a century.

Debbie was scheduled to perform at IJPA’s annual conference in New York City January 11th – 12th at City Winery. The IJPA community of artists, presenters and admirers remains deeply saddened by her passing.

To honor her memory, IJPA will be holding a musical memorial service with Schmooze Keynote Speaker and Israeli rock-star David Broza on Tuesday January 11th as the opening ceremony of the annual Schmooze conference. Other performers include Neshama Carlebach and Paul Shapiro. Reflections will be shared by Moishe Rosenfield, Debbie’s longtime booking agent and close personal friend for decades.

“Debbie embodies the work of many of the people of the Schmooze conference and it is truly fitting that we honor Debbie and her legacy by sharing her music, as performed by her peers and friends.” said Michael Dorf, Chair of IJPA and founder of City Winery in paying homage to Debbie and her lifelong contribution to the Jewish and Israeli artistic community.

“Debbie Friedman embodied a generosity of heart, love and spirit,” said Schmooze Director and IJPA Executive Director David Franklin. “Although she had no biological children of her own, she helped uplift and nourish the countless Jewish souls who were touched and inspired by her music. She was courageous as a performer, inspiring her audiences to open their hearts.”

“Like Shlomo Carlebach brought shul into camp, Debbie Friedman brought camp into shul. Debbie will be sorely missed but her heartfelt lyrics and melodies, which are so beloved throughout the world, will continue to shine her light forever,” said Schmooze Assistant Director Lisa Alcalay Klug.

For more information and press passes to attend the memorial, please contact David Franklin:  (917) 362-9013.

IJPA, housed online at, is a vibrant community of individual Jewish artists of all genres and presenters–representatives of Jewish cultural venues, including JCCs, synagogues, festivals and more.

155 Varick Street, New York, NY 10013, (917)-362-9013  Schmooze 11: Jewish Culture Conference, January 11 & 12, 2011, NYC

Twitter: @jewisharts

contact:, 917-362-9013

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Remembering Debbie

I returned home after directing Schmooze 11: IJPA Jewish Jewish Culture Conference.

Back in 1974 Debbie Friedman(z”l) came to St. Louis and gave a concert at our synagogue. I was transfixed by how she was able to bring together this community out of its isolation, teaching us how to sing. She was a courageous performer who modeled being unselfconsciously Jewish, engaged and emotional. She had a generosity of spirit, of heart and of love. It was a central reason why I got involved in presenting Jewish culture. When I look for a performer, I want someone who can do more then just sing.

Year’s later, my wife co-led the Ma’yan Women’s Seder along with the Ma’yan staff, Debbie Friedman and her band in New York, where 500 Jewish women of all ages, shapes and sizes, none of whom were cooking, danced, sang and celebrated the joy of sisterhood. I was there with my daughters on my shoulders. Later that year, when we were preparing the house for seder, my three-year old asked where the band was, expecting Debbie to arrive.

Thank you Debbie, for giving us the gift of yourself. May your memory be for a blessing.

I also wanted to share with you words that Moishe Rosenfield prepared for a memorial program we had had during our conference this week at City Winery. If you’ve have been to concert with a Jewish musician in North America over the past 25 years, there’s a good chance that Moishe was involved in producing it.

Later this week Shalom TV, will have a special on Debbie Friedman, including our memorial service, featuring Saxophonist Paul Shapiro, Poet Esther Ann, Singers David Broza and Neshama Carlebach, in addition to Moishe Rosenfield.

We’ll be updating photos from Schmooze on the right , but here’s the first batch from the first day.

Schmooze 11: IJPA Jewish Culture Conference January 11-12 at City Winery! Come check it out!

Click here to download the Schmooze 2011 .pdf schedule.

Many incredible Jewish artists will perform to  at the City Winery in New York City, NY. Come out and Schmooze with other artists!

jewish presenters in new york city

Schmooze 11 will be located at the City Winery located at 155 Varick St, New York, NY 10013.