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Robert Cohen | Open the Gates!    New American-Jewish Music for Prayer, Vol. 1

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Debbie Friedman Elizabeth Swados Shlomo Carlebach

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Spiritual: Jewish Folk Folk: Traditional Folk Moods: Spiritual
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Open the Gates! New American-Jewish Music for Prayer, Vol. 1

by Robert Cohen

A compilation CD of some of the "heart music," both intimate & exuberant, that American Jews pray to today -- in English & Hebrew -- & incorporating diverse American musical styles: Hasidic, a cappella, bluegrass, country, & world music
Genre: Spiritual: Jewish Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Adonai S'fatai - Craig Taubman
3:37 album only
2. S'fatai Tiftach - Hanna Tiferet Siegel
2:39 album only
3. Ilu Finu - Linda Hirschhorn
1:47 album only
4. Beyond Twelve Gates - Michael Shapiro
3:22 album only
5. Lechah Dodi - Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin
3:48 album only
6. Woman of Valor - Elizabeth Swados
2:49 album only
7. Eishet Chayil - Beat'achon
4:24 album only
8. Shalom Aleichem - S. Brazil/Regesh
4:47 album only
9. Yismechu - R. Solomon/Safam
3:05 album only
10. Eits Chayim - Tanchum Portnoy
4:13 album only
11. Mi Chamochah - Kenny G/Bruce Benson
5:16 album only
12. Yibaneh - Fabrangen Fiddlers
2:44 album only
13. Pitchu Li - Y. Rosenzweig/Diaspora Yeshiva Band
3:20 album only
14. Hallelukah - A. Weinreb & J. Goodman/Kolos
4:25 album only
15. Hinei Keil Y'shuasi - B. Chait/Dveykus
4:59 album only
16. Birchot Havdalah - Debbie Friedman
5:09 album only
17. Ein Keilokeinu - Shlomo Carlebach
3:36 album only
18. Adon Olam - M. Rabinowitz/Shir Hadash
4:09 album only


Album Notes
A compilation CD of American-Jewish “heart music”, both intimate & exuberant, that American Jews today
* pray to
* dance to
* meditate to
* seek healing to

"Open the Gates! has opened MY gates, and given me comfort, joy, and healing" — a listener

18 tracks by 18 different artists & groups:

Shlomo Carlebach * Debbie Friedman * Craig Taubman
Fabrangen Fiddlers * Diaspora Yeshiva Band * Liz Swados * Kenny G

“What is so refreshing about OPEN THE GATES!, apart from its eclectic variety, is that it is traditional & at the same time modern, musically, instrumentally, & lyrically.”
— Theodore Bikel

Jewish bluegrass & Jewish country / Jewish “world music”
English & Hebrew Hasidic chants / a cappella harmony singing

“Without exaggeration, I have listened to my CD for hours on end — tapping, humming, dancing, chanting, & praying. You really have opened the gates of this woman's heart — traditional words of many decades blended with different notes, instruments, & voices enhanced in a new way, a happier way to express my yearning to be closer to God.” — a listener

plus: “New Wings for Our Prayers” (liner notes) — reflections on Jewish soul music today

“There are intensely beautiful gems in this collection of Jewish songs.” — Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary)



to write a review

phyllis darman

Enjoyed it-felt like I was in Temple!

Luis Carmona

Love it, just what I expected
I'm working on conversion at the moment and needed this CD to help me with the prayers. Thanks

Jean Zimmermann

What an incredible CD. I happened across it by accident, listened to the availble track excerpts and knew I had to own it. When a second volume is released I want to get it. If you love traditional and funky music, this CD is for you.

Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary)

"There are intensely beautiful gems in this collection of Jewish songs."
There are intensely beautiful gems in this collection of Jewish songs. You will feel the sorrow, the hope and the joy of generations past--Such is the gift of this music and of those who gave their talents to this remarkable project. If you are not Jewish, if you do not understand one single word being sung, the gift is nevertheless there for the taking.

Gili Houpt, NYC Jewish Music

"an incredible compilation album ... an unbelievable collection of music"
Jewish Music Album of the Week: "Open the Gates," an
incredible compilation album by Robert Cohen, Folk Music Historian, writer, and Lecturer, of 18 Jewish songs from 18 different artists across the spectrum of Jewish music, from Safam to Diaspora Yeshiva Band to Dveykus, Shlomo Carlebach to Debbie Friedman to Michael Shapiro. For Shabbat: there's a beautiful Lecha Dodi from Yitchak Husbands-Hankin, Eishet Chayil a cappella with Beat'achon, and Shalom Aleichem by Shmuel Brazil and Regesh. But even better than this unbelievable collection of music (already the best from the best), are the extensive liner notes, with biographical info on every artist and song, and a full introduction essay on the nature of Jewish music.

Theodore Bikel

traditional and at the same time modern-musically, instrumentally and lyrically
What is so startlingly refreshing about OPEN THE GATES!, apart from its eclectic variety, is that it is traditional and at the same time modern, musically, instrumentally, and lyrically. This makes it accessible even to those who have little or no linguistic or religious handle on this material.

Karen Christ, Worcester, MA

A tremendous joy to listen to!
It is difficult to find words to adequately describe the beauty of this CD. I appreciate and respect the premise of the CD itself- New American Jewish Music for Prayer - and am so happy about the variety of music/musicians chosen for inclusion on it. While there is certainly something here which will cater to everyone's taste, the heartfelt performances are what make this CD memorable. I was privileged to "listen in" on some personal conversations with Hashem!

Judy Stein

Gorgeous music, with a wonderful range of styles.
I think the phrase that clinched my determination to buy this CD was "Jewish bluegrass"--I'm a huge bluegrass fan, but I didn't know there was such as thing as Jewish bluegrass--and what's on the CD is fabulous.

I know virtually nothing about Jewish music, traditional or non-. (I'm not even Jewish, for that matter.) Nor am I particularly devotional by nature, but I love devotional music of all kinds; the devotional inspiration seems to me to make it better music. At least, it makes it music I tend to delight in, and what's on this CD is truly delightful.

I was almost as impressed by the introductory essay as by the music. It's learned, thoughtful, inspirational, and loving, all at the same time. I'm looking forward to a more reflective hearing of the music along with a perusal of the notes on the specific pieces.

Robert Cohen has done a really fine job on this. I very much hope he'll be able to produce sequels. I'll get 'em all.

Scott Alarik, Boston Globe, 1/16/02

It is as appealing for its musical qualities as its spiritual
"Many will be surprised at how well produced and beautifully arranged most of the 18 selections are....The music is unmistakably Jewish, both in its melodicism and religious lyricism, but with alluring splashes of contemporary folk-pop, jazz, bluegrass, cabaret, even reggae. It's as appealing for its musical qualities as its spiritual."

Rabbi Neal Kaunfer, Board of Jewish Education of Greater NY

Such a great & varied collection of soulful Jewish music--a fantastic CD!
A fantastic CD! Such a great & varied collection of soulful Jewish music -- I'm enjoying it immensely, listening over & over. Brings a lot of joy, to the heart and soul. Before you know it you'll be humming the uplifting melodies!
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