Rebecca, Thank you for providing a very touching and meaningful framework for my mother’s memorial service. I was moved by your music and how you conducted the service. It was what we needed at that moment, so thank you!” - Jeff B.

— Personal Note

Dear Rebecca, In the beginning of the preparation for my bat mitzvah, I had no idea how much fun I would have chanting my trope with you. You made me love to sing even more! Thank you for your patience while I learned the Hebrew. Thanks for making the experience come to life for me. Warmly, Madeline” - Madeline J.

— Personal Note

With great delight, the Forward presents the second Soundtrack of Our Spirit, a reader-inspired digital project to find the best new voices in Jewish music. After tallying thousands of votes from readers and consulting with our celebrity judges Lipa Schmeltzer and Neshama Carlebach, we’re proud to present the final playlist. We hope this music inspires and propels you into the High Holidays with soaring spirits.”

The Forward 2016

Soundtrack of our Spirit: The Podcast”

The Forward 2015

With great delight, the Forward presents the results of a reader-inspired digital project to find the best new voices in Jewish music that has surpassed even our ambitious expectations. It is a testament to the depth and diversity of Jewish song today and the chord it strikes — pun intended — in listeners across the country. These songs are sung in English, Hebrew and Spanish, alone or accompanied by piano or guitar, by women and men, Ashkenazi and Sephardi. Some are in the style of what I call “High Hazzanut,” with the sonorous embellishments of classical cantorial music heard in synagogues on holy days for centuries, while others are in the soft tones of folk music strummed on a porch at night with friends. And every type of song in between. We received well more than 300 nominations, listened to them all, and culled the selection to send our esteemed judges a playlist of 12 — all anonymous, so that the nominees could be judged on style and technique alone. The top five listed here were determined according to the judges’ rankings, but so enchanted were we all with the others that we are posting the finalists and runners-up for your listening pleasure. I encourage all of you to weigh in on your favorites via social media. Tweet @jdforward using the hashtag #JewTunes to let us know which of the 21 songs inspires you, or leave us a comment on Facebook. We are indebted to our judges — Angela Buchdahl, Galeet Dardashti and David Tilman — for lending their ears and their hearts to this project. And I am indebted to Anne Cohen, deputy digital media editor, who created and shepherded this effort, and who was ably assisted by Maia Efrem, Eileen Reynolds and Lior Zaltzman. Our inspired logo was designed by Anya Ulinich. Most of all we thank those who create songs and who support them for enriching our spiritual and communal lives. As we enter a new year, let Jewish music elevate our sense of purpose and gratitude. Let it reach across the generations to remind us what we can share by simply humming a simple tune.” - Jane Eisner

The Forward 2015

Rebecca, you have a unique talent in music. You should know that my Shabbat playlists for Friday nights and Saturday mornings are mostly your songs. There are many wonderful Jewish artists out there, but you are my very favorite! I listen to your music every Shabbat, and I mean every Shabbat. Your music is central to my weekly Shabbat traditions!” - Derrick English

— Personal Note

Rebecca, I can't thank you enough for adding such warmth and joy and melody to our (bar mitzvah) service. You were a big hit!” - K. Dubinsky

— Personal Note

I went to your link for the first time, and just spent the last half hour listening to samples of your wonderful singing/songwriting. I am a public school music teacher/weekend religious school music director/cantorial soloist/songleader. I am so excited to hear you. I love your voice and you are a great songwriter. I feel as if I have been given a gift. And, you sing in my vocal range!!!!! Thank you for your musical gift.” - L. Deutsch

— Personal Note

Dear Rebecca, I own three of your albums (Light of Shabbat, P’Tach Libi, and Kirvu). I listen to your music every week during Shabbat. I have even created special Shabbatot playlists organizing your songs to how they appear in Mishkan Tefillah. Your music brings so much meaning to every Shabbat. Your melodies are powerful, they tug at the heartstrings. Your music is my most favorite, and I have encouraged my rabbi to purchase your music for her collection. I have taught your version of Hashkiveinu to my congregation and they love it. My rabbi loved it so much that she asks me to lead the congregation with your Hashkiveinu every Friday night! Your music touches more lives than you know! Thank you so much for making the most incredible Shabbat music I’ve ever heard. Shabbat is my most favorite of our holidays and your music makes it even sweeter and more meaningful. May you be blessed with a wonderful week, and may every Shabbat be sweeter than wine for you and your loved ones. Thank you so much for sharing your musical talent with the world.” - Derrick English

— Personal Note

Finally got a chance to listen to your new CD. You keep getting better and better. The mixed use of Hebrew and English lyrics, the arrangements of the melodies, and your singing seem to improve with each CD. Kol Hakavod.” - Cantor Alane S. Katzew (re: "Kirvu")

— Personal Note

Our many, many thanks! You worked with (our son) with kindness and patience, moving him from a feeling that it could not be done to mastering t'fillot and his Torah portion. This was such a positive experience for him.” - Beth, the mother of a bar mitzvah student

— Personal Note