Counting on Music: Songs to power the Jewish climate movement during the Omer

By Rabbi Laura Bellows

A vital element of Dayenu’s work to build a vibrant Jewish climate movement is a commitment to spiritually rooted action and Spiritual Adaptation through music, art, and ritual. Musicians, artists, and culture creators have an important role to play in movements for climate justice; they and can inspire, activate, comfort, and lift up stories of a thriving, livable future in ways that reach people’s hearts. 

Singing together, in particular, has long been a foundation of movement work – helping us to feel less alone, giving us energy and a sense of connection, and providing the foundation for lasting activism and community.

This year, during the Omer – the seven weeks between the Jewish holidays of Passover and Shavuot – Dayenu is celebrating Jewish climate movement music by featuring a selection of music from amazing musicians who inspire our work for climate justice.  

This digital songshare includes artists that are featured in Dayenu’s Jewish Climate Movement songbook, Rising Tides, Rising Voices.

Please keep up with our song drops each Thursday by following @joindayenu on social,  subscribing to the YouTube playlist, or just checking out this post each week!

Enjoy and share the inspiration with your network. More information about the musicians below.

ABOUT THE MUSICAL ARTISTS

ALY HALPERT PERFORMING “ASHREI” 

Aly Halpert is a queer Jewish musician, educator, and activist living on Lenni Lenape land in Philadelphia, PA. A singer, pianist, drummer, and guitar player, Aly writes songs for building community, working for collective liberation, and visioning different worlds. Aly leads music and prayer for Jewish communities. 

Her songs have been sung in national gatherings, song circles, and quiet moments of personal prayer, and have moved people all over the world. Whether her songs are serious or seriously goofy, Aly believes deeply in the power of music to awaken us to the loss and hope we carry, expand our sense of possibility, and connect us to each other and our collective strength.

CHLOE ZELKHA PERFORMING “BLESSED MOTION” BY ANNI ZYLSTRA

Chloe Zelkha, currently a Climate Arts and Spiritual Adaptation Fellow with Dayenu, aspires to build transformative experiences that connect people to the world as it could be. Previously, she served as the Fellowship Director at Urban Adamah in Berkeley, leading cohorts of emerging adults through semester-long deep dives into Judaism, organic farming, mindfulness, and social justice training. Before that, she worked as a community organizer in Boston, where she trained with JOIN for Justice and built power with young people at The Food Project, an environmental non-profit. 

Chloe is also passionate about grief work and trained as a chaplain at UCSF Mission Bay Hospital’s residency program. She is the co-founder of the Covid Grief Network and the author of Being with Grief, a creative workbook for loss. Chloe holds a BA in Religion from Carleton College and an MA in Education from Harvard University. She is currently a fourth-year student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where she is a Wexner Graduate Fellow.

KYLE LEMLE SINGING HIS SONG “ALIVE” 

Kyle Lemle has worked for over a decade on forest restoration and climate justice initiatives. A Kerry Fellow, Wyss Scholar for Conservation in the American West, and a Spiritual Ecology Fellow, Kyle has a Master of Forestry from Yale School of the Environment and a B.A. in Environmental Studies and International Development Studies from Brown University.

As a climate organizer, Kyle has mobilized thousands of people to the streets of San Francisco as a leader of RISE for Climate and organized historic actions at the UN Climate Talks as a US People’s Delegate & SustainUS youth delegate. As Director of Distributed Organizing with GreenFaith, Kyle crafted strategy, trained organizers and faith leaders, and helped build the international faith-based climate justice movement.

Channeling his passion for justice into culture-making and music, Kyle performs at festivals, conferences, and direct actions across California as the founder of the Thrive Choir, whose mission is to sing the music for the revolution. In addition, he has planted trees at sites impacted by violence across the US with shovels made from guns as co-founder and former program director of Lead to Life.

Yoshi Silverstein performing “Teyn Datcha (Take Heed)”

Yoshi Silverstein is a Chinese-Ashkenazi-American Jew and an educator, designer, speaker, husband, and father. A multidisciplinary practitioner of embodied creative and spiritual expression, he is a recipient of the 2022 Pomegranate Prize for emerging leaders in Jewish education from the Covenant Foundation, and was selected as a 2021 “Grist 50 Fixer” building a more just and equitable future.
 
Yoshi earned his Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture at University of Maryland with a thesis exploring Jewish landscape journey and experience, and holds certificates in spiritual entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, permaculture design, and environmental education. Yoshi sits on the Board of Directors for Repair the World as program committee chair, is an adjunct faculty instructor at Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, a Senior Schusterman Fellow, and a student of Resmaa Menakem in the areas of embodied antiracism and somatic abolitionism.

Rabbi Laura Bellows

As Dayenu's Director of Spiritual Activism & Education, Rabbi Laura Bellows works to build climate-resilient, spiritually-rooted, justice-seeking communities centered in Jewish wisdom. She has served as a curriculum and ritual designer, outdoor experiential educator, program manager, artist, and facilitator in Jewish and inter-religious spaces.
Laura studied Environmental Studies at Oberlin College and was ordained at Hebrew College, where she recently lead Prozdor and Teen Learning programs.

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