KI Presents Noah Budin in Concert May 18

I need a little light shining in my soul

I need a little music to make me whole

I need a little faith to keep me strong

I need to give the stories a voice and pass them along

– Noah Budin, in his song, “Joshua’s Band” from the 
album, “Hallelujah Land”

Noah-fence-1colOn Sunday, May 18, Noah Budin will be coming to Keneseth Israel to perform in concert, and I’m very excited about it.

I first heard Noah Budin perform at a Women Cantors Network conference in his hometown of Cleveland, OH, about a dozen years ago. I had my first year as a full-time cantor in South Florida under my belt and I was feeling pretty good about things but still feeling very much like the rookie that I was, still working on what would be would be my personal “style” as a cantor.

I was proud of surviving the stresses of starting out and was looking for inspiration wherever I could find it. This was my mindset when I sat through Noah’s workshop. I don’t remember every detail about his presentation, only that he was fully charged with an intense energy as he shared his songs that taught many of the stories and values of our tradition. Through the varied musical languages of gospel, country, doo wop, rock and folk, Noah was able to deliver his message straight into the hearts and souls of his audience.

What I found so remarkable about each of his songs that he performed for us was that they placed the listener squarely in the middle of an episode from the Torah. The songs brought the ancient tradition alive, highlighting Jewish values like love of God and Torah and the need for us as Jews to engage in social action in order to help those in need.

For instance, his song, “Early in the Morning,” begins by recounting Moses’ faith and vision as he led the Israelite through the wilderness and into the Promised Land and it ends by reminding us of the sacrifices Martin Luther King, Jr. made in leading his people to a different type of freedom.

Another song that personalizes the Torah for all of us is his song “Standing at the Bottom of Ararat.” The song starts off sounding like another retelling of the Noah story but ends with the words,

Now, people, this story goes beyond the book

It’s more than the crew that old Noah took

His sons and their wives and the animals, too

That Rainbow sign is for me and you.

We’re all on that ark…..

As a Jewish educator, I understand that a lesson will have much more impact on my students if they are able to imagine themselves having lived through that experience. As I write this article, Jews around the world are preparing for the Seder nights, during which we retell the Exodus from Egypt as if we were the ones who were freed from slavery.

Noah Budin is a master at sparking his listeners’ imagination while warming their souls. As the contemporary Jewish singer/songwriter Craig Taubman has said about him, “There are a lot of people who write great music…there are very few who touch your heart. Noah Budin does both with class, sensitivity and spirit.”

My experience seeing him perform so many years ago left such an impression on me that I have invited him to come perform for us here at Keneseth Israel for our annual fundraising concert and event we’re calling “KI’s Kampout” on Sunday, May 18.

This Sunday is Lag B’omer (33rd day of the Omer) when we are permitted to take a break from the restrictions imposed during these weeks between Passover and Shavuot. Since it is a day traditionally spent doing outdoor activities, the concert will be preceded by a little carnival on our front lawn beginning at 2:30 p.m., complete with games, hair braiding and kosher s’mores bar!

We are inviting all campers and counselors – past and present – from Camp Livingston and Beber to compete in an epic tug of war! We encourage all who are coming to wear their camp T-shirts.

Noah and his band will begin their performance in the KI sanctuary at 3:45 p.m. Cantor David Lipp and I will be joining the band on a few songs.

Tickets are $15 for adults (12 years and older) and $5 for children (3-11 years old). Admission is free for children 2 years and younger. Parve boxed lunches will be available for purchase at $6 each.

Come to the concert and I am certain that Noah’s music will help you find that “little light shining in your soul!”

For more information about the concert itself or about sponsorships, please call the office at 459-2780. Learn more about Noah Budin by visiting his website,

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