Learn At Hadar
Singing Communities Intensive

Singing Communities Intensive

December 24-27, 2018

Program Overview

The Singing Communities Intensive is a chance to experience the depth of Jewish music, to study traditional melodies and sounds and to be part of the creative process of bringing new music into being.

Our 2017 program will focus on “The Art of the Nigun.” A nigun is a wordless melody, as well as the outpouring of our hearts and souls as they try to express what can only be said through song.  It’s the communal musical-spiritual artform of the Jewish people.

At this year’s Singing Communities Intensive, we’ll explore:

  1. Old and new nigunim from a variety of soundscapes and traditions

  2. Intersections between individual and communal voices

  3. Strategies for building singing communities

  4. Spiritual underpinnings of song

  5. Ideas for composing new nigunim

  6. How nigunim interact with instruments and various musical styles.

About Singing Communities Intensive

Led by Mechon Hadar Creative Director Joey Weisenberg and Mechon Hadar co-founder Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, we study the intersection of music, spirituality, and prayer. Our teachers have included Hadar faculty members Rabbi Aviva Richman and Rabbi Na'ama Levitz Applbaum as well as guests, such as Hazzan Ramón Tasat, Rabbi Miriam Margles, Rabbi Yosef Goldman, Deborah Sacks Mintz, Cantor George Mordecai, Merri Arian, Cantor Rosalie Boxt, and Anat Hochberg. These four days of singing will culminate in a public concert and book launch celebrating Joey Weisenberg's latest album and recently published book!

Join a community of rabbis, cantors, ba’alei tefilah, musicians, singers, students, lay leaders, and community organizers in an ongoing exploration of communal musical dynamics.

Every year, we learn:

  • Nigunim (melodies), personal and communal, from the very old to the very new.
  • Inspiring Torah teachings and Jewish spiritual ideas.
  • Strategies for bringing communities together in song and prayer.
  • Musical concepts for personal and communal transformation of energetic singing and musical-spiritual transformation.


Explore Hadar's extensive tefillah and prayer leading resources here

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it for me? If you have a passion for communal Jewish music: yes. If you’ve come before, yes, come again to learn new music and review!

When is it? Monday, December 25 - Thursday, December 28, 2017.  

Where is it? The sessions and concert will be held at Mechon Hadar, 190 Amsterdam Ave on New York's Upper West Side.

How much does it cost? $600 Full; $300 Student. Tuition includes daily lunch. Scholarships available.

Where do I find out more and register? If you have additional questions, please write to sci@mechonhadar.org.

Davening and Kashrut


There is a Halakhic egalitarian minyan available at Yeshivat Hadar three times a day. Other local shuls provide additional davenning options. This is not a required part of the schedule, but you would certainly be welcome.


All food served at Mechon Hadar is strictly kosher. Breakfast and lunch will be vegetarian.

2017 Schedule

Sample Video