Rabbinic Pastor Cantor Lisa Levine is a nationally renowned composer, recording artist, author, poet and worship artist.
Lisa began playing guitar at the age of 8 in her home town of Bakersfield California. She was influenced by the Reform Jewish Youth Movement and was NFTY Song leader where she was mentored and inspired by Debbie Friedman. Reb Lisa earned her B.A. in Music from the University of California, Irvine, where she was a featured soloist on three International tours. She spent her Junior Year Abroad and studied at Hebrew University and the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Opera Workshop. Lisa went on to study at Hebrew Union College-JIR DFSSM in New York and was Ordained with a Masters in Sacred Music in 1989.
Lisa served in various communities around the country as a full-time Reform cantor for 30 years and received her Doctorate in Sacred Music after 25 years of service to the Jewish people in 2014. She has built bridges between people of all faiths and cultures with her Jewish Gospel style songs. Her catalogue includes 9 CDs, 5 songbooks, hundreds of original compositions and the book/CD/DVD “Yoga Shalom.” Her choral series is published by Transcontinental Music Publications and her songs are featured in over a dozen compilations! Her poems appear in multiple publications, including the WRJ (Women of Reform Judaism) Torah Commentary, WRJ Centennial Books and GMUH Lombardy Voices Poetry Journals. Her most recent CD, “Bridge To Peace,” is inspired by her work in chaplaincy and Jewish Renewal.
In January 2018 Lisa was Ordained as Rabbinic Pastor from Aleph Alliance for Jewish Renewal. Lisa serves as a Jewish Social Service Agency chaplain in Montgomery County MD and is proud to serve as the Religious Leader of Seaside Jewish Community in Rehoboth, Delaware. She also shares her music and Yoga Shalom practice in National Conferences and in communities around the world.
Lisa shares her life with husband Andy and children Emily and Louis.
Lisa is ready and excited to lead your group in one of these Programs or to help you create your own!
Click any of the programs below to learn more
Jewish Lifecycle Rituals
Some of the Jewish Lifecycle Rituals Cantor Lisa performs are:
- B’rit Milah for Baby Boys
- B’rit HaLev for Baby Girls
- B’nai Mitzvah Ceremonies
- Bedeken pre-wedding ceremony
- Jewish and Interfaith Weddings
- Mikva rituals for marking the milestones of life
- End of life transition
- Sexual harassment rituals for releasing shame and pain
Yoga Shalom is a unique worship experience that brings together body, mind, and spirit for an extraordinary prayer service. Combining the two powerful spiritual disciplines of Jewish worship and yoga practice, Yoga Shalom leads to deeper understandings of both, or as Lisa writes of her initial forays into yoga as a cantorial student, “I learned to be more present in my prayers and meditations so I could better pray with and on behalf of my congregation.”Yoga Shalom is for everyone. The service practice can be done any time of day, on Shabbat, a Sunday afternoon or weekday evening. Yoga Shalom can be done sitting in a chair, with those of limited abilities as well as with those with advanced Yoga experience. When you bring Lisa to your community to teach, she utilizes her book and CD to elevate and transport participants to a new level of physical and spiritual awareness. Communities across the country have experienced her gentle teaching and healing style of opening the heart, quieting the mind and nurturing the spirit. Accompanied by an instructional DVD the practice can be adopted and led by anyone after Lisa has departed, either at home, at synagogue or in a studio.
Review by Lisa Traiger, arts and entertainment writer from the Washington Jewish Post: "Lisa Levine puts the om in shalom. The Chevy Chase cantor and yoga practitioner is the creator of Yoga Shalom, introducing a new way for Jews to pray using both body and soul. Levine's recently released book Yoga Shalom, which features a companion instructional DVD and CD of accompanying liturgical music, is a friendly user's guide for yoga novices and yogis alike who want to put a Jewish twist on the ancient physical and spiritual practice."
Bring Lisa to your community to lead and speak about her journey through Yoga Embodiment and prayer.
Soulful Shabbat Ruach
Soulful Shabbat Ruach is an original Shabbat Evening Service written by Cantor Lisa Levine for her choirs, bands and congregation. It was created to appeal to young and old alike, people of different faith backgrounds and inclusiveness. The prayers are set in both Hebrew and English and meld a variety of styles including Gospel, Country, Folk, Chassidic, Country, Klezmer and Ladino. All of the choral arrangements for the songs on Soulful Shabbat Ruach are available from Transcontinental Music Publications or at Oysongs.com The accompanying band book is available from Lisa and will be provided as part of your program. Lisa will provide all the materials you will need for your Shabbat experience! She will work with you, your choirs, your band members and accompanist to create a truly unique worship experience. Along the way Lisa will share her stories, insights into the meanings of prayers, her inspiration in writing her songs and her unique perspective on life. Put the “Jew” in 'Jewbilation' with Soulful Shabbat Ruach!
My Songs For The Jews of Cuba
This one hour concert takes audiences around the world through Jewish music. In 2006 Lisa performed a concert in Havana, Cuba, where she adapted a concert of Jewish folksongs that she thought the Jewish community there would love. The reaction was so great, that when she returned to the states, she recorded a CD especially for the Jews of Cuba. Then she returned to Havana in 2007 to present a second concert and give a copy of the CD to every family in Cuba! Since then Lisa has returned two more times, presenting concerts and teaching the children of the Patronato Religious School. The concert begins with Ladino songs, moves to Yiddish folk songs, Cantorial gems and ends with favorite Hebrew melodies. Paired with her insightful narration and slides about her trips as the first woman cantor to perform in Cuba, audiences have been riveted by her story and stylistic renderings of the favorite songs of the Jewish people.
The Jewish Gospel Experience
The word "Jospel" is the combination of the Jewish and Gospel styles of music. Over the past 25 years, Lisa's work with Interfaith, African American and Jewish choirs of all ages has inspired her to write music which melds these styles for use in community, Christian and Jewish worship settings. This concert features her original music in an uplifting, inclusive and inspiring set which includes singing, clapping and audience participation in the amazing Jewish Gospel Experience! Area gospel singers and choirs can be incorporated to create an amazing community event!
The Jews of Broadway
Join Lisa as she takes you on a tour of Jewish Broadway. From Irving Berlin to George Gershwin, Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein and beyond, this one hour tour-de-force of Broadway favorites brings audiences to their feet. An informative narrative illuminating the influence of Jews on the music of Broadway makes this program a favorite of young and old alike. An ideal way to include members of your choirs and congregation who love to sing and perform Broadway!
Mending Hearts Making Peace
Lisa's work with hand drumming and sacred chant is a spiritual journey through heart opening, healing and awakening. The practice includes Kirtan chant, call and response, guided mediation and lyrical melodies meant to sooth and inspire, mend and repair the sometimes frayed edges of our hectic lives. No drumming experience necessary, only a deep desire to hear the beat of your own heart!
Nashir B'yachad: Choir Workshops
Lisa has been working with and writing music for her choirs of all ages for decades. She will inspire and uplift, tell stories and guide your youth, teen and adult choirs as together, we sing, pray, worship, play and dance. This workshop can be in preparation for a service or just for the fun of learning and singing Jewish music!
Song Leading 101
As a NFTY and URJ Song leader Lisa grew up teaching in the URJ Camping System and mentoring young people to play and sing! Lisa will work with your teen song leaders and give them great strategies and tips on becoming the best leaders they can be. We will also learn some of the newest and most trending songs of the URJ Camping Movement.
Create Your Own!
Lisa is excited to work with you to develop a program for your congregation or group! Contact her today to discuss your needs.