LOS ANGELES (AP / WCBS 8880) – Jewish folk singer Debbie Friedman, whose songs are performed in Reform synagogues around the world, has died in California.

Rabbi Elliott Kleinman of the Union for Reform Judaism says she was in her late 50s.

Kleinman says relatives told him the Friedman died Sunday morning at a hospital in Orange County where she’d been admitted for pneumonia, but the actual cause of her death is unclear.

Her funeral is scheduled for Tuesday at Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana.

Beginning in the 1970s, Friedman set traditional Jewish prayers to contemporary folk music, with lyrics in Hebrew and English. She is best known for her version of the prayer for healing – Mi Shebeirach.

Friedman made more than 20 albums and performed at Carnegie Hall and around the world.

She was born in Utica, New York.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (12)
  1. zmargolin says:

    If you don’t like her music that is ok. Please show the respect of somebody who was loved and died.

  2. Elise Dee Beraru says:

    Our congregation sings her Mi Shebeirach every Shabbat and Miriam’s Song is a great favorite, as is The Alef Bet Vet song. When I first heard her music, it reminded me of camp songs, but in the last five years I grew to appreciate her light touch and joyous music. Refuah shalom.

  3. vlad says:

    she will be greatly missed

  4. otto says:

    ALL music has value – whether secular or religious, or the combination of both (such as Matisyahu)..

    Apparently, her music enlightened many people and brought them happiness. That is a major contribution to the world that will live on for many years to come.

  5. Iskah says:

    Baruch Dayan HaEmet. My children and I listen to her Aleph Bet rendition its beautiful.

  6. BernhardFranz says:

    Yeshua Machiach Marana ! Maranatha ! Shalom, baruch, brackah Eretz Israel Shaolim Friedman ! Bar Mitzvah ! Halle Bar Elyon !

  7. Alon Barak says:

    Her music, her cd’s and her smiles live on!

    Alon Barak

  8. telli says:

    Lord rest her soul and bring peace to her family and friends.

  9. Pet Rover says:

    Baruch Dayan HaEmet.

  10. Steven says:

    I am not Jewish. I was a guest at a Bar Mitzvah over the weekend. The service was enlightening and amazing to me. Debbie Friedman was mentioned. It cannot be easy to be Jewish.
    In a world where the news is dominated by another religion’s war on the rest of the world, this was a friendly, peaceful event as were the people. They care deeply about each other and they care about others.

  11. akhdulha says:

    I am sure her family, friends, and fans of her music care.

  12. Bill Lowme says:

    To William (above)…

    A lot of people care. She was well respected in her world, which is not nearly as small as yours.


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