oySongs - Love Jewish Music


Larry Milder
Larry Milder is a flatpicking, singing rabbi with a knack for off-beat Jewish tunes. His combination of wry wit and exceptional guitar playing have earned him a national following among fans of new Jewish music.

Larry has produced four albums of new and original Jewish folk music: American Psalm, Bible & Beyond, On My Block, and Rats, Leviathans & Other Tails. Larry's songs appear on over 20 albums, including NFTY at 50, an anthology of classic songs from the Reform Jewish youth movement; Havdalah Pajama by Judy Caplan Ginsburgh, winner of a Parents' Choice award; Acoustic Shabbat and Celebrate Kids, both anthologies produced by Craig Taubman.

Larry has won wide recognition for his own compositions. His song "Wherever You Go (There's Always Someone Jewish!)," has become a favorite in youth groups and summer camps throughout the country, and was covered by the Leevees in their 2005 concerts. "My Hebrew Name" won third prize winner in the 1995 American Jewish Song Festival. Larry's ballad "Jacob's Dream" was included in a collection of new Jewish music distributed to delegates at the 2001 UAHC Biennial Convention, and was a finalist in the 1997 American Zionist Song Competition. "Stars in the Sky" is the theme of the Hole in the Wall Camps annual NYC gala, and is cited in Paul Newman's book, Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good. Larry's songs are featured in The Complete Shireinu and The Complete Jewish Songbook for Children, Vol. 2, both from Transcontinental Music, and Birkon Mikdash M'at, the NFTY Bencher.

Larry has been a featured performer at numerous Jewish and secular folk music venues, including Biennial Conventions of the Union for Reform Judaism. He has performed at Jewish Arts Festivals in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Kansas City, and is a favorite at the annual Conference on Alternatives in Jewish Education. He has earned a reputation in New England for introducing contemporary Jewish music to general audiences at folk festivals like the Maine Festival, the HOPE Festival, and the Full Circle Summer Fair, and at popular public events like New Year's Portland and New Year's By the Bay.

Larry has also influenced a generation of songleaders through his guitar master classes at the CAJE Conference, his position as director of Zimria, NFTY's songleader training institute, and as head songleader and faculty at URJ summer camps. His essays on Jewish music and its role in the transmission of Jewish identity have been published in Jewish Education News and in Hamakor: The NFTY Resource Book.

Mastery of guitar technique has been one of the distinguishing characteristics of Larry's performance style. Larry is studied bluegrass guitar for more than ten years with national flatpicking champion Orrin Star (Winfield, 1976). Larry served as the guitarist of Hamakor, Boston's premier Israeli folk dance troupe, before going on to found the innovative Jewish band Elijah Rock.

Enhancing the beauty and spirituality of Jewish worship through music is at the heart of Larry's work as the rabbi of Congregation Beth Emek in Pleasanton, California. Larry also holds a Ph.D. in Jewish studies, and served as an assistant professor in the Philosophy Department of the University of Maine. Larry is married to Janet Elis Milder, and is the father of Miriam, Avi and Alex.

View all albums by Larry Milder

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