Robert L. Cohen, Editor Words TESTIMONIAL

"In the highest heavens, there is a certain Temple with gates that can be opened only by the power of song."

— the Zohar
   (sourcebook of Jewish mysticism)

Open the Gates!
New American- Jewish Music for Prayer, Vol. 1

A compilation CD of American-Jewish "heart music," both intimate and exuberant, for prayer, dance, meditation, and healing: Jewish bluegrass and Jewish country, Jewish "world music," English and Hebrew spiritual melodies, and a cappella harmony singing

Find out more >

New Wings for Our Prayers - Download Robert Cohen's lecture series brochure

Lecture/ presentations — with exhilarating recorded musical illustrations — on the sources and variety of American-Jewish folk, popular, and liturgical music, in the 20th century and today

Download brochure

Elliot Bassman - The Empire State
© Elliot Bassman. Used by permission.

For information on my New York Council for the Humanities lectures on
New York City songs and American-Jewish music, view my lectures page on their website


Q: What do Jewish liturgical music and Woody Guthrie’s songs have in common?

A: They both often “borrowed” existing melodies (from folk or popular music, and even from religious sources) and set new words to them — or, in the case of Jewish music, old words, from the prayerbook or the Psalms or the Torah.

Related Lecture: We’re Playing Their Song: Borrowing Melodies for Jewish Prayer

For more information, see Jewish Music Lectures

Related Lecture: "When Stealing Is (Sometimes) Legal": The ‘Folk Process’ in Urban Music

For more information, see American Music Lectures

Websites you may want to check out:

Illustrators for this website:


John Work, Heavenly Gate Quartet, Various Artists
Recording Black Culture

14 marvelous cuts of evolving African-American roots music, recorded in the rural South in the 1930s and 1940s by one of America’s premier black folklorists, John Wesley Work III:  sacred harp singing, now forgotten black string-band music, blues, and gospel quartets — some of them anticipating doo-wop rock ‘n roll and other urban genres of black music.  Comprehensive liner notes booklet as well.

To Purchase: CLICK HERE


E-mail Robert:  •  866-644-8646 (866-NIGUNIM)

©2019 Robert L. Cohen. All rights reserved. Site by Trish Keenan.