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Music at TI

Temple Israel, under the leadership of Cantor Shira Lissek,
strives to engage, inspire, and connect us to each other
and our tradition through Jewish music.




A musical blog featuring videos and recordings from Cantor Lissek at Temple Israel. Visit Temple Israel's YouTube page by clicking here or click on the link below to listen or view:


SEPTEMBER 23 - Avinu Malkenu (Janowski)

God, Hear our prayers We have sinned before Thee Have compassion upon us and upon our children Help us bring an end to pestilence, war, and famine Cause all hate and oppression to vanish from the earth Inscribe us for blessing in the Book Of Life Let the new year be a good year for us

Wishing you all the Sweetest New Year! Click here.

SEPTEMBER 16 - We Return/Hashiveinu

To watch this week's video, click here.


SEPTEMBER 9 - L'Dor Vador (On and On) by Nefesh Mountain

“The light in us shines on and on the time may pass but it’s never gone. L’dor Vador Nagid Godlecha….All the days that came before us were as the wind upon our sails.”

These are the resonant and inspirational lyrics of Nefesh Mountain’s "On and On (L’dor Vador).  Listen and learn this beautiful song that we will hear live in our Temple Israel Sanctuary next Saturday night, September 17. This Selichot Havdallah and Concert is open to the entire Jewish Community and sponsored by Temple Beth El and Temple Israel.  Let’s start the season singing together!  Click here.

“Arguably some of the best bluegrass ever made... Nefesh Mountain is forging new paths in the grand ol’ world of bluegrass. Still taking a good bit of inspiration from the classics, the
band is in uncharted territory in terms of turning bluegrass into an expressive, muli-cultural celebration.” 
- American Songwriter

“Utterly American, utterly contemporary and thoroughly compelling. The music grabs hold
and doesn’t let go.” -
 Bluegrass Unlimited


SEPTEMBER 2 - Achat Shaalti

In the month of Elul we sound the shofar to awaken ourselves to the work of Teshuvah, repenting and returning to our purest selves, and giving ourselves a clean slate for the New Year. We also recite a psalm that includes “Achat Shaalti” - The one thing I ask of you, Adonai, is to sit in your presence all the days of my life. Please
click here to watch.

AUGUST 19 - Shabbat Candle Blessings

Every time we say “Baruch Ata Adonai” we are not saying to God “You are blessed.” Rather, we are saying, thank you to God for the blessings that God bestows upon us. When any of us say “baruch ata Adonai” as the opening of a bracha, we are not expressing gratitude to God that we are alive; but that the very fact is a blessing in and of itself.

The message of expressing gratitude and saying brachot, like the bracha over Shabbat candles, is to be grateful for what we have and to commit ourselves to be God’s agents in the world.

When we live each day being just a little more decent, with just one additional sand-like grain of integrity, we should be both grateful and satisfied. Each of us should learn to say: “Today, I lived the best I could and I am grateful that I did. Tomorrow is another opportunity to add more grains of sand by expressing gratitude to God in both word and deed.” To watch this week's video, click here.

AUGUST 12 - Nachamu Ami by Elana Arian

To watch this week's video, click here


JULY 22 - Modim Anachnu LachWe gratefully acknowledge you

מוֹדִים אֲנַחְנוּ לָךְ שָׁאַתָּה הוּא ה’ אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד צוּר חַיֵּינוּ מָגֵן יִשְׁעֵנוּ אַתָּה הוּא לְדוֹר וָדוֹר
We gratefully acknowledge that You are Adonai, our God and the God of our ancestors for all eternity. You are the Rock of our lives and the Shield of our salvation from generation to generation. We shall thank You and declare Your praise—for our lives which are in Your hand, for our souls which are in Your care, for Your miracles that are with us every day, and for Your wondrous deeds and favors at all times. To listen,
click here.


JULY 8 - L'Cha Dodi by Elana Arian

Check out this week's song of the week, L'Cha Dodi by Elana Arian. Click here, learn it, and sing along with us this Friday night at Temple Israel.

JULY 1 - Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu to the tune of “Shallow”

Happy New Month and Happy 4th of July. This year our hearts may be heavy when celebrating our great country. But with the new month, we are reminded that there is always a new beginning, a new chance to work for a better world. Be the change that you wish to see in our country. Our song of the week is "Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu," peace will come upon us yet. We pray that our country can find its way back to peace among us. This is Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu to the tune of “Shallow.” Enjoy!
To watch this video, click here.


JUNE 17 - Mi Shebeirach by Shira Lissek and Oran Eldor

Today's song comes from this week’s Parsha, Beha'alotecha. Moshe pleads with God to heal his sister Miriam.  “El Na R’Fa Na La” - Please God heal her please.

This is a setting I co-wrote with Oran Eldor. Please learn it and then come and sing with us at Friday night services at Temple Israel. Shabbat Shalom.


JUNE 10 - Hashkivenu by Dan Singer

To watch this video, click here.


JUNE 3Va’ani Ashir Uzecha by Josh Warshawsky

Inviting everyone to Shavuot the Torah of Music, tomorrow evening! To watch this video, click here.


MAY 20 - Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu 

To watch this video, click here.


MAY 13 - Or Chadash by Rick Recht

Come celebrate WoTI Shabbat with us on Friday night, May 13, and “Be the Spark.” The Women of Temple Israel (WoTI) will lead us with their words and
prayers and we will celebrate those who have inspired us and sparked light in
our souls. Click here to listen.


APRIL 29 - Yonina for Yom Ha'Atzmaut

We are so fortunate to be taking a virtual tour of Yerushalayim with Yonina live from Israel this Sunday. Listen to this heartwarming and super talented couple sing songs
of Israel (click here) as we look forward to celebrating Yom Ha'Atzmaut with them!

Join us this Sunday! But first, you must register in order to get the Zoom link. 
Register here.


APRIL 21 - If The World Had Cried by Kenny Karen (arranged by Oran Eldor)

On April 26 an ensemble of students from UNC Charlotte Orchestra, Queens University of Charlotte, and Central Piedmont (under the baton of Dr. Alan Yamamoto) will join me in setting the tone on our commemoration with “If the World had Cried” by Kenny Karen (click here) for our Charlotte Community Wide Holocaust Commemoration. They will also be playing “Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope” among other musical offerings, candle lighting, and prayers.

Join us at The Sandra Levine Theater at 7 p.m. for the memorable commemoration, ritual, testimony, and music (details).


APRIL 15 - Super Kosher Manischewitz Exodus and Moses (parody)

To watch this video, click here.


APRIL 8 - When you Believe by Stephen Schwartz

In celebration of being together again for Temple Israel's 2nd Night Seder and the launching of the North Carolina Jewish Clergy Association. Click here.


APRIL 1 - Sharing Our Stories (Men's Club Shabbat)

To watch this video, click here.


MARCH 25 - Olam Chesed Yibaneh by Menachem Creditor

Join us for Yom Gemilut Hasadim this Sunday and help us make the world a better place! Click here to listen to Olam Chesed Yibaneh.


MARCH 11 - We don’t talk about Haman (from Encanto’s "We don’t talk about Bruno") 

This week is Shabbat Zachor, Shabbat to remember. In anticipation of Purim we
are asked to remember the story of Amalek. Shabbat Zachor always comes right before Purim when we read the Megillah, the story of Esther speaking up to save her people from the evil plot of Haman who is a descendent of Amalek. Here in
this video is a fun parody of the Purim Story. This Wednesday (3/16) come out
to see Temple Israel's Purim Spiel, “The Megillah According to Taylor Swift.”


MARCH 4 - Oseh Shalom by Benji Schiller

We are feeling a need to pray for peace right now all over the world and
particularly in the Ukraine.  Click here for Oseh Shalom by Benji Schiller.


FEBRUARY 26 - Oseh Shalom by Elana Jagoda

How can we become closer with God? Listen to this video to find out three ways we can bring God into our lives that are found in Parshat Vayakheil. This Shabbat join us for Kitah Aleph (1st grade) Class Shabbat when they will sing their favorite version of Oseh Shalom (click here), and the Bar Mitzvah of Dylan Mann. See you at Temple Israel!

FEBRUARY 19 - Shiru L'Adonai by Eldor

Here is another song we would love for you to learn so you can sing along with us on Friday nights. To watch this video, click here.


FEBRUARY 12 - L’cha Dodi by Josh Warshawsky

We hope you will learn this and sing along on Friday nights. To watch this video, click here.


FEBRUARY 3 - Sanctuary Song

To watch this video, click here.


JANUARY 27 - Hashkivenu and Guide My Steps

This past Shabbat the clergy of Temple Israel and Beth El joined by Rev. LeDayne McCleese Polaski of MecMin gathered for words of comfort and prayer in a Unity Shabbat service at Temple Israel this past Friday night as a response to the events at a Synagogue in Texas two weeks ago.

“Every time people gather in prayer, and calculate how far it is to the nearest exit –– Every time a rabbi schedules active shooter training – Every time someone starts to put on a kippa or a Star of David and stops and has a second thought – Echo, after echo after echo. It is almost more than even the most stalwart heart can hold.

So let me tell you what I pray. I pray that the echoes won’t sound just in Jewish synagogues and Jewish hearts. I pray that the echo will resound in the services of Christians and Baha’is. I pray that it will resound in the sermons of Muslims and Unitarians. I pray that it will reverberate in the meditations of Buddhists and Hindus. I pray that it will ring out in the songs of Sikhs and New Thought practitioners. I pray that as we all kneel down, light lamps, read scripture, as we chant, sing, and dance at churches, mosques, temples, gurdwaras, viharas, spiritual centers and home altars, that the echo be always in our ears, in our minds, in our hearts.

Grief echoes. Pain echoes. So does solidarity. So does love.

What one heart cannot bear, all of our hearts together can.

Though the weight of the world would crush each of us, it can be borne by all of us. May it be so.”- Rev. LeDayne McCleese Polanski.

The last line is adapted from a poem called The Hardest Year by her friend Adele Pfrimmer Hensley. 

Click here for Hashkivenu and Guide My Steps. 


JANUARY 14 - Purim Spiel Kickoff!

To watch this week's video, click here.

Sun, September 25 2022 29 Elul 5782