Jewish Folk Singer Debbie Friedman Dies At 59

LOS ANGELES (AP) — 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.

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

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • american grandma

    She was a shining star in both Reform and Conservative Judaism – a woman who opened the hearts and souls of millions to the beauty and glory of God. She will be missed!

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  • Ian Rosen

    I had the pleasure of knowing and learning from her when I attended the Brandeis Bardin Institute in the summer ofm ’87. Debbie was one of those inspiring, loving and warm people who was always very encouraging, empowering and had a lot of love in her heart. I’ll always remember what a wonderful person she was. Her music was beautiful and full of love, and as a person whe was a shining spirit and had a loving heart.

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