Reb Geela Rayzel Raphael- brings a Southern twist to her rabbinate. Originally from Tennessee, Reb Rayzel brings the soul of the south into her service leadin'. She is a Reconstructionist rabbi with Renewal tendencies. She sings, composes and plays her drum whenever she can.
"Friday Night Revived" a completely transformed musical Shabbat service, is Reb Rayzel’s newest recording. Her previous CD, “Bible Babes A Beltin’,“ features songs about women of the Bible with a contemporary sound.
This long awaited liturgical release from one of most fun contemporary Jewish composers, Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael*. Friday Night Revived! based on the Kabbalat Shabbat service, is chock full of uplifting musical renditions in Hebrew and English. The music ranges from country to blues, to chanting and even gospel. The G!d language pays homage to Lord as well as celebrates Shechinah.
The title song "Moving into Shabbos" will ease your transition to the week. The country western and revival numbers - "Shiru" and "Gonna Pray"- will have you clapping along. The pulsating chants - "Evenings" and "Circle of Love"- will trance you out. Written in memory of her father, Reb Rayzel has even transformed the Kaddish. There is something for everyone.
Although Reb Rayzel belts out the lead vocals, she is joined by a wide array of friends backing her up with rich harmonies and arrangements. Her MIRAJ sisters, Juliet Spitzer and Rabbi Margot Stein, added their melodic voices on numerous selections; Shabbat Unplugged member Rabbi Shawn Zevit adds vocals and the sounds of the forest on Psalm 96; Judah Prince lends songwriting ability and authentic dulcimer to complete Ufros Aleynu; Rabbi Jack Gabriel slides in to add vibe on the Priestly blessing; Yofiah enhances the "Circle of love" with her trills; Rabbi Yaffa-Shira Sultan and Frank Kohn embellish the Kaddish; Leah Weisman and Cantor Naomi Hirsch chime in on Aleynu. It really seems the community is singing along!!
This is certainly the recording to put on while cooking for Shabbos or when you are just too tired to get to shul. It pushes the edge of Jewish music fusion. As well, the English poetic renderings are great for the non-Hebrew speaking crowd. It will revive any community with its melodies- just like the title promises. Put it on and don't expect to sit still. One thing for sure- you won't be bored!
While shes not recording, Reb Rayzel sings with MIRAJ, an a cappella trio( Mirajtrio.com) and rocks with Shabbat Unplugged( shechinah.com) at Philadelphia area synagogues. She is a freelance teacher and ritual maker and is guided by her angels in service to Shechinah.
Geela Rayzel, daughter of Mitchell z”l and Natalie Robinson, hails from Knoxville, Tennessee. She received a B.A. from Indiana University in Religious Studies and a Masters in Contemporary Jewish Studies from Brandeis University. Rayzel has also studied at Machon Pardes and the Melton Center for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In addition, she was a Wexner Graduate Fellow.
Currently she is the Rabbi of Beth Israel Congregation of Woodbury, New Jersey. Rabbi Rayzel also consults with InterFaithways, an Interfaith Family Support Network of Greater Philadelphia; and with the Jewish Women’s Spirituality Institute.
Rayzel has dedicated her career to the Jewish community, first as the Director of the Jewish Student Federation of York University, Toronto, and subsequently as the Director of the Graduate Student Project at Hillel of Greater Philadelphia. She also served Leyv Ha-Ir Reconstructionist Congregation of Center City, Philadelphia as rabbi for nine years.
Rayzel teaches on Biblical Women, new rituals, angels, Rosh Hodesh
Jewish Women’s Sexuality, Spirituality and Power.
Check out her web site: shechinah.com