Guest Post by Caitlyn and Jonathan Salkind | Worship Glue: A New Workshop for Messianic Worship Coordinators

11742687_10153528847452755_6680812260079943198_n

PHILADELPHIA, PA — The MJAA is pleased to announce the launch of a new long-distance tele-workshop for up-and-coming Messianic worship coordinators. Run by a team of current and former YMJA worship coordinators, including Jonathan Salkind, Michael and Nicci Katz, Mykie Collins, and others, the workshop will cover the skills needed to hold a band together and make the worship sound awesome.

“This workshop isn’t really for worship leaders,” explained Mykie Collins, “Though of course, worship leaders are welcome. Leading worship is about choosing songs, casting vision, connecting with the congregation, and being the lead singer. Worship coordination is about providing musical structure and communicating among the musicians, and it’s really a different skill set. Guitarists and bassists make excellent coordinators, or pianists if they aren’t leading. Drummers mostly spend their time pounding rocks together, so they might be less of a good fit. And backup singers just live in their own world.”

Jonathan Salkind agreed. “Most of the worship coordinator’s job is to translate the worship leader’s vision into something that can actually be played. Worship leaders know what they want but have no idea what they’re doing. Every weekend, I walk in, set up my bass, and get told, ‘I want this song to sound exactly like Shane and Shane.’ And then I’m the one who has to translate that into something workable. We don’t have a cello, people! Anyway, the worship coordinator is the one to work out what the chord progression actually is, how to make the dynamic transitions flow smoothly, and how to play a reggae version of ‘Shabbat Shalom’ because that’s apparently where modern Messianic music is heading.”

“And don’t get me started on the Rabbi’s requests,” Salkind added. “If the Rabbi calls the band up and asks for ‘that song I like,’ the worship coordinator had better be ready to launch into ‘Every Praise’ with no chord chart. That’s my job.”

“I was in a rehearsal once for a YMJA morning worship time,” recalled Nicci Katz, “And I had chosen a great set list, but the chord charts weren’t in the key I wanted to sing for any of the songs. I can just clip a capo to my guitar, and I remember the keyboard had a transpose wheel, but the bassist and the saxophone player were totally lost. If my worship coordinator hadn’t stepped in, the whole set would have been ruined.”

The workshop will cover musical arrangement, volume dynamics, transposing songs on the fly, keeping the drummer from speeding up, keeping the drummer from slowing down, and keeping the drummer from adding too many splashy fills. It will also address some of the essentials of tech setup and mixing. “Knowing how to run a sound board is really important,” Collins explained. “I found this out the hard way. If your tech person that day is a teenager who got volunteered because he’s good with computers but not so good with music, the coordinator needs to be able to jump in and explain how to make the sound actually sound like music.”

Messianic worship leaders all over the country have expressed their excitement about the new coordinators’ workshop. “I have a doctorate in music, so I can actually lead and coordinate at the same time,” said Dr. Greg Silverman, “But every other worship leader I’ve ever met is in desperate need of a good coordinator. Or a doctorate.”

When reached for comment, singer-songwriter, Joshua Aaron, appeared confused by the idea. “I play the uke,” he said, “And the whole band comes together. The Holy Spirit just flows, right?”

For Messianic worship leaders, the ARCH Training Summit and other already-established events provide excellent opportunities to grow in their skills and ministry. 

 

 

Donate to Support The Meow: www.patreon.com/messianicmeow

Nate Benjamin Announces Sequel Album To Fix My Eyes Entitled ‘Fix My Nose’

FixNatesNose

Philadelphia, PA – In a packed press conference early this morning, Nate Benjamin officially announced his highly anticipated second full-length album. In a surprising move, the new record will be a full-blown concept album entitled Fix My Nose, with the entire disc effectively serving as a sequel to “Fix My Eyes,” the classic title track of his debut.

“Contemplating the implications of fixing my eyes on Yeshua was such a rewarding experience when I was writing the first album,” explained Mr. Benjamin. “When it came time to start work on the follow-up, I realized that there was so much more to be said. It has such a tremendous impact on our lives when we strive to focus ourselves entirely on God, and the more I prayed about it, the more I began to realize that every part of that process can have its own implications. The scope of it is so vast that it would take dozens of albums to truly do it justice, but for the time being I’ve decided to focus on the face. Nose, ears, mouth, hair… each is more than enough to fill an album on its own, and that’s just what I plan to do. Hair may even get a double album.

“Don’t get me wrong, though, I plan on getting through the whole body, if that’s the calling The Lord has for my life. God willing, someday, I’ll be spending several days in fervent prayer, as God reveals to me all the blessings He has in store for those who fix their spleens on Him.”

Fan opinion seems to be mostly positive, though some have voiced concerns. “I’m just not sure there’s enough material there to support a whole album,” said skeptic, Rebekah Wedemeyer. “I mean, an EP, absolutely, but I’m worried that pushing for a full-length might be stretching it just a bit. I hope I’m wrong, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out.”

Thankfully, it seems that the wait won’t be too long. The first single, “Smell,” is scheduled to be released in late May, with the full album making its official debut at Messiah Conference 2018. While an official track listing has not yet been released, Nate has indicated that the new album will feature 10 songs, each named for a different aspect of fixing one’s nose on God. As for whether the album lives up to the high standard set by its predecessor, we’ll all have to wait and smell.

 

 

Donate to Support The Meow: www.patreon.com/messianicmeow

Israeli Messianic Band MIQEDEM Working on Greatest Hits Album

MIQEDEM

Tel Aviv, Israel — Messianic Judaism’s favorite band, MIQEDEM, announced last week they are working on their second album. After exploding to Messianic fame in the last year, including a US tour, the demand is high enough to record a sophomore album just a little over a year after releasing their debut album. The Messianic world is waiting with bated breath to see what Jamie Hilsden and his crew will come up with next.

“I’ve been part of many many many Messianic bands and MIQEDEM has found the greatest success, by far,” lead singer and guitarist, Jamie Hilsden, said in a video on MIQEDEM’s Indiegogo page. “People love to listen to our songs on repeat. In fact, when we played the UMJC conference in July, the crowd wanted us to keep going, but we were out of songs. So we just went through our album again and everyone loved it. I don’t know if they even noticed, and I think it’s because they don’t understand what we’re singing about, because American Messianics don’t understand Hebrew. So after that we realized we could probably release a greatest hits album already. We’ll get money from selling two albums and we don’t even have to write any new material. It’s a win-win situation.”

MIQEDEM is raising money to record their second album, which will include every song from their first album, plus Elohim Lanu and Kol HaNeshama. If you’d like to help MIQEDEM reach their goal of $23,200 to record their new album, you may donate here: www.indiegogo.com/projects/miqedem-album-2#/

 

 

Donate to Support The Meow: www.patreon.com/messianicmeow

Rogue Sandwich Eater Plunges Yom Kippur Service Into Chaos

Man Eating Sandwich

Montpelier, VT – This year, Congregation Beth Ben David’s Yom Kippur service began like any other: a time for solemn introspection, fasting, prayer, and repentance. Little did the attendees expect, that before the end, it would devolve into absolute mayhem.

“It all started around 2:30pm,” recounted Rabbi Michael Goodman. “A visitor walked in with a small paper bag and sat down as we were praying. Nobody had seen him before, but all are welcome at our FREE services, and obviously we’re not going to turn away someone who’s seeking after God on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. I did make a mental note to keep the microphone away from him –we’ve gotten some really bizarre, ranting prayers from visitors at these things in the past – but beyond that, I didn’t think much of it. That is, I didn’t think much until the smell hit.”

According to congregants, the smell of the sandwich quickly began to change the tone of the prayers. “At first I thought I was imagining it,” said longtime member Hope Feldstein. “It seemed odd, since I hadn’t really noticed being any more hungry than your typical Yom Kippur, but all of a sudden I could swear I smelled grilled chicken. I tried to put it out of my mind, but then I noticed a whole lot of food imagery suddenly popping up in the prayers. Then when the Rabbi used the word ‘succulent’ to describe The Lord’s divine forgiveness, I knew it wasn’t just me.”

From there, things only grew worse when the visitor pulled out the sandwich and began to eat it in the middle of the service. According to witnesses, there were audible gasps, followed by dead silence for several seconds. Then the screaming started.

“Jerry Eisenberg was sitting a couple of rows back from the sandwich eater,” said Rabbi Goodman. “He’s a big guy who can get a bit hotheaded at times, and he was the first person to recover his wits enough to say something. So he just started laying into the guy, but he kept getting distracted as he noticed the various ingredients in the sandwich. When a bit of ranch dressing dripped onto the man’s chin, it finally diverted his attention for long enough for me to step in and try to resolve the situation with a bit more grace. I started talking about the importance of fasting on this day, how our people remove the distraction of food in order to focus our attention on our own failings and our relationship with God. I went on for a few minutes, and I honestly think it was one of the best messages I’ve ever given. So when the man responded by saying ‘Dude, chill, it’s just a sandwich’ and taking another bite, I’ll admit, I kind of flipped out.”

Eventually, after a shouting match with the Rabbi and a heated confrontation with the ushers, the man and his sandwich were forcibly removed, but by then the damage had been done. “The Rabbi tried to get things back on track,” said Feldstein. “He talked about how his reaction was a perfect example of why we all need to seek forgiveness, then asked his wife to come up and play some worship songs to get us back into the right frame of mind. Unfortunately she started off with Holy of Holies. Just as everyone was starting to get into the spirit of worship, we hit the part about “I hunger and thirst for Your righteousness” and we were right back where we started.”

After a few more slip-ups, including a rendition of Joshua Aaron’s ‘Hodu,’ which had to be hastily rearranged into a medley to avoid the line “all who are hungry, all who are thirsty, come from the East and the West,” the meeting did eventually recover and return to earnest, spirit-filled prayer which completely avoided any mention of juicy porterhouse steaks or eggs benedict. Still, according to Rabbi Goodman, the incident ended up costing them at least an hour of solid prayer time. “The whole thing was an unmitigated disaster,” he said. “I swear, next year I’m posting guards at all the entrances to prevent this kind of thing. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s sundown; I’m needed at the buffet. And they’d better have roast chicken.”

 

 

Donate to Support The Meow: www.patreon.com/messianicmeow

Chicago Messianic Community Finally Discovers Ted Pearce Has More Than One Song

3344324

Chicago, IL – A recent meeting of the Harvest Committee, the Chicago Messianic leaders’ networking and prayer group, turned into a heated debate over worship song choices, after it was accidentally discovered that Messianic recoding artist, Ted Pearce, actually has more songs than just “Hallelu Et Adonai.” The gathering went south when someone pulled up “Hallelu Et Adonai” on YouTube and another one of Ted Pearce’s songs, “Clean Water” popped up as the next song on the queue.

“Sometimes YouTube has a mind of its own,” said an anonymous representative of the Harvest Committee. “I’m more than a little embarrassed to say that we all thought Ted Pearce only had one song. A great song though. So great. So so great. We knew he has released albums, but we legitimately thought they were just Hallelu Et Adonai over and over and over again and we wanted to honor that. I feel our Chicago congregations have all done an incredible job beating that amazing song to death, and I commend them for it. But now that we have discovered that Ted Pearce has other songs, like “Adonai Machaseinu,” “Who Has Ascended?,” “Arise,” “Congregation of the Righteous,” “Hinei Go’alaeinu Chai,” and “Open the Gates,” we must start playing these songs, as well, to round out our worship experiences. We have asked that all our Chicago congregations expand their Ted Pearce repertoire during worship and give Hallelu Et Adonai a little breather. Hallelu Et Adonai has served us well over the years, but it’s time to give exposure to Mr. Pearce’s other songs too.”

In addition to Hallelu Et Adonai, Ted Pearce has many other great songs as well. You may listen to them here. We highly recommend adding these songs to your worship team’s repertoire.

 

 

Donate to support The Meow: www.patreon.com/messianicmeow

Guest Post by Joe Miterko | Outbreak of Mosh Pit and Crowd Surfing at Latest UMJC Leadership Enrichment

moshpit

Richardson, TX – At the UMJC Leadership Enrichment meetings this week, Rabbi Dr. Michael Schiffman and his colleagues decided to take a break from hitting the cigars and go listen to the UMJC Rabbis’ band. “Something compelled me to go and hear them this year. Not sure what it was though,” Schiffman explained. “Usually their set isn’t exciting, not that interesting, and it’s the same old same old songs every single year that we hear in our congregations every week. But something told me this year would be different…”

What Schiffman found was one of the most fun nights of his life.

The whole UMJCY and UMJC20s, who were also invited to the meetings, led by Rabbi Kirk Gliebe, decided to storm the Hilton Doubletree Ballroom to hear their Rabbis play in a band.  The band, an annual UMJC tradition, comprised of Rabbi Rich Nichol on trombone and flute, Rabbi Nathan Joiner on Trumpet, Rabbi Tony Eaton on acoustic guitar, Rabbi Ben Eherenfeld on electric guitar, Rabbi Stuart Dauermann on the keyboard, Rabbi Barney Kasdan on bass, and Rabbi Howard Silverman on drums. The setlist included hits like “Come Let Us Go Down,” “The Trees of the Field Are Barking,” and even “It Is Average.”

In fact, Kirk started a mosh pit right in front of the mini-stage. “The band was  unbelievable!” explained Gliebe. “I thought starting a mosh pit wouldn’t actually work with our young people, but who knew it would be such a raging success indeed! It indeed felt like I was really going full forward for Messiah!”

A raging success it was indeed, as Rabbi Stuart Dauermann took a full-fledged stage dive off the mini-stage. “I felt The Ruach descending so heavily on that stage, and I trusted the hands of our capable young people,” said Dauermann. “Why not take the dive?”

The Meow caught up with one of the young people involved with the UMJCY, Yosef HaShmo from the crowd.  He attends Congregation Shaarei HaShamayim in Long Island, NY and just so happened to be at the Leadership Enrichment Meetings. “Dude, they were amazing,” said HaShmo, who was directly involved with the mosh pit. “When I heard those shofar blasts, something in my soul just burst out into excitement. I hope to be as cool as those guys one day when I grow up!”

For more on the fun opportunities at UMJC conferences and meetings, visit www.umjc.org

Support The Meow: www.patreon.com/messianicmeow

Guest Post by Yossi Wilson | Congregant’s Vacation Leaves Synagogue in Chaos

upsidedownlyrics

Colorado Springs, CO – Messianic synagogue, Congregation Beth David, was left reeling this weekend when long-time member Samuel Weinberg took a rare vacation to attend a family reunion in California, sources report.

“I had no idea,” said dance leader Rebekah Morris. “In the back of my mind I always knew Sam did a lot behind the scenes, but I guess I never realized just how crucial he was until that horrible service.”

According to those who attended the service, the trouble was apparent from the moment congregants entered the sanctuary. “I didn’t even know they take the chairs down during the week,” said Stu Weiss, one of the first members to arrive. “But apparently they do, because whoever put them back out didn’t have the first clue what they were doing. There was this one huge section – each row must have been about 12 chairs long, and one end of it was against the wall, so the people on the far end had no easy way out. And the other section was facing the complete wrong way, so you had to crane your neck to see the bimah. It was awful.”

By all accounts, things only deteriorated further once the service started.  The projector malfunctioned, and without Sam to fix it, the praise and worship service became a muddled mess as people struggled to sing along to the upside-down slides. The Torah service then ground to a halt as Rabbi Michael Rosenthal was forced to spend about 15 minutes rolling the scroll to the right passage. During that time, the children who had been dismissed minutes earlier, came back into the sanctuary, informing their parents that the Shabbat school room was locked and there was no teacher. And at the after-service oneg, everyone was dismayed to learn that the delicious chili, normally the highlight of the meal, was yet another of Sam’s unsung contributions.

“All I can say is, I’m never coming to another service if Sam isn’t here,” said Morris. “That mess with the projector threw off the praise and worship so badly that the songs were just about impossible to dance to. I nearly twisted my ankle. I swear, never again.” Her sentiments were echoed by several other members, all of whom had their own mishaps to recount.

“I got stuck in one of the giant rows, on the end up against the wall,” complained Marty Stein. “I had to go to the bathroom for half the service, but getting out of there would have been way too disruptive. By the time the service was over I thought I was going to explode.”

“My kids can’t sit still through one of Rabbi Rosenthal’s messages,” said Cathy Meyer. “We tried to tough it out, but five minutes after they came back up they started throwing a fit, so we had to leave early. At the time I was really upset that I wouldn’t get any of that wonderful chili they always have at the oneg, but from what I hear I guess that turned out not to be the biggest issue anyway.”

At press time, the Rabbi, staff and congregants were in the midst of an emergency prayer meeting, praying urgently for the swift and safe return of Mr. Weinberg.

 

Support The Meow: www.patreon.com/messianicmeow

Guest Post by Joe Miterko | Dr. Greg Silverman to Conduct Yeshualand Philharmonic Orchestra

gregsilverman

Arizona, Murca – With the unveiling of Yeshualand Arizona, home state of the headquarters of President Jonathan Bernis’ Jewish Voice Ministries International (JVMI), some big things are happening, including the creation of a full-size Messianic Philharmonic Orchestra, The Yeshualand Players, who will perform at the grand opening of both the upcoming Arizona and Seattle locations.

The instrumentation of the Yeshualand Players Ensemble includes a 54-piece shofar section of different shapes, forms and sizes, a 128-piece tambourine section, and even 18 flag wavers and dancers.

Dr. Greg Silverman will be conducting the Yeshualand Players, and Rabbi Rich Nichol will be featured on jazz flute, soaring on top of the beautiful orchestra.  We had a chance to catch up with both of them.

“I’m overjoyed to be playing with these cats,” says Nichol, who’s always looking for a good opportunity to use his excellent music skills. “Not only will we be in a beautiful location for a good cause, it’ll just be a great time to play with the boys in the band. It’ll be a different sound – shofars and flute – and tambourines. Wow. Let’s hope we can keep the beat and stay on the ball with Dr. Greg.”

Dr. Greg couldn’t agree more. “This is a big step our Movement has never seen in its history. A Philharmonic orchestra! How amazing!!”

Says President Bernis, who will be joining the ensemble on Bass Shofar, “Our movement is getting ready to hear a joyful noise it has never heard before. Get those groggers ready. If the debut goes well, we’re taking this on the road. Look out, Messiah ’17; The Yeshualand Players are ready for you!”

As always, Manna Recording will be there to make sure CDs will be available of these performances. They can be purchased on site or at www.jewishvoice.org. For more information on Dr. Greg Silverman, visit www.gregsilverman.com and Rich Nichol visit www.ruachisrael.org

 

Support The Meow: www.patreon.com/messianicmeow