Rabbi Miriam Margles, Inaugural Liturgist in Residence
At this year's Institute, we welcome Rabbi Miriam Margles as the first ever Liturgist in Residence! Miriam will help us explore Jewish prayer and prayerfulness through sound, song and silence, movement, voice and vibration. Sessions will carry us into the language and imagery of traditional prayers as we discover and play with the meanings of the words and the meanings beyond the words. Miriam will share her original liturgical melodies (you might know her three-part composition of Ilu Finu) and guide participants in creating their own melodies and words of prayer. She will also facilitate an on-going creative collective liturgical project that will unfold over the course of the Institute.
Rabbi Miriam Margles is an artist, educator and activist. Her original compositions of Jewish liturgical music are sung by communities throughout North American, Israel and Europe. Integrating Jewish learning, community, and creative exploration in movement, voice and writing, Miriam has facilitated workshops with various populations, including hospital patients, prison inmates, groups of Jews and Palestinians, and adults and young people of all ages. She is co-founder of Encounter, engaging Jewish leaders from across the religious and political spectrum in face-to-face encounters with Palestinians in the West Bank. She is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship and the Jerusalem Fellows at the Mandel Leadership Institute. Miriam earned a Master’s degree in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in creative writing from York University in Toronto. She currently sings, works and plays in Toronto. Stay tuned for the release of her upcoming album!
Download two of Miriam's songs:
Miriam's Workshops at the Institute
Here's How We Fall and Rise: Prayer for the Rollercoaster of Life
Through voice, movement and prayer, this workshop will explore of the physical and spiritual dynamics of rising up and falling down/falling apart. Just before a community prays the Amidah, the central standing prayer, we sing “Tzur Yisrael,” asking God to rise up (kuma!). In that very moment, we are the ones who get up onto our feet, rising up. And moments later, as we begin davenning the Amidah, the liturgy calls on God as “somech noflim”--the One who upholds those who are falling. In this workshop we will find different ways of falling, being supported and rising up, with melody, the words of prayer and our own life experiences as our guides.
Thirsting For God
What does it sound like to yearn for, thirst for, cry out to and reach for God? In this workshop, Miriam will share some of her liturgical melodies and the ways that she discovers and expresses thirst for the Divine in prayersong. Participants will then have the opportunity and guidance to find the words and melodies of their own prayerful yearning.
Go Chasing After the Beloved: Lekha Dodi and How to Get Your Shabbes On
Shabbes is coming so let's start singing! We will learn original prayer melodies by Miriam that seek to get Shabbat vibrating through you and reverberating through the community in zestful joy, delicate attunement, powerful praise and abundant blessing!
Serenading Illness and Hymns for Healing
When I was working as a hospital chaplain, I began singing to my patients, discovering the words of prayer and new melodies that would consciously bring holiness, connection and presence to the experiences of illness, dying and healing. In this workshop we will bring our own experiences of illness and healing into creative relationship with new melodies and ancient words.
The Liturgist Residency was established by the editors of Let Us Sing! (L'chu N'ran'nah) , as thanks and to give back to the NHC community that has supported the bencher's success since it was published in 2010.