Playlist: Songs for an Enjoyable Shabbat with Your Family
Photo by Leonard Diamond, Barnert Temple, Franklin Lakes, NJ
Music is what makes Shabbat special for countless people the world over. After a good Shabbat meal, many people sing songs at their table. Others sing at synagogue. Lots of people do both!
There are songs to welcome Shabbat on Friday and bid it farewell on Saturday – and plenty of songs for in-between. Most Shabbat songs are rooted in ancient text, but the lyrics are as varied as the composers and artists who interpret them. Some of the words are in English, others are in Hebrew and still others use both – and may even add a touch of another language like Arabic. The melodies and instrumentation can be slow and soothing, or fast and energizing.
We’ve compiled a playlist of the hottest Shabbat songs for you and your family that are popular at camps, schools, and early childhood centers. Enjoy – and feel free to dance!
Want even more Jewish music for families? Tune into PJ Library radio!
Laura Copel is the Union for Reform Judaism's coordinator for engagement of families with young children. An avid musician, she teaches at three synagogues and volunteers in the t’filah band and with the sisterhood at Temple Israel of Northern Westchester in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., her home congregation. Laura grew up in the Boston area and resides north of Manhattan, where she and her husband raised three children.