Selina Irene Glater, MA, RMT, Beth Am and Beth Israel , Monterey, CA
As a violinist & Jewish Musicologist (University of CA, MA 1987), I remember meeting Debbie and talking with her about her craft.
That was in 1985 and it seems like only yesterday! I had the good fortune of attending one of her early performances in Santa Barbara, and was awestruck! Last year, I heard Debbie in one of her last performances. She was still wonderful, magical and mesmerizing. When I spoke with her after that concert, I asked her about her health and could see that she was struggling. We hugged and I left the sanctuary feeling that this might be the last time. It was the last time, and I chose to see that she is in a pain free place now, after leaving the Jewish Community filled with the richness of her talent and her musical gems. Much of her music has influenced my subsequent performances over these past 25 plus years. I sing her music at home, when "I'm lying down and when I'm rising up," and my voice rises to each occasion that we sing her works in services at Congregation Beth Israel in Carmel Valley, CA and at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, CA. Now, 26 years later, as I surround myself with Debbie Friedman's beautiful music & lyrics, I am reminded of her glorious life. She left us too soon, but she WAS a blessing to our entire community. Miriam is still dancing with her timbrels in hand...to a land that Debbie showed us time and time again! G-d Bless you Debbie...may your journey continue to inspire multitudes of Jews (Reform and otherwise) from all corners of our world!!! ~~~ Selina Irene Glater, Monterey, CA, USA