Mitzvot from the Heart: Joshua Rosen

Joshua Rosen, Congregation Shaare Emeth

Josh Rosen, son of Marissa and Howard Rosen of Olivette, wanted to share his love of music with his community. He did so with three different organizations. 

The first was to give back to the place that introduced him to rock music, Dave Simon’s Rock School, which helped him grow into the confident musician he is today. Josh volunteered as a teacher/mentor at the school’s summer camp last year. During the school year, he helped students feel more comfortable playing their instruments and being in their own band. 

Josh also helped students select songs and taught them to play them on their instruments. He even filled in on instruments when needed, as he plays cello, guitar, bass guitar and drums. Josh said he really connected with the kids there, all ranging in age from 5 to an older teen with special needs.

The second place that benefitted from Josh’s love of music was Shaare Emeth. 

He has been a part of the temple since his days at preschool and continues to be active in the religious school as well as the junior youth group. 

For his mitzvah project, Josh volunteered as a song leader during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with the junior congregation students, ages pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. He practiced with two other song leaders over the course of several months in order to engage the students with the music of the High Holidays.

Again, Josh made a strong connection with the kids at Shaare Emeth. He will volunteer again during the High Holidays and will help them with tefillah (prayer) at mid-week religious school throughout the 2018-19 school year.

Finally, while Covenant Place residents would gather for Shabbat dinner, Josh entertained them on his cello with a 30-minute session of classical music. His goal was to brighten their day each time he played. He also had the opportunity to visit with residents and talk about his musical education. Josh’s dad serves on the board of directors of the senior living organization.

Josh, a student at Ladue Middle School, said, “It was really meaningful to see people impacted by the music we shared. I was excited to have the opportunity to teach and play for an audience and get to talk with the people in the audience. I learned so much how music can change a person’s life and how important it is to share your interests with other people.”  Josh felt proud that he could help younger children learn something new and also connect with older adults through his music.