A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

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St. Louis musicians featured in new edition of iconic Jewish songbook

Picture this: It’s a beautiful evening at Camp Sabra. Kids are gathered around a campfire, song leaders are strumming guitars, and everyone is belting out tunes with infectious enthusiasm. The scene isn’t much different in synagogues, where song leaders have a seemingly endless repertoire for every service and celebration. But where do all these songs come from? How do these melodies, which seem to spring from the heart of Jewish life, make their way into our shared experiences?

The answer is this: behind every song leader’s expansive repertoire is a treasure trove of Jewish music resources, one of the most iconic being “The Complete Shireinu,” which was first published in the early 2000s. Ever since, “The Shireinu” has been the go-to songbook for Jewish musicians.

“”The Shireinu,” also known as the ‘Complete Jewish Songbook,’ has over 350 songs from Jewish tradition, some liturgical and some secular,” said Lucy Greenbaum, director of music engagement at Congregation Shaare Emeth. “The first edition contained mostly the ‘camp repertoire’ of the last few decades.”

Now, as the publishers of “The Shireinu” prepare for the release of its second volume, there’s a buzz of excitement, particularly in St. Louis, where Greenbaum and fellow local musician Rob Aronson are among those contributing original music to the catalog.

Rob Aronson and Lucy Greenbaum

Aronson, Greenbaum, and The Shireinu

Aronson, music leader at Congregation Temple Israel, has relied on the original “Shireinu” for nearly two decades.

“”The Shireinu” was essentially my Jewish music bible when it came to music selection for services,” said Aronson. “I am incredibly thrilled and honored to have some of my original music compositions included in the new ‘Shireinu Volume II’ publication.”

Greenbaum fondly recalls receiving a copy of Shireinu as a young song leader in Phoenix, Ariz.

“Our small group of song leaders would meet early on Sunday mornings before religious school started and would play through the songs, practice teaching songs to each other and just generally geek out over music,” said Greenbaum. “I continue to refer to my copy of Shireinu when I am looking for a specific song or just need some inspiration. I’m extremely excited to play through the new edition when it comes out and get even more inspiration!”

Transcontinental Music Publications, the publisher, spent almost two years gathering input from clergy, musicians, song leaders and the public. Aronson’s “Bar’chu” and “Havah Nashirah,” along with Greenbaum’s “Adonai S’fatai,” were chosen by a 33-member review committee to be part of the new edition.

The new volume, set to release in summer 2025, will be available in both print and digital formats, ensuring accessibility for all.

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About the Contributor
Jordan Palmer
Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer
Jordan worked at KSDK from 1995 to 2020. Jordan is a three-time Emmy award winner who produced every kind of show from news to specials during his tenure, creating Show Me St. Louis, The Cardinal Nation Show. He started ksdk.com in 2001 and won three Edward R. Murrow Awards for journalistic and website excellence in 2010, 2014 and 2020. Jordan has been married for 25 years and is the father of two college students. He is an avid biker, snowboarder, and beer lover. He created the blog drink314.com, focusing on the St. Louis beer community in 2015. Jordan has an incredible and vast knowledge of useless information and is the grandson of a Cleveland bootlegger.