Musical Engagement

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“How is it that music can, without words, evoke our laughter, our fears, our highest aspirations?”

– Jane Swan

Temple Israel has maintained a rich and beloved musical tradition dating back to its 19th century roots. Through the years, music of all styles has been played, sung, conducted, and celebrated by Temple Israel members and guest artists. This tradition continues with the voice and spirit of our community today. After all, “singing is praying twice.”

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel once said, “The wave of a song carries the soul to heights which utterable meanings can never reach.” Our Shabbat services, weekday minyan, healing services, and special musical events all broadly represent the varied influences of our musical tradition and the voices of our congregation.

At Temple Israel of Boston, all voices are welcome. Come sing with us…and until then, you can listen and sing along with some of our music below.

I Got the Sun in the Morning, Annual Concert, December 12, 2021

TI Cantor Alicia Stillman and Torrence Nelson, Bethel AME Church Praise Team Leader at Shabbat Tzedek, January 12, 2024

Israel Medley, Third Annual Concert, December 3, 2023

Arise My Love, Second Annual Concert, December 4, 2022

Oseh Shalom Bimromav. Cantor Stillman, Torrence Nelson, and the Praise Team at Bethel AME Church on Martin Luther King weekend 2024

Times Like This, Annual Concert, December 12, 2021

Number Our Days, Third Annual Concert, December 3, 2023

Our Musical Programs

TI Singers

The TI Singers performing at the concert

For over 50 years, Temple Israel has had a volunteer choir that meets weekly to sing and socialize with one another. The choir is composed of singers of varying training, experience, and voice types who love singing and love Judaism. In addition to preparing music for various artists-in-residence appearances, the singers also rehearse for special Shabbat appearances where their prepared pieces are part of a musically framed sermon with Cantor Stillman.

The choir could be called a musical chavura, a group of friends, who gather to share music and their lives.

NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!!! If you know the words, sing…and if you don’t, sing louder!

Rock The Riverway

Rock the Riverway performing at the concert, while seated in front of a tent, arms outstretched Rock the Riverway is Temple Israel’s youth choir. Children of elementary school age are invited to meet weekly on Sundays with Cantor Stillman to learn holiday music and ‘rockin’ congregational repertoire. Rock The Riverway singers bring their ruach (spirit) and voices to the community through participation at Qabbalat Shabbat services, performance videos shared at various events and holiday services, as well as concerts and local community gatherings.

TI Teen Choir

Teen Singers performingThis choir is for Temple Israel’s more experienced young singers (grades 7-12) who are ready to meet and sing with others who love music. The teen choir experiments with more advanced music and events in the community.

Teen Band

Our teen band rehearses and plays at various Religious School services and Temple Israel events. Welcoming players of all instruments: guitar, piano, drums, wind instruments, and horns. If you play and love music, this is for you!

TI Band

TI Band

The TI Band is for those who love playing music as a part of their Jewish expression. The band is a beloved staple at Shabbat and special events throughout the year. Amateur music lovers, as well as musical professionals, play in the Band, enhancing the musical life of Temple Israel. 

If you are interested in joining any of these programs please contact

Cantor Alicia Stillman.

David Trietsch, Temple Israel Member

“Temple Israel's core identity is one of a diverse, urban congregation. Music provides a bridge and entry point that helps bring us together in prayer, spiritual connection, and community. Our Cantor is the maestro who uses the power of music to reach out, engage our spirits and bring us comfort.”

Bea Wilderman, Temple Israel Member

“Music is an integral part of worship at Temple Israel. Music is spiritual, a way to communicate feelings and to bring people together. Our cantor is the person who makes music accessible to us.”

Alison Freedman, Temple Israel Member

“Music initially drew me to Temple Israel through the Riverway Project’s energetic Soul Food Friday service. Fast forward over a decade, add a husband and two kids, and music still plays a key role in my TI experience. My 4 and 6 year olds love the musical programming and my husband and I love seeing them so engaged in their Jewish experience.”

Carol Targum, Temple Israel Member

“Music is at the core of worship. It brings people into the community, both as listeners and as participants and it connects us; it elevates our prayers, and can create a meaningful communal religious experience. Through strong relational and educational skills a cantor engages a congregation in creating a community of joyful worship, comfort in times of sadness, and inspires the energy for innovation.”