Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn has his rabbinical ordination and a master’s in education from Yeshiva University, and has completed learning the Talmud Bavli nine times. During his seven-year tenure as head rabbi of the West Side Institutional Synagogue in Manhattan, Rabbi Einhorn helped his synagogue achieve 70 percent growth. His out-of-the-box work was so successful that in 2010 the Orthodox Union gave him his own think tank to craft programming for other synagogues across America. In 2012, Einhorn moved back to his hometown of Los Angeles to serve as dean and rabbi of Yavneh Hebrew Academy. Einhorn plans to release a music album called Judaism Alive: A Musical Odyssey.
Entertwine: How did the members of the group meet and begin writing music and performing together? What inspired this particular project?
Yishai Mendelsohn and I collaborated years back. We were proud of our modest work. Speed ahead 16 years and I am about to release a book called “Judaism Alive”, and the premise of that book is basically that Judaism done right can propel you to experience all the colors of life. That awakened the musical side of myself. I reached out to Yishai (who now lives in Israel) and said are you ready to write again?
Since we did it all on FIVERR – the band never actually met. I would write music, pick instrumentation and send it over to Yishai Mendelsohn to get his input and then I would find musicians on FIVERR who could make it happen.
What experiences and events influenced the writing and recording of your upcoming album “Judaism Alive”? Could you tell us about each of the five featured compositions? You’re also releasing an accompanying book in August, correct?
Manhattan influenced me in a very important way. There’s a certain energy to NYC. There’s a certain color to all the people. It was that experience that lent itself to the tone and color of the album.
There are 12 songs. We tried our best to have each song cover a different genre. We wanted the album to be fully expressive and ALIVE! There are some songs that stand out like “Mishmar”. Mishmar is an event that takes place on many Thursday night when Yeshiva students get together for late night learning, having a great time, singing.
I have a book coming out in August called “Judaism Alive!”. The music is secondary and the book is primary. The book is Torah. It’s based upon teachings that I gave over the last couple of years. The chapters really reflect the type Jew I think I aspire to be and think others will find inspiring as well.
How did studying at Yeshiva University and working at West Side Institutional Synagogue (in Manhattan) influence you musically and contribute to the realization of this project?
I would like this particular project to inspire others to express their Judaism and spirituality through music. I would love if some of the lyrics would resonate with different people struggling in life. And I would love if the album inspired you to pick up the book when it comes out in August
What are your goals for this particular project?
To inspire myself and in turn, inspire others.