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Musician Members

Our Havurah community is comprised of many talented musicians. They give their time generously, and we are the beneficiaries of their many talents. When these folks are playing, our prayers and our spirits are lifted higher.

We are a lay led community in so many ways, and music is no exception. This group of contributors is dynamic; it’s always growing and we are always open to new voices, new teachings, sharing and making our musical tapestry fresh. If you sing or play an instrument and want to be involved, please contact our Music Coordinator,  Ilene Safyan.

Thanks for visiting our music page. Please take some time and get to know some of our musically talented Havurah members, listed below!

Diane Chaplin

Diane Chaplin is a solo artist and chamber music cellist, a dedicated conductor and a nurturing music educator. She is the Director and Conductor of Rose City Youth Orchestras, is on the faculty at Linfield College and is Program Coordinator for the Chamber Music Camp of Portland, where she conducts the advanced orchestra. She tours around the U.S. as a featured member of the Portland Cello Project, with whom she is also the Director of Educational Outreach, and can often be heard in solo and chamber music performances in the Portland area, such as her frequent appearances as soloist with the Jewish Community Orchestra. Diane has taught at Yale University, Lewis and Clark College, Bard College and Oberlin Conservatory, and has given master classes in the US, Canada, Mexico, The Netherlands, Bosnia and Russia. She holds degrees from the California Institute of the Arts and The Juilliard School.

www.cellochaplin.com

John Duke

John Duke studied drumming and drum building under Ghanaian master Kpani Addy. Though not actually Jewish he taught nine years of Shabbat school and raised two boys through Bar Mitzvah and Havurah High (with a little help from his wife, Rachael). “Music is my spiritual connection. When I am sitting in the circle at Kabbalat Shabbat joining my voice with the voices of the other musicians and the congregation, I am grounded and transported at the same time. That feeling can last me a whole month.” John works for Outside In, a homeless community health center in Portland.

Rachel Duke

I was a kid I used to play some of the same songs we sing at Havurah at my own synagogue. Then, for many years I didn't play that music at all. Now I am happy to be playing and singing at Havurah and am thankful for all the people who spent time teaching me. I especially enjoy creating my own songs for holidays and services. I love that music is so central to Havurah, that I get to be part of it, and that it is open to all. I am also very excited I can be involved at Havurah in a way that does not involve going to more meetings since I spend much of my work time going to meetings.

Beth Hamon

The daughter of nightclub musicians, Beth Hamon is a bicycle-riding autodidact whose songs straddle the fuzzy line between Jewish and secular themes of justice, hope, renewal and love. Beth is based in Portland, Oregon and tours as an artist- and educator-in-residence at synagogues and camps across the country.

Beth’s songs are sung at synagogues and camps in the United States, Canada and Israel. In 2016, a setting of a new egalitarian version of the threefold benediction was commissioned by Women of the Wall for use at their monthly gatherings at the Kotel [Western Wall] in Jerusalem.

A former bicycle mechanic, Beth makes Judaica from recycled bicycle parts. Some of her work is part of the permanent collection at the Yeshiva University museum in New York.

Beth has two CDs to her credit: City of Love, released in 2003; and Ten Miles, released in 2014. Both collections of original Jewish folk-roots music include liturgical settings now in use at synagogues and camps across the country. She is at work on a third compilation of original Jewish music, A Sliver In The Sky, slated for an early 2018 release.

www.beth-hamon-music.com

Barry Lavine

Barry grew up in a little town in Upstate New York in the 1950's, a time that people who disregard paranoia about Communists and nuclear war consider a Golden Age of American innocence. In short, it was great.

Barry was attracted to the piano at an early age, as he instantly realized it would provide life-long opportunities to take part in social situations without having to talk. He studied the classics for years, until he realized that show tunes were more fun.

The Jewish Community Center in Elmira, New York fortuitously hired an actual NYC klezmer clarinetist to run their Sunday children's program, and he became Barry's most significant musical mentor. During those years, he also played piano frequently for synagogue events. Patterns were emerging.

Wisely rejecting the advice of musical mentors, he did not pursue music as a career. His formal education culminated in a 1973 BA from Johns Hopkins, which effectively kept him from having to visit Vietnam at government expense.

A month after graduating with no prospects, a lucky break turned him into a computer programmer, which has occupied many blissful hours over the past 45 years. During that time he continued to play show tunes and listen to (early) Miles Davis.

Barry moved to Portland in 1977, when traffic was not an issue. He met Karen Stolzberg in late 1984, and Ben was born in December 1986; Dylan following in 1988. At some point around 1990 or so, they heard about Tot Shabbats at the JCC and thus began an association with Havurah.

Time passed.

For 3 or 4 years, Barry was one of the rotating hosts of the Yiddish Hour radio show on KBOO. That was fun, especially knowing his mother-in-law was listening over the internet, but he stopped rotating after she died, at 102 (an amazing person - we have stories).

Barry has spent innumerable Monday afternoons playing piano for the choir at Rose Schnitzer, under the direction of the somewhat-energetic Barbara Slader. Currently about to begin Year 14 of that. Thankfully, the group loves show tunes.

He is also currently accompanying the choir at Neveh Shalom, and is actually getting paid for that gig!

Now you know everything.

Ilene Safyan

Havurah Music Coordinator Ilene Safyan is a Pittsburgh transplant, and almost an Oregonian. (She’s been here for over 30 years!!) During that time, she’s been involved in music throughout Portland’s Jewish community, serving as cantorial soloist for Congregations Havurah Shalom and Neveh Shalom and teaching at schools throughout the area. She is currently Music Coordinator for Havurah Shalom.

In addition to her singing and teaching of voice, Ilene composes and arranges music. In 2010, she became a Shalshelet Composer when her song “Petah Lanu Sha’ar” won an award in the Shalshelet International Music Competition. Combining her skills as performer and educator, Ilene has recorded six CDs of Jewish music with friend (and Havurah member), Margie Rosenthal. Two of her CDs, “Just in Time for Chanukah” and “Where Dreams are Born,” were awarded Parents’ Choice Gold and Silver Medals for excellence in children’s recordings.

Ilene brings a passion for music and a wealth of experience to the music coordinating position at Havurah. She has been a featured presenter and performer at national CAJE (Coalition for Alternatives in Jewish Education) conferences. Her music is featured in publications, Jewish sound archives, and in radio programs around the country. She is married to Mark Rosenberg and has two children, Arielle (currently in Rabbinic School at Hebrew College) and David (soccer coach and ski instructor in Portland, Oregon).

www.ilenesafyan.com

Scott Snyder

Scott Snyder is an attorney and arbitrator Portland. He plays guitar, mandolin and dulcimer and has been performing for more than 40 years. He has produced 3 albums of original songs and music. Scott is passionate about balancing his professional life with community.

At Havurah Shalom Scott is clear - playing with talented musicians for Shabbat and high holy days creates the "kavanah" and "ruach" for player and listener as a pathway to the divine. Learn more about Scott and his music at these websites:

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/scottsnyder

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/scottsnyder2

Tue, June 27 2017 3 Tammuz 5777