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Join us for a weekend on The Role, Power and Meaning of Music in Tefillah


with our Scholar-in-Residence Dr. David   M. Eckmann, PhD, MD -- November 9-10,2018

Congregation Tiferet Israel is pleased to sponsor a weekend looking at The Role, Power and Meaning of Music in Tefillah with our Scholar-in-Residence Dr. David M. Eckmann, PhD, MD from the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Eckmann will lead us in Tefillot, Zemirot and deliver several talks over the weekend.

Starting with Kabbalat Shabbat Friday evening at 5:20 PM, Dr. Eckmann will be our chazzan using a traditional Litvisch nusach (tune).

This will be followed by a Shabbat dinner Friday night after Maariv at approximately 6:30 PM in the JCC Main Hall.  After zemirot, Dr. Eckmann will speak on "Our Musical Heritage in Prayer: Melodies and the Laws of Davening."  Reservations for dinner are required.  Cost for the dinner is free for CTI members in good standing through November 1.  For all others and after November 1 for CTI members there will be a charge of $15 per adult.  Children under 13 are free.  To RSVP, please complete the form below. Dinner is underwritten by Platinum Sponsors Sylvia and Phil Spertus.

Shabbat morning Dr. Eckmann will deliver the drasha at approximately 11 AM on "The Specialness of Rarely Recited Tefilot."  Dr. Eckmann will also speak during Seudah Shelishit on "Does Singing Zemirot Equate to Learning Torah?" 

Finally, after Shabbat is over Saturday evening we will have a Melaveh Malka starting at 8 PM in the JCC Education wing in the Library on the second floor.  Dr. Eckmann's topic will be "Music & Tefillah -- a Multi-Media Interactive Experience."

Join us for this wonderful weekend to learn about the Golden Age of Chazzanut (1910-1954) and build a deeper relationship of nusach hatefillah in your davening experience.

If you have any questions or need help, please contact Lynn Kane at


Dr.   David   M.   Eckmann, PhD, MD

Dr. David Eckmann is the Horatio C. Wood Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care and the Attending Physician in the Department of Anesthesiology & Critical Care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Eckmann is a Member of the Institute for Medicine and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Medicine and Engineering.  He is a Founding Member of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics and a Member of the Cardiovascular Institute, University of Pennsylvania Cardiovascular Institute.  Dr. Eckmann is also a Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania and an Adjunct Investigator at the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Environmental Medicine.  Dr. Eckmann received his B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego, and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University.  He received his MD degree from Northwestern University Medical School.  Dr. Eckmann's research interests include (1) nanoparticle targeting for vascular drug delivery; (2) thin film surfaces for biocompatible and infection resistant implant devices; and (3) cellular metabolic engineering interrelating cytoarchitectural integrity and mitochondrial bioenergetics.

So how does Dr. Eckmann come to music and Tefillah?  In Dr. Eckmann’s words,

My inspiration is driven by the last line of Tehillim (Psalms 150:6):

כֹּ֣ל הַ֭נְּשָׁמָה תְּהַלֵּ֥ל יָ֗הּ הַֽלְלוּ־יָֽהּ

Let all that breathes praise the LORD. Hallelujah.

How does every living soul praise HaShem? The voice of the soul surely involves music. Music coupled with words is the essence of emotion that constitutes Tefillah.

Dr. Eckmann's music background traces back to his childhood.  He began piano at 4, cello at 9, and played in many orchestras, symphonies, chamber groups, trios, solo … He sang in many choirs beginning at age 12.  His serious interest in Chazzanut began about 30 years ago when he spent time with Chazzan Binyamin Glickman in Jerusalem.  His more focused instruction in Bel Canto technique and classical Litvische Chazzanut is the result of several years of work with Chazzan Daniel Gildar.  Dr. Eckmann is probably one of very few people who can both daven Kol Nidre and play Max Bruch’s interpretation on the cello. 

Dr. Eckmann served six years as President of Congregation Beth Hamedrash in Wynnewood, PA.

RSVP   for Friday Night's  Shabbat  Dinner

This form closed on 2018-11-09 17:19:00.


Sat, March 23 2019 16 Adar II 5779