By Tash Cowan
LEV, ‘Lift Every Voice’, is an annual Jewish summer camp conference where song-leaders going to Jewish camps are trained to go forward to their camps and communities and inspire through music. The environment that can be created through singing together is magical. Music is empowering, it enables people to liberate their emotions and feel comfortable around one another. As Plato once said, “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”
I was honoured to be invited to this year’s conference in Tulsa, where we learned that the job of a song-leader is not to perform but to bring a room together through singing, and enable everyone to feel a part of the music. Additionally, I came to appreciate the powerful role music has in educating and impacting our community.
Reflecting on LEV I laughed realising that I naturally sing most of the songs in an American accent, as that’s how they were taught to me. But likewise, at the end of this summer my American campers might just be singing their camp songs in a British accent. Through this realisation I really came to appreciate what the camp directors tell us about how much they value us bringing our British culture to an American Jewish summer camp and sharing it with the camp community.
“Be groovy or leave, man” Bob Dylan.