The ‘Prince of Kosher Gospel,’ Joshua Nelson, at
Congregation Rodeph Sholom, Manhattan
The ‘Prince of Kosher Gospel,’ Joshua Nelson, will perform
during the 6p.m. Shabbat Services, Friday, October 17, 2008 at Congregation Rodeph
Sholom, Manhattan. Cantor Rebecca Garfein, Senior Cantor of Congregation Rodeph
Sholom along with Assistant Cantor, Shayna Peavey and the Rodeph Sholom Children’s
Choir, will join Joshua Nelson in soulful song to kick off Rodeph Sholom’s annual
Mitzvah Marathon Weekend.
In the 17 years since Joshua Nelson first sang along with a Mahalia Jackson album he
discovered in his grandparents’ home when he was eight-years-old, he has spread the
sheer joy of spiritual music to audiences from New Jersey to Jerusalem and
throughout the world. Joshua, whose voice bears a remarkable resemblance to that of
the late Ms. Jackson, has performed in concert halls, synagogues, churches, and at
various outdoor venues, both solo and with such musical luminaries as Wynton
Marsalis, Billy Preston, Aretha Franklin, and Stephanie Mills; Gospel greats
Albertina Walker, the Barret Sisters, Hezekiah Walker, Kirk Franklin, Dottie
Peoples, Dorothy Norwood, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Reverend Timothy Wright, and Bobby
Jones & New Life, the greatest Jewish Klezmer band in the world, The Klezmatics, and
late jazz greats Cab Calloway and Dizzy Gillespie, among others. In 2004, Mr. Nelson
appeared on the “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, alongside Jamie Fox. Mr. Nelson was named
by Oprah as “The Next Big Thing,” performing “How I Got Over” and “Elijah Rock.”
Oprah remarked, “I have never heard a voice like his, he literally brought the house
Cantor Rebecca Garfein is the Senior Cantor of Congregation Rodeph Sholom and is the
first female Cantor to hold this position in the history of the congregation.
Cantor Garfein has appeared in numerous recitals throughout the United States,
Israel, and Europe and has two solo CD recordings, a live recording from the 1997
Jewish Festival in Berlin entitled, “Sacred Chants of the Contemporary Synagogue”
and her first studio recording, “Golden Chants in America…Commemorating 350 years
of Jewish Music, 1654-2004,” the first U.S. recording to feature Jewish music
spanning 350 years of life in America.
Cantor Garfein graduated cum laude from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music
with a degree in vocal performance and opera. In 1993, she received her Master’s
Degree in Sacred Music and Cantorial Investiture from the Hebrew Union
College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR).
Cantor Shayna Peavey is the Assistant Cantor of Congregation Rodeph Sholom since
2007, having been invested by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
that same year. Cantor Peavey grew up in Springfield, MO and graduated from the
University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in Music Education.
Cantor Peavey wrote her master’s thesis about the music of the Ethiopian Jews as a
result of her interest in world Jewry and her time spent in Israel during her
Cantorial studies. While living in Jerusalem, she spent time researching the
Ethiopian community and completed her thesis and subsequent recital, “I am Black and
Beautiful, O Daughters of Jerusalem: The Development of the Music of the Ethiopian
Jews here in New York.”
The entire community is invited to join us. Congregation Rodeph Sholom is located
at 7 W. 83rd Street off of Central Park West. For more information, please call
646-454-3030. For more information about our Mitzvah Marathon Weekend, please see
our website www.rodephsholom.org.