Raphael, Rabbi Rayzel

American. Born, Knoxville, Tennessee. Rabbi. Singer-songwriter. Geela-Rayzel Raphael is the co-creator of Shabbat Unplugged– a musical, rockin’ Shabbat service; sings with MIRAJ, an a cappella trio; and New Shalom, which offers lively interactive Shabbat services for synagogues and street performance. She has been writing songs for over 20 years. Her debut CD was Bible Babes a’ Beltin -strong songs of biblical women. In addition, she has recorded two CDs with MIRAJ. Her songs tend to be lifecycle ritual songs, ballads of Jewish women, and Hebrew/English liturgy. Rabbi Raphael is the daughter of Mitchell and Natalie Robinson. She received a BA from Indiana University in religious studies, and a Masters in Contemporary Jewish Studies from Brandeis University. Rayzel studied at Machon Pardes and the Melton Center for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She was also a Wexner Graduate Fellow. Rayzel worked fifteen years for the Jewish community, first as the Director of the Jewish Student Federation of York University, Toronto, and more recently as the Director of the Graduate Student Project at Hillel of Greater Philadelphia. Currently, she is the Rabbinic Director of Faithways, an Interfaith Family Support Network of the Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia. As well, she directs the Jewish Creativity Project of New Legends, a program of education through music and the arts; and consults with the Jewish Women’s Spirituality Institute of the Bux-Mont JCC. She served Leyv Ha-Ir Reconstructionist Congregation of Center City, Philadelphia as rabbi for nine years. She currently resides in Phildelphia. She offers concerts, services,Havdalahprograms and other events where music serves a sacred and joyous purpose.