Meet Billy Jonas: A Featured Hebrew in Harmony Musician
Hebrew in Harmony—the new prayer curriculum for 4th-6th graders—features music from today's top Jewish musicians. This is part of a series profiling some of these talented artists.
Billy Jonas, founder of the Billy Jonas Band
Who are your musical influences?
World music, Joni Mitchell, Mr. Rogers, Pete Seeger, Igor Stravinsky
What prayer most resonates with you, and why?
I love prayers that leave lots of room for interpretation and interpolation, like the Sh'ma. It can be as big or as small as you choose. Is "Yisrael" the people of Israel, or is it "everyone who wrestles with God," or is it "all beings in dialogue with mortality and divine nature?" Does "Adonai Echad" mean "There is only One God," or "God is One," or "The Oneness and Unity of all things in my Supreme Organizing Principal?" Or __________?!?
What's one instrument you wish you could play?
How did you meet your band?
We were divinely guided together, through mutual friends. B'sheret!
What's one technique you use to engage your congregation?
Besides call-and-response, and follow-the-leader hand motions, and singing along...my favorite technique to engage an audience is to get very quiet.
Visit www.behrmanhouse.com/hih to hear some of Billy's music and explore Hebrew in Harmony.