Seekers of Meaning 8/4/2023: Rabbi Lisa Grant and Cantor Lisa B. Segal, “The Year of Mourning”

On this week’s episode of the Seekers of Meaning TV Show and Podcast, Rabbi Address discusses the new book, The Year of Mourning: A Jewish Journey, with its editors, Rabbi Lisa Grant, Director of the New York Rabbinical Program and Eleanor Sinsheimer Distinguished Service Professor in Jewish Education Coordinator, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and Cantor Lisa B. Segal, cantor of Kolot Chayeinu in Brooklyn, NY.

The Jewish mourning process is a voyage through pain, brokenness, comfort, resilience, acceptance, and even gratitude. The Year of Mourning: A Jewish Journey offers an expansive array of resources—stories, songs, study texts, poetry, and prayers—to lovingly and patiently guide the bereaved through the first year after their loss. Each week the mourner is encouraged to focus on a particular theme to deepen their Kaddish practice. The book also includes new rituals for shivah, sh’loshim, unveiling, and yahrzeitThe Year of Mourning helps support individuals to regain their grounding after loss and, through the richness of Jewish tradition, deepen their connections to memories of loved ones and to others in the community who are walking a similar path.

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About the Guests

Rabbi Lisa Grant, Ph.D.

Rabbi Lisa D. Grant, Ph.D., serves as Director of the Rabbinical Program at HUC-JIR/New York. Her research and teaching interests focus on adult Jewish learning, the professional development of Jewish leaders and the place of Israel in American Jewish life. She has published widely on these topics in a range of academic journals, books, and teaching guides.

Rabbi Grant has served on the faculty of HUC-JIR since 2000. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, her Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and her Ph.D. from The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York; and her rabbinical ordination from HUC-JIR.

Cantor Lisa B. Segal

Cantor Lisa B. Segal is a founding member of Kolot, where she has served as co-and senior clergy for over 19 years. Cantor Segal was ordained in 2011 by the Academy for Jewish Religion (AJR) and served as their Cantorial Director for two years (2012-14). With her unique voice and energy, Lisa leads Shabbat, holiday, and High Holy Day services and observances. In addition, she teaches, creates and leads all ranges of life cycle events to enhance Kolot members’ spiritual lives. She composes music, leads community events and regularly performs in concert, on Facebook, and on bimahs around the country.

Cantor Segal collaborates regularly with local Brooklyn and New York City Cantors and musicians in Jewish communal observances and holidays. During the first six months of the Pandemic she created and hosted a twice-weekly Facebook live session of song, meditation and reflections/Torah. Her original composition, Ratzo VaShov/Ebb and Flow, was featured at the opening of the 2021 ACC Convention, and she was commissioned to write a piece for T’ruah’s 2021 Gala, entitled Na’aseh V’Nishma, along with HUC-JIR Cantorial Student Ze’evi (Berman) Levtov. Notable performances include D’var Shirah – Music Meets Text at the Red Sea at the Eldridge Street Synagogue, a benefit she created and produced for the Academy for Jewish Religion, featuring spoken word artists and Jewish musicians in improvisation (music directed by Frank London of the Klezmatics), and Zero Church; the Prayer Project where she sang with The Roches at St. Ann’s Warehouse.

Cantor Segal has appeared in many concerts she created for Kolot – “Off the Bimah!” – with a range of notable and innovative Jewish musicians including Joey Weisenberg, Marty Ehrlich, Marc Ribot, Alicia Jo Rabins, Roy Nathanson, Alicia Svigals, and others, and has performed with numerous cantors and choirs throughout the New York metropolitan area and beyond.

She is an Associate Member of the ACC (American Conference of Cantors), an active alumni of AJR and Hevraya, the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Mindfulness meditation clergy cohort, and a longtime member of the Women Cantors Network. Lisa and her husband, writer and maggid Arthur “Ari” Strimling, live in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

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