Jewish gospel” is a genre of music most people are unfamiliar with. It borrows from both the Jewish and the gospel idioms, yet it is a sound all its own. Some of it approaches a klezmeresque feel; as if it were written for a new production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” Then there is also the hint of “old time religion” spirituals in the themes of heaven, forgiveness, redemption and personal peace.

You Are My God

Jonathan and Cindy Bernd

This album combines both excellent musicianship and superb vocals. The 14 original Jewish gospel selections are in Hebrew and English and written by Jonathan Bernd, a skilled pianist, guitarist, violinist and producer. His wife, Cindy, matches his instrumental talents with an exceptional instrument of her own. Her powerful voice has a commanding range, and her sensitive phrasing effectively weds lyrics and music.

Jonathan is the grandson of German Jews who died in Auschwitz during the Holocaust, and the son of a father who narrowly escaped the same fate, fleeing to England as a ten-year-old refugee. Jonathan studied classical piano, dabbled in Marxism and eventually looked into the claims of Yeshua (Jesus). Bernd was surprised to find that faith in Jesus did not diminish his Jewish identity, but instead reinforced it. His wife, Cindy, who is also Jewish, grew up in affluent Southern California in the Reform tradition. She’s the granddaughter of Eastern European immigrants who suffered in the pogroms. Before marrying Jonathan, she traveled as part of The Liberated Wailing Wall Jewish gospel music group.

To sample their music, just go to:
http://www.jewsforjesus.org/resources/audio

To order this music on CD or cassette online, go to:
http://store.jewsforjesus.org

If you mention in the “comments” box (on the web page where you finalize your order) that you saw a review in ISSUES, you’ll get a 15% discount.”