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Debbie Friedman, self-taught Jewish folk singer, dies at 59
Debbie Friedman, self-taught Jewish folk singer, dies at 59

Debbie Friedman, a self-taught Jewish folk singer and composer who transformed synagogue music and worship by infusing traditional prayers with a contemporary sensibility, died Sunday at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo. She was 59. The cause was complications of pneumonia from an unknown viral infection, said her sister, Cheryl Friedman. Over the last four decades Friedman recorded more than 20 albums of songs that combine English and Hebrew texts with folk rhythms. Among her best-known compositions is "Mi Sheberach," the Jewish prayer for healing. Written for a friend who was struggling to adjust to getting older, it became a staple of Reform Jewish services and a central part...

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