The Heart of Shabbat Ensemble

Led by Rabbi Dov Gartenberg and master jazz musician, Ari Joshua Zucker, The Heart of Shabbat Ensemble brings musical depth and richness to Shabbat hospitality all around Seattle. Our Shabbat Hosting Partners invite the Heart of Shabbat Ensemble to their homes to enhance the Shabbat experience with music, song, and storytelling.   The Heart of Shabbat ensemble has crafted a musical Kabbalat Shabbat and Havdallah service that taps traditions from Jewish communities all over the world.  The ensemble also has a “Tish” format which brings musical medleys of Jewish music to adorn a Friday evening Shabbat meal or a Saturday evening Havdallah.

The ensemble blends joyful melody with contemplative chant and lyrical beauty that invites participation and inspires the heart.    Our ensemble is intentionally multigenerational combining the Boomer and the Millennial generational experience of our ensemble leaders.  Rabbi Dov and Ari have known each other since 1988 when Rabbi Gartenberg first came to Seattle and when Ari was a young student discovering music and beginning his Jewish education.

Our ensemble features some wonderfully talented members including Rebekka Goldsmith, vocals; Larry Mahlis; percussion, Matt Sircely; mandolin,  Daniel Salka, piano; Josh Niehaus, guitar and vocals,  Chava Mirel, guitar and vocals, and Craig Judelman, fiddler.   Usually three or four of us come to a Shabbat Hosting Partnerships.

You can bring the ensemble to your Shabbat home celebration.

More about our Heart of Shabbat Ensemble Leaders

Tashlich on the Chena River2Rabbi Dov Gartenberg is the spiritual leader and convener of Panim Hadashot-New Faces. He received his B.A. from UC Berkeley in Religious and Jewish Studies with honors and studied Comparative Religions at Harvard University. He received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He served sixteen years as Rabbi of Seattle Congregation Beth Shalom and founded Panim Hadashot in Seattle in 2004.

Over the years of his rabbinate, Dov has been deeply committed to practicing Hachnasat Orchim-the welcoming of guests to his Sabbath and Festival table.  It is the inspiration for Panim Hadashot which was founded in 2004 and revived in Seattle in 2015 after Dov returned with his  wife, Joanne, from living in Juneau, Alaska for 3 and 1/2 years.  Dov and Joanne share four adult children.  Because of his unique parenting experience, Dov has dedicated his tikun olam practice to supporting individuals and families living with Autism and with mental illness.


Ari standing 2

Ari Joshua Zucker, Music Director of Panim Hadashot-New Faces and member of The Heart of Shabbat Ensemble.

Ari was born in Cape Town, South Africa and grew up in Seattle where he received his Jewish education at the Seattle Hebrew Academy and Congregation Beth Shalom. Ari began private music lessons around the age of 14 and never turned back. His hard work and raw talent were quickly recognized, and Ari was awarded a scholarship to study music on the east coast after high school.  Ari Joshua graduated in 2001 with a degree in Jazz and Contemporary music from The New School In New York City. Since graduating from college Ari has taught literally 1,000’s of music lessons to people of all ages, styles, and skill levels.  He is also a performer and band member.

A uniquely diverse palette, the ability to transcend musical languages, masterful technique and a refreshing sense of artistic urgency make Ari Joshua a compelling young musician.

Experience, humility, patience, and passion for the arts make Ari a compelling musician and interpreter of the Jazz and of the Jewish musical tradition.