April 20, 2024
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Shim Craimer’s Newly Released CD Expands Into Time-Honored Inspirational Music

Shim Craimer has always inspired through his music. As a composer, performer, chazan and recently mentor, Craimer’s journey began and continues in the world of inspiration through music. Residing with his family in Modiin in central Israel since 2018, Craimer is thoroughly involved in the music scenes in three countries—Israel, the U.S. and his native England. In Israel, he is composing, performing at many “chutznik” weddings for audiences who know and love his music from the “old country” and serving as a conductor and mentor to an innovative young people’s chorus. One Shabbat a month, and on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Shavuot, he returns to his position as chazan of the Riverdale Jewish Center where he has served for “15 glorious years” and counting. During his frequent trips to the U.S., he serves as a chazan in different communities and delights wedding audiences with his unique style of celebratory music. He is invited to London as well for weddings and musical events.

Shim’s compositions over the years have always conveyed inspirational messages. His song “Tziyon,” which was originally produced to be a closing-credits song for an Israeli movie, was so well received that it was set to a music video of his family’s aliyah with Nefesh B’Nefesh. In marking Israel’s 60th anniversary, Craimer, together with his long-time friend Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi of the British Commonwealth, produced a two-part CD combining divrei Torah with Israeli and devotional music.

On Sunday, November 3, Craimer’s latest project was launched. In the process for several years, in collaboration with renowned music producer Yochi Briskman, Craimer released an album entitled “Covering Classics.” The musical selections are infused with universal messages that mirror the values of Judaism. With Josh Groban’s style as a model, Shim has re-interpreted the messages of well-known classics in keeping with his own heritage and principles. Included are beloved classics such as “Turn, Turn Turn,” whose lyrics are taken from Kohelet; “Brothers in Arms,” which advocates for the laying down of arms in the interest of peace; “Dust in the Wind,” which encourages utilizing every moment here on earth; “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” venerating old age; “Colors of the Wind,” a Disney classic promoting unity; and “You Raise Me Up,” a parent’s conveying love to a child. A long standing dream of Craimer’s is to expand his musical offerings by entering the world of inspirational musical classics in English.

Craimer, who studied music at the Royal Academy of London, has always wanted to connect through his music to those outside the Jewish listening audience. He feels strongly that each song that he sings is a reflection of his heart, which comes from deeply within his “kishkes.” He feels that through the sincerity in his renditions, he can connect to a listening community beyond the Modern Ortodox that may be seeking enhanced spirituality and inspiration. Craimer even sees in this new venture an opportunity to bring some in his listening audience closer to Judaism as, in following his music, they will become familiar with his contemporary and liturgical Jewish music.

“Covering Classics” is available on CD at online music stores such as CDbaby, as well as through streaming sites including Itunes, Apple Play, Spotify and Amazon.

To contact Craimer for special occasions, in the U.S. and Israel, contact Yochi Briskman at [email protected] or
917-805-4844.

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