Kurt Weill’s Musical Composition of Kiddush

This post includes an introduction to Kurt Weill’s musical composition of Kiddush, including an original audio and several videos of other artists covering his work. Weill’s musical composition of Kiddush is an excellent example of how Jewish rituals can be made more accessible to Jews and non-Jews alike. Weill was already a noted composer when he immigrated to New York City in 1933 after escaping the Nazi takeover of his native Germany. In 1943, Cantor David Putterman of the Conservative Park Avenue Synagogue approached Weill to compose a piece to be used for Kiddush during the Friday evening services. Weill’s composition is appealing to different types of Jewish traditions, as his blending of theatrical sounds with stylistic elements of the blues is modern, without taking precedence over the reverence of the ritual. In addition, its slow pace provides enables listeners to pick up the words and sing along.

Videos of Different Musicians Covering Weill’s Kiddush

This video shows Weill’s Kiddush being performed by the Zamir Chorale of Boston, a vibrant voice in the presentation, preservation, and perpetuation of Jewish culture, led by Joshua Jacobson.

This video shows Weill’s Kiddush being performed by the French Des Mesures Lyrical Ensemble, under the artistic direction or Muriel Stibbe.