Nationally touring music educator Jay Rapoport, RJE, takes Jewish values and stories and transforms them into “Ruach Rock,” a catchy piano-pounding style influenced by Ben Folds and Billy Joel. His first album of original Jewish songs, “With All Your Heart,” was released in November 2010, and since then he has traveled the country sharing his unique blend of instant sing-alongs and engaging musical storytelling that gets people out of their seats and rocking! An award-winning songwriter, Jay has shared stages with Craig Taubman, Rick Recht, Kol B’seder, Josh Nelson, Michelle Citrin, Nefesh Mountain, Noah Aronson, Shira Kline and Naomi Less, and he is featured on Jewish Rock Radio and JKids Radio. Jay’s songs have been featured on NFTY’s “Ruach” Series, NewCAJE’s “New Voices,” URJ’s “Shabbat Anthology” and PJ Library compilations, and most recently, six of his compositions were featured in Transcontinental’s “Manginot: The Complete Jewish Children’s Songbook, Volume 3.” Jay has performed on the main stage at URJ Biennials as well as at ARJE Annual Gatherings, NewCAJE and NFTY Convention and has served on the faculty of Hava Nashira, Song Leader Boot Camp, and URJ Camp OSRUI.
Jay honed his skills as a camp songleader, touring clubs and colleges with various bands, and incorporating original music into his roles as Camp Director at Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, VA and Youth Advisor & Educator at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in NYC. Jay studied piano and singing at Berklee College of Music and has a Master’s Degree in Religious Education from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City, where his thesis curriculum, “Ruach Rock T’filah,” focused on creative prayer for teens. In June 2014 Jay began a new role as the Director of Lifelong Learning at Temple Sholom of Chicago, and his second album of Jewish music, “They Tried To Get Us, We Won, Let’s Rock!” was released in December 2014.
In recent years, Jay was featured on the Disney Family Holiday Singalong, received the Yad b’Yad award from the Association of Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE) for innovative curriculum, and received funding from the Covenant Foundation for his virtual children’s choir song, “La-bri’ut.” His latest album, “Attitude of Gratitude,” was released in January 2022!