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Robin - 1966
Robin - 1966

Robin was close to being a virtual "firecracker" having been born on the 3rd of July, 1960 in Sacramento, California.  Her primary interest in her childhood years was turning aerial somersaults at every opportunity.  Her musical background was limited to a few years of piano lessons.  The family moved to Fullerton, California in the spring of 1972.  For Chanukah that year, Robin received an acoustic guitar.  Like her sock monkey, "Kufa", handcrafted by her Nana Freda, the guitar never left her side...even when she was somersaulting down the hallway to her room at bedtime.

 

Robin - Bat Mitzvah
Bat Mitzvah - 1973

At her Bat Mitzvah at Temple Beth Tivkah in 1973, Robin chanted both her Torah and Haftorah portion and discovered her voice, her love for Judaism and Camp Swig.  Her agility as an all round gymnast lead to her being chosen as a blue ribbon member of the Fullerton YMCA's and Troy High School's women's gymnastic teams and enhanced her grace in Israeli folkdancing.  Minor conflicts arose when a team event took place on Saturdays when her religious school class studying comparative faiths had scheduled a field trip.  Robin generally chose the religious school activity.

 

As a teenager, Robin spent most of her summers at the Swig Institute for Living Judaism, where she became a popular and proficient song leader. She was active in both the TBT Junior, then Senior Youth Group as well as a member of the SCFTY board while in high school. She served as a songleader for the religious school at TBT and several other Reform synagogues in Southern California in addition to song leading at Camp Swig. At Swig she also became skilled in calligraphy and created the gloriously colorful "Sim Shalom" stained glass that will serve as the jacket cover for the CD.



Robin began her undergraduate studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz, followed by a year in Israel before transferring to California State University Northridge.  She continued at CSUN to obtain her Masters degree in Psychology.  While studying voice and liturgy with a local cantor, she sang professionally for Hillel and as the adult weekend music specialist at Brandeis Bardin Institute. She also became the cantorial soloist for Beth Chayim Chadasim in Los Angeles.  Most of her melodies were written and recorded on audio tape during these years.

 

In 1989, Robin made aliyah with her Israeli-born husband, Yonaton Ariel and their son, Ben. Two years later, Shalev, their second son was born. Robin discovered and was invited to join a singing chorale when she moved to her Israeli community of Neve Monoson and became one of their favorite solo performers.  At a songfest tribute to celebrate her life, fittingly held in the elementary school gym in Monoson, the chorale memorialized their always cheerful member by renaming the group, "Havurat HaZemer Shel Robin". Prior to moving to Monoson, Robin's vocal talent was immediately recognized by her friend and professional associate, Rabbi Kinnert Shiryon and also by Rabbi Micky Boyden who invited her to chant High Holy Day services for his congregation in Ra'anana. While attending services in Jerusalem, she was touched by the words of the Shechina Mekor Chayenu prayer, written by Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman at Kol HaNeshama and composed the haunting melody for the Shechina, the Divine Source of Life. Her melody is used in many of the Progressive/Reform synagogues in Israel and the United States as a feminine counter-balance to the Avinu Malkenu. Listening to Robin sing Take Me with You, you will feel the dreams of a deeply believing, exquisite woman whose physical presence was quelled by breast cancer in 1991, but whose spiritual essence forever remains in her inspirational music. Thus evolved this project to Remember Robin and Relive Her Music.

 

Soar With Eagles
Gymnastics - 1975


group photo
SCFTY Board -  1977

Dori and Phil Kiss the Bride
Dori and Phil Kiss the Bride  -  1986

Robin, Ben and Shalev
Ben, Ima, Shalev - 1991

Angel of Schina
Angel of Shechina - For Eternity

 


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