Rabbi’s Corner: Who is Spike Kraus, How Did He Get His Nickname (and Why Does it Matter to TBS?)


The Psalmist said: “Shiru l’Adonai shir chadash – sing a new song unto God.” (Psalm 96:1)

This evening at our Kabbalat Shabbat service, we will be singing three new songs by Jacob ‘Spike’ Kraus. My connection with Spike began before he was born: his father, Rabbi Jonathan Kraus was one of my classmates at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, and his mother, Jewish educator Amy Kraus, graduated from HUC-JIR’s Education School. Spike grew up immersed in both the Jewish and musical worlds.

He is based in Boston and is a singer-songwriter, educator, and innovator. We are so fortunate that Spike will be Temple Beth Sholom’s musical Artist-Scholar-in-Residence April 5-7th. He will lead us in uplifting, inspirational worship, teach Torah, share his musical gifts with us in a special Saturday evening program, and help us to write a unique TBS “Mi Sheberach” musical healing prayer on Mitzvah Day. (Watch the Shavu’on for more information in the next few weeks!) To find out how Spike got his nickname, you’ll have to join us on April 5-7th!

Beginning this evening (and continuing through April) at our 6:00 pm Shir Joy Intergenerational Musical Shabbat, we will be praying with some of Spike’s music to familiarize ourselves in preparation for his time with us. (Join us beginning at 5:15 pm for a savory pre-neg ‘nosh’ first and to schmooze with friends!)

Tonight we will sing Spike’s compositions: (click on each piece to listen in advance):

​​​​​​​We’re sure you’ll find your spirits lifted, your feet tapping, your fingers snapping, and your heart filled with joy.

More about Spike:

Spike’s music has been included in the cantorial curriculum of Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, and is featured by Jewish Rock Radio & PJ Library. Spike has been performing for two decades at synagogues, Jewish day schools, and summer camps. Having just finished a three-year stint as the Artist-In-Residence at Temple Israel of West Bloomfield (the largest synagogue in North America), Spike now tours Jewish communities across the country as a performer, teacher, composer, consultant, and energetically joyful individual. Click HERE for more about Spike.

More of Spike’s Music and even More of Spike’s Music
We look forward to “singing a new song” with you this Shabbat!

Comments are closed.