The Rabbi's Daughter

Growing up the daughter of a rabbi, I have vivid memories of running around the temple at an early age as my dad calmly led the congregation in song and prayer.  Music was always in our home and I went from piano lessons quickly to my true love — guitar, and at age 15, was playing CBGB’s with my first of many rock bands.

After graduating Berklee College Of Music I returned to NYC to a somewhat unfulfilling job in music publishing. My dad reminded me of my love for Jewish music, and song leading during my childhood at Eisner camp where he was a Rabbi, and suggested I explore opportunities with Temples and nursery schools.

I was fortunate enough to do this at several temples from NYC’s Emanuel, to smaller local temples, while continuing to tour with my rock band. Most of all, I was able to be at my Dad’s side at his temple doing what I loved so much, having the privilege of getting to play my guitar every day with kids, while singing the songs I love. I love reminding people, through music, how fun and love filled Judaism can be.    


"I just want to sing with you all day"

So I’m at my Tuesday nursery school, playing with the kids and we’re having a wonderful time. Just as I am about to play my last song, one of the little girls in the class comes up to me and says, “I just want to sing with you all day”. Well that not only made my day, it made my entire week. That’s why I do what I do.

"Clapping is another way of praying"

My dad and I would lead the congregation in song and prayer together, and one of the songs in particular made almost everyone in the congregation clap. My dad would look at the kids and say, “clapping is another way of praying”, and you bet the next chorus those kids would be clapping away.


Camp is in my DNA. I grew up with it, it influenced me and my music. I had been with the JCC camp for several years, but this year wanted to infuse some of my own experiences into the children’s camp journey. I had realized that, though i saw almost every child in the camp at one time or another throughout the week, something was missing. I spoke with the camp director and explained to him that the most exciting and memorable experiences i had at Eisner Camp as a child, was when the entire camp came together as one. He immediately embraced the idea, and though we both grappled with the challenge of getting it done, the entire camp team came together to make this happen.

Today it is hard to remember what camp was like before Friday Camp Oneg existed. Take a look for yourself at the joy and unity of the entire camp singing as one in the video above.

I kept my music going and stayed connected with the kids doing online videos during the pandemic

Blog Posts

Shabbat Shira November 2017

Rise Up at Temple Chaverim

Pajama Day at MIYJCC Camp

Contact Stacy

4 + 3 =


©2021 Stacy Kelly - All Rights Reserved