Jared Stein was born and raised in Maryland. He comes from a musical family and has been playing violin and guitar since childhood. He’s played in many bands including his family’s band: The Rolling Steins. Jared has been studying classical violin at UCSB.
What does Nashuva mean to you?
Nashuva is a spiritual awakening. There are many Jewish communities that I have attended services at, played music at and been a part of. Until I went to Nashuva I didn’t really connect with any of them. At Nashuva it’s more about the Jewish spirit and finding Jewishness within you rather than finding it in a prayer book. It’s a lot of fun and we play a lot of cool music. I think it’s a huge step forward for Judaism in America.
What is it like to be part of the Nashuva band?
It’s great. They are really hot musicians. We all click and there’s a lot of energy in the band. The band members come with awesome backgrounds in playing different musical styles–not only Jewish music. That’s why we can mix styles so well in the Nashuva service. It’s not a show. It’s more about the spirit and the feel of the music rather than putting on a show for people.
What is it like to be part of the Nashuva service?
It’s a great feeling because everybody’s focused on what we’re doing and people don’t have other things on their mind at Nashuva. It makes it beautiful because we’re all on the same level. It’s a divine pleasure to be working with Naomi. She’s created something that I think could give a whole new feel to American Judaism. I’m really glad to be working with her from the beginning. I get probably one of the best views that anyone gets from Naomi’s sermons. I look around when she’s speaking. There’s always someone crying. Maybe they are tears of joy. Maybe they found themselves in a whole new way. Within each sermon there’s something if not many things to connect with. You can relate to something in your life and get a whole new perspective on it. It’s enriching and there is a lot of wisdom to be gained. You learn something each time you listen.
What’s it like to play with your brother?
We love playing together. Justin is an awesome musician. He’s got a great feel on the bass. His voice is awesome as everybody has heard. We really click. The whole band plays off the feel he lays down for the music on his bass and it makes for a really good time.
What is the Connection between your Music and your prayer?
For me music is a prayer. When I’m playing music it brings me back to myself. And I am myself for that time. Music brings me closer to God. It inspires certain feelings in you and you can’t get those feelings from any other place. Music is a language that words can’t describe. It’s a felt language.
What is your experience of prayer at Nashuva?
Really it’s that uplifting feeling I get when everybody meditates together at the service. And we let ourselves go and be in the moment for Shabbat and we’re all with each other. It’s an energizing and renewing feeling. I think everybody gets to feel that at the service.
How would you describe Nashuva?
It’s one of a kind.
How is Nashuva an expression of your Judaism?
It brings out my Judaism more than any other Jewish service I’ve been to, because when you go to Nashuva and you read these translations by Naomi that are so accessible and easy to relate to, they speak of Jewish prayer and what God has done for us. It’s thanking God in a language that we can relate to. And it brings you closer to God because it’s much easier to believe that God is here.
What is the Nashuva musical experience to you?
All the members are on the same level. We are all there to back Naomi up and it kind of guides our music. It gives it a place to go. We reach a new level musically each time. Each service keeps getting better and better.
How would you describe the Nashuva community?
It’s a real community. It’s what I can call a true community because I feel a sense of people working together for something that’s hard to feel in a lot of places.