When I was a younger man, and the father of a small child with special needs, I found that there were certain prayers that I said with more “kavanah” – deeper intention and feeling.
One of those prayers was “Birkat Hachodesh,” the prayer said on the Sabbath before the beginning of each new month, in which we ask God that the upcoming month should bring blessings -- and all good things.
I remember standing in the synagogue with my young son beside me. My SINAI child. I would put my arm around his shoulder, draping my tallit – my prayer shawl -- over him as we recited that prayer. And I would clutch him just a little more tightly as we came to the following words: “sheyimalu mishalot libenu” – Please God, in the upcoming month, may it be your will, that the requests and wishes and dreams that are within our hearts be fulfilled.
When we decided to create an original song and music video for SINAI Schools, that memory, that feeling etched within my heart, became the inspiration for our song, the chorus and refrain. Thus was born "Prayers from My Heart."
Today, as Managing Director of SINAI Schools, my life is devoted to helping children with special needs, to helping their parents navigate the bewildering, potentially overwhelming maze of special education. I have been there, where those parents are now, and I know what it feels like. So does my partner on this project, Abigail Hepner Gross, SINAI’s Director of Communications, who co-wrote the lyrics with me, who co-produced the film, and who is still a SINAI parent. So has C Lanzbom, another former SINAI parent, who collaborated with me to compose the music and who gathered a most talented group of performers to create the song.
Abigail, C Lanzbom, and I have all traveled this road, which made the creation of this song and video so much more meaningful and personal for each of us.
SINAI is all about opening our hearts. We have expressed the Prayers from Our Hearts in order to help other parents on their journey, a journey of Ache, Hope, and finally, Joy.
Click here to watch "Prayers from My Heart."
Click here to read behind-the-scenes details from The Jewish Standard.