Craig Taubman began his illustrious career at the tender of age of 15, when he picked up a guitar and began to lead music at Camp Ramah in Ojai, California. Someone suggested that he actually go to school, so he did at UCLA, Northridge University and the University of Judaism in Los Angeles. He also spent two years at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, performing for Prime Minister Menachem Begin the U.S. Ambassador to Israel and a bunch of other college students who are now in their mid 50’s.
His eclectic musical styles, have made his recordings an integral part of the Jewish community. Craig’s top-selling releases include Friday Night Live, composed for a special Shabbat service held once a month at Sinai Temple with Rabbi David Wolpe in Los Angeles. His extensive musical catalog consists of over 50 recordings, featuring everything from the new Celebrate Jewish Lullabies, to Rock n Toontown, featuring backup vocals with Minnie and Mickey!
Craig’s songs bridge traditional Jewish themes and ancient teachings with passages and experiences of contemporary Jewish life. He speaks a language that is both comfortable and acceptable to children and adults. His Jewish recordings are an integral part of the community, weaving song and spirit into the fabric of Jewish life.
Craig has also enjoyed a successful career in television and film. He composed and directed music for the Fox children’s series Rimba’s Island, the critically acclaimed HBO animated series Happily Ever After, and Shari Lewis’s PBS series, Charley Horse Pizza. His music has been featured at the Coca Cola Olympic Pavilion in Atlanta as well as in the Paramount Pictures feature film Andre, New Line Cinema’s Pinocchio, and Disney’s animated short film Recycle Rex. His songs have been recorded by such respected artists as Chita Rivera and Jennifer Holliday. Craig’s sell-out concerts draw thousands of fans at such respected venues as Ravinia in Chicago, Valley Forge in Pennsylvania, Westbury Music Fair in New York, the Greek Theater in Los Angeles and three special performances at the White House.
Craig is the producer of Jewels of Elul (www.jewelsofelul.com) an annual collection of short stories, anecdotes and introspections for the High Holy Days. Over the past 10 years “Jewel” have been collected from an eclectic group of people including President Barack Obama, Desmond Tutu, the Dali Lama, Sarah Lefton, Eli Wiesel, Deepak Chopra, Pastor Rick Warren, Kirk Douglas, Rabbi David Wolpe, Ruth Messinger, Jeffrey Katzenberg and over 250 other inspired voices . . . well known and not so well known.
Most Recently, Craig has been focusing his energies on building the Pico Union Project. (www.picounionproject.org). This multi-faith cultural arts center located downtown Los Angeles – in the oldest synagogue in Southern California, is dedicated to the Jewish principle to “love you neighbor as yourself”.
What People Are Saying
“You were great last night, all was good and of course, the attendees loved the performance. Your artist ego should be more than satisfied with the reaction last night and the rave reviews I heard from many this morning. Thanks for doing what you do like no other and bringing all the Hadassah women to their feel for a fun and emotional end to the convention.” – Suzy Burnstein
“The afterglow is positively incendiary over there. U tore the roof off the mother.” – Billy Jonas
“We are still glowing in the aftermath of that Shabbat – both Friday night and Saturday – The only thing that did not go as well as I had hoped from my perspective is that there has been no follow up after the Saturday interfaith lunch. We had remarks about Friday night like: The best Shabbat ever at Temple Israel. So you were great and fulfilled all I could have asked.” – Rabbi Howard Shapiro Palm Beach Florida
You and your band were wonderful Sunday night. We really enjoyed having you here. I keep hearing from others that this was the best concert we have ever had. We really appreciate your warmth, connection to the audience, and making it special for all of the honorees. This was the third time that I have seen you perform, but this was the best yet! – Tammy
Thank you for such a wonderful event experience. I think everyone there had a fabulous time. My husband, who isn’t Jewish and is usually pretty bored at events I drag him to, told me that he thought you were great and he really enjoyed the concert. “Best I’ve been to” he said. I think that speaks to your amazing ability to reach so many people from diverse backgrounds – not just the middle class Ashkenazi Jews – Susan
Hi Craig, My name is Adrianne Pasternak (formerly Bordofsky). I am the Director of Education at Shomrei Torah Synagogue and a former student of yours. Our paths have crossed from time to time, most recently at the funeral of Michael Dinin. I have been spending a lot of time thinking about how it is that I became a Jewish Educator and recently, I figured out the exact moment I knew it would be so – and it is because of you. I hope you don’t mind if I share. I attended Religious School at Temple Etz Chaim beginning in kindergarten. During my years of Religious School I feel I was doubly blessed to have Michael as my principal and YOU as my music teacher. I remember that you attended our shabbatonim and later started “Yad B’Yad” which my cousin was lucky enough to be a part of. When I was older and learned to drive, my friends and I used to drive around singing and making up dance moves to your songs! (No wonder I became a Jewish educator…). After graduating High School I became orthodox (another story for another time) and found myself at Neve Yerushalyim – a seminary for girls in Jerusalem. It was there that one day while learning to study Hebrew/Parsha from the Hebrew text that a light bulb went off in my head. As I parsed out the line from the chumash, I found myself not reading it, but singing it as it was a line from one of your songs. It was at that moment that all the Jewish education I had received began to make sense. A connection was made. It all finally came together for me… and today as I am in the middle of my 7th year at STS and am working towards creating a new vision for our Religious School, my goal is that my students don’t have to wait until they are 18 to make these connections. I want my students to feel every day the way I felt when I realized that what I had been learning my whole life was TORAH. I’m not sure if I am making sense – but truly, I just wanted you to know that 20++ years later, you were not only one of my first teachers, but you are still my teacher and I thank you. You are continuing to teach hundreds of students through me. I was blessed to have you in my life. Sincerely – Adrianne