Rhythm ‘N’ Ruach

Shelley Dean (left) leads a Rhythm ‘N’ Ruach class at the Saul Brodsky Jewish Community Library before COVID. Now all classes are virtual.

For the unfamiliar, Rhythm ‘n’ Ruach (pronounced ROO-ak) engages children from newborn to age 5 and their caretakers through Jewish music and movement. Ruach means “wind” in Hebrew, and with that Shelley Dean of St. Louis, created the parent-child Jewish music program back in 2011. 

“The secret sauce of Rhythm ‘n’ Ruach is the Jewish element,” Dean said. “Every week kids get to explore new instruments and a new Hebrew word." 

Dean credits Ellen Allard, a pioneer in Jewish early childhood music education, with spreading awareness about Rhythm ‘n’ Ruach and helping the program to grow. “She is well-respected (among Jewish early childhood educators) and is such an inspiration that having her endorsement was critical,” said Dean, who belongs to Congregation B’nai Amoona.
 
Now, with the New Year in full gear, Dean has a full calendar planned for the next few months, with one event starting this week. 

It's Tu B'Shevat, The Birthday Of The Trees!! Join Rhythm 'n' Ruach as they sing and dance and play with your favorite instruments...ZOOM STYLE!! 
 
There will be two sessions, with the first starting Thursday, January 28th at 10 a.m. for 30 minutes, with a second session in the early evening starting at 5:30. Both sessions are available for online sign up here. 
 
It's a Purim Party with Rhythm 'n' Ruach! It's the happiest day on the Jewish Calendar! A great cast of characters come to life- Esther, Mordechai. Haman...BOO! Dress up, bring the groggers and all of your instruments for a great time with all your friends that would like to join you!
 
There will be two sessions, with the first starting Thursday, February 25th at 10 a.m. for 30 minutes, with a second session in the early evening starting at 5:30. Both sessions are available for online sign up here.
 
Passover Time!! Sing, Dance, play instruments, and learn about Passover with Rhythm 'n' Ruach. Bring your instruments, stuffed animals, grownups, invite the grandparents and whole family to join on this Zoom Pesach adventure! 
 
There will be two sessions, with the first starting Thursday, March 17 at 10 a.m. for 30 minutes, with a second session in the early evening starting at 5:30. Both sessions are available for online sign up here.

“I am so happy they are having a joyful, positive Jewish experience that starts at a young age. My hope is that if nothing else resonates for them Jewishly as they get older, when they hear Jewish music it will rekindle what they learned and loved about Rhythm ‘n’ Ruach.”
 
You can find more information about Rhythm 'n" Ruach online.