Tikkun Tunes creates Jewish social justice music programs for children and families. Our classes and groups engage in topics like racial justice, immigrant rights, and gender diversity through a Jewish lens while participating in a communal music experience. Offerings include preschool classes, holiday programs, Shabbat services, communal events and private family gatherings. Tikkun Tunes equips the youngest among us to see injustice, speak out for the needs of all humanity, and build the world they envision, a world to come – olam haba – full of joy, blessings, and peace.
VisionTikkun Tunes is rooted in the vision that Jewish communal music can empower children and families to become agents of social change and pursuers of justice. The celebration of Shabbat, Jewish holidays, and Torah learning are magical tools passed down from our ancestors that can create space in our families and schools for conversations about race, gender, disability, immigration, and other issues about which we are called to take action and not remain silent. We will carry out the work of Tikkun Olam – repairing the world – through singing, playing, and learning together.
Stephen Figurasmith (they/them) is a parent, teacher, musician, and activist with Ashkenazi Jewish and Polish Catholic ancestry. They live in unceded Munsee Lenape territory in Valley Stream, NY. They grew up in Newport News, VA and have lived in New York since 2010 with their wife Rachel, with whom they have two young children. Stephen has a decade of experience in Jewish education as a religious school teacher, tefillah and song leader, and early childhood music and movement facilitator. They founded Tikkun Tunes in order to bridge Jewish children’s music with social justice education and meet the needs of progressive Jewish communities looking to learn, pray, and celebrate with children in new and meaningful ways.
Stephen graduated from Hampshire College with a degree in Social Sciences and concentration in race and gender studies. Before discovering their love of Jewish music and education, Stephen worked with youth and adults in group homes, shelters, and substance abuse counseling. Their background also includes volunteer work and internships in the fields of reproductive justice and youth empowerment. In addition, they’ve participated in a wide range of professional development and training in music education, child development, anti-racism, and Jewish songleading. Making, listening to, and sharing music has been an important part of Stephen’s life since childhood. All of these experiences combine to inform their unique approach to teaching about Jewish values and tradition through a social justice lens.