About Me

My photo
Joy Serves G*d in Joy as a passionate performing percussionist, poet, publisher, photographer, publicist, sound healer, spiritual guide, artist, gardener and Gemini. "Ivdu Et Hashem B'Simcha" -Psalm 100:2 ....... Joy Krauthammer, active in the Jewish Renewal, Feminist, and neo-Chasidic worlds for over three decades, kabbalistically leads Jewish women's life-cycle rituals. ... Workshops, and Bands are available for all Shuls, Sisterhoods, Rosh Chodeshes, Retreats, Concerts, Conferences & Festivals. ... My kavanah/intention is that my creative expressive gifts are inspirational, uplifting and joyous. In gratitude, I love doing mitzvot/good deeds, and connecting people in joy. In the zechut/merit of Reb Shlomo Carlebach, zt'l, I mamash love to help make our universe a smaller world, one REVEALING more spiritual consciousness, connection, compassion, and chesed/lovingkindness; to make visible the Face of the Divine... VIEW MY COMPLETE PROFILE and enjoy all offerings.... For BOOKINGS write: joyofwisdom1 at gmail.com, leave a COMMENT below, or call me. ... "Don't Postpone Joy" bear photo montage by Joy. Click to enlarge. BlesSings, Joy

Friday, May 20, 2011

Joy's U Tubes & other websites

Visions ~ Bits & Pieces of Joy

Aviva & menorahs
© Joy Krauthammer
You Tubes by Joy
These first 2 U Tubes I created make me happy to view them. 
They, too, are my Visions of Joy. Enjoy Happy Chanukah and Edith's Persimmon Drying. 

Happy Chanukah  1:35
by Joy Krauthammer, Joy to the World

                                 ~ ~ ~

Edith & persimmons
© Joy Krauthammer

Edith & Hachiyah Persimmon Drying with Joy   2:31
by Joy Krauthammer, Joy to the World

                                 ~ ~ ~

A Photo Story

"PERSIMMON Drying" You Tube by Joy Krauthammer 
is published in Persimmon TreeSpring 2012
an Online Magazine of the Arts by Women Over Sixty

Take a look and enjoy the magazine. 
Direct link: 

 ~ ~ ~


RR #2 & FLOATING FLOWERS Trailer  1 1/2 minutes


~ ~ ~


~ ~ ~

I traveled to visit my grandbaby in rainy Maryland from sunny California, and I shot CITYSCAPES. As a member of 52 Frames photo group, this was our week's theme. Turned several photos into a short slide show. 1:34  
Likes and Comments are always appreciated.
~ ~ ~

a compilation on the ecstasy of Joy

Joy & ribboned timbrel
Lev Eisha May 2011 Newsletter

                                 ~ ~ ~

Joy, Sister Ann Catherine, John

Sister Ann Catherine and her brother John 
A little illustrated story about my friend
in the Ahavat Torah newsletter.

We had a marvelous service last Shabbat, December 25th, at our synagogue. I mentioned last week in our
newsletter, “Just imagine, some people will come to celebrate Christmas and find us celebrating Shabbat!”

We were not too far from that scene. We had great prayer and music with Kimberly
Haynes, ethics discussion with the ethicists among us, in-depth prayer teaching by Rabbi
Miriam, Torah teaching was by Rabbinic Intern Susan Nanus, Torah chanting by Vivian
Gold, and many dear ones who attended, congregants, guests, and many friends. 
But we also had a special guest, Sister Ann Catherine, her brother John, and our beloved friend
Joy Krauthammer. It was amazing to me that during the Christian “High Holy Day” of
Christmas, Sister Ann Catherine, chose to be with Ahavat Torah Congregation. She not
only participated in the prayer service, but also played the timbrels together with Joy, who
played the drum. Joy wrote: “She was a maven timbrelist.” Sister Ann Catherine wrote, “It
was such a sacred experience ~ a gift of God to have this opportunity to serve as a music
minister. This was a first in my life!”

For all of us, it was an amazing experience with many sheheheyanu moments, as Joy wrote. I thought the
Mashiah is truly around the corner. Seeing Sister Ann Catherine in her habit playing the timbrel with such great joy on Shabbat (Christmas) at our synagogue. Indeed, Praise G*d from whom all blessings flow!” said Sister AnnCatherine. May Adonai bestow upon us that we may share many more such Sheheheyanu moment experiences.

Amen! Thank you Joy for bringing your friends, now ours. Rabbi Miriam

~ ~ ~

Barlow Foundation newsletter Spring 2009 v9 i1, page 6.
My blooming purple bearded irises are a low opacity vision beneath articles on the Barlow pages. - Joy

Friend, AriellaShira Lewis spontaneously joined me, driving separately along many freeways, until we arrived at downtown's Barlow Respiratory Hospital in Elysium Park (where we got lost at Dodger Stadium and Caesar Chavez Ravine), filled with 100 year old trees. AriellaShira was in her white goddess gown and high heels, when I asked if she'd join me in this venture. She did not hesitate, because she is a traveling mitzvah angel. I had fifty purple bearded irises and bags of dirt to plant and beautify the hospital. She planted in three different gardens. Patients with their respirators and medical staff, sit outside learning on the main lobby porch facing dirt and some greenery.

I found a gardener and had him fix and test the sprinklers. AriellaShira and I planted, with our knees on brown bags. During Marcel's, z'l, six months of difficult life support, he was at this hospital for two months, Sept. and October. Marcel had been president of the Trudeau Society of Pulmonary Physicians of the LA Lung Society, and I knew that when he ran meetings at Barlow (from the other side of the bed) he appreciated the fish meal they served because he ate kosher. AriellaShira's husband also is in the same field, and thus had an additional reason for this mitzvah we did. AriellaShira has visited Marcel in many hospitals and was present when we buried him and at the matzeivah / gravestone unveiling.  We share the hiddur mitzvah of beautifying the grounds for patients and staff.

 I write this on Sephirot Counting of the Omer day 40, Hod sh b'Yesod. I am reminded that this holy act of love and gratitude deals with the foundation of bonding and creation. It is a purification for me to recognize the refinement of my soul as we travel toward Mt. Sinai and Shavuot.  Today is a good day to write because Marcel visited me last night while I slept. He looked well, Baruch Hashem.
  - Joy Krauthammer

"Dr. Marcel Krauthammer, a pulmonologist and a renowned professor of medicine at UCLA, passed away in January 2006. His wife, Joy, planted lovely purple bearded irises at the Barlow main hospital in his memory. The bulbs became a wonderful improvement to the hospital grounds, and have since multiplied, and return year after year in spectacular bloom. The Garden of Joy, as it’s been affectionately named by the staff, blooms beautifully, even in the cold of winter. It brings smiles to the staff and warms the heart and brings hope to our patients and their families."
- Barlow Foundation

Garden of Joy - Barlow Hospital
donated in memory of Marcel Krauthammer, z'l
Garden of Joy  - Barlow Hospital
donated in memory of Marcel Krauthammer, z'l
AriellaShira Lewis - chaplain dep't
~ ~ ~

Rabbi Stan Levy & ribboned tallit
© Joy Krauthammer

It made me very happy that I could contribute to the Tallit being created for B'nai Horin's Rabbi Stan Levy.

The ribbon design (by others) of the tallit was based on my own woven-in ribbon adorned tallit which I had designed and co-created with my friend, Ruth Zitch, z'l, (based on the Sephirot and Reb Zalman's colors of days of creation).  Reb Stan's Tallit was also based on my ribbon adorned timbrel. Each free-flowing ribbon attached to my timbrel was written and filled with blesSings from friends around the world. This is what inspired the designers of Rabbi Stan's Tallit. His ribbons are on the tallit.

I helped with others in the holy job to tie the Tzitzit on the Tallit.
It was a great event when we presented the Tallit to Rabbi Stan, founder and rabbi of B'nai Horin.
- Joy Krauthammer


 ~ ~ ~

SHUL TRIPPINGa nostalgic hippie tours the alternative scene
by Roberto Loiderman,  October 11, 2007,  Jewish Journal


excerpted from a lengthy story:
© Suzanne Roth
When I met Joy Krauthammer, 60, at Lev Eisha -- where she plays percussion -- I had already heard about her. "Joy's a drummer, a musician," someone had told me, "a woman with deep soul.... She's involved in everything." 

Everything and more. Joy was at B'nai Horin's Tashlich service by the Pacific, where she twirled on the sand. Wearing a rainbow-colored tie-dyed floppy cap with a big yellow sunflower, she waded into the ocean with bits of bread. Later, she invited me to a gathering of Sarah's Tent, a group that explores creative Jewish spirituality. 

I saw Joy again at Makom Ohr Shalom's Yom Kippur services and once more at Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue's Sukkot Torah study. When I asked her about having run into her so many times, she wrote me in an e-mail that I could have also seen her at other places of worship, as well.

Joy goes to many places because she finds beauty and comfort in each. Full of adoration for ecstatic Judaism, brimming with love for the rabbis who dedicate themselves to the teachings she soaks up, Joy reminds me of God-drunk people I'd meet while doing the ashram-crawl in India nearly 40 years ago. 

Joy did her own version of the ashram-crawl. In 1960s New York, she "hung out" with Hare Krishnas and followers of Swami Satchidananda: "G-d came to me in the mid-1980s and revealed something I had never known, the Divine Presence," she wrote me. "Yes, I recognize it when it happens. Every moment in my garden. Surely in shul when I am playing for the congregations to bring them to praise the source of all blessings. G-d gave this gift to me. I had asked for it and I received it ... I have been danced. I have been sung. I have been drummed ... I have asked to be able to hear and listen more carefully." 

I suspect that Joy has a faith gene I don't have. While her soul resonates with the beauty in all the places she goes to, I go to the same places and focus on what jars my soul.

Still, there was one more place to go, and it would put me in the presence of the man who started the Renewal movement.
"I loved meeting reporter, Roberto Loiderman, and loved what he wrote here, and I love his other stories. Reading what Roberto wrote, affirms what I stand for."
- Joy Krauthammer
~ ~ ~

It thrills me to see that the interview on Renewal Judaism that I had with Professor Chava Weissler was published in:

Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues 1995 (c) 2005 pg.53-83


and has been included and revised in anthologies:
Women Remaking American Judaism by Riv-Ellen Prell  page 50   (see below Nashim)

Reprinted from:
Meanings of Shekhinah in the "Jewish Renewal" Movement 
by Chava Weissler 
Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues - Number 10, Fall 5766/2006, pp. 53-83

Indiana University Press 

Chava Weissler - Meanings of Shekhinah in the "Jewish Renewal" Movement - Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues 10 Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues 10 (2005) 53-83 Meanings Of Shekhinah In The "Jewish Renewal" Movement Chava Weissler "Jewish Renewal is Hasidism meets feminism." Rabbi David Wolfe-Blank "Renewal is a well-spring of women's energy." Nan Fink Geffen "God is coming through the women this time." Barbara Breitman Encountering a feminist conception of God can transform a life. 

In Los Angeles during the 1980s, Joy Krauthammer encountered feminism through the Los Angeles Jewish Feminist Center, with such Jewish Renewal teachers as Savina Teubal and Sue Elwell, and later with Judith Halevy. "Feminism gave me the ability to worship a God who isn't the Lord. . . . I can pray to the Source of All Blessings." Not long after, she began to attend the Aleph Kallah (the biennial week-long gathering of Renewal Jews) and Elat Chayyim (the Jewish Spiritual Retreat Center), where she learned how to shape her spiritual practice to her new understanding of divinity:

Dancing Joy
© Shira Solomon
 I start the morning by greeting the sun. . . . I go out in my bare feet and dance in the garden as the sun is coming up, and say the Modah Ani [a prayer said on awakening]. I learned it from Shefa Gold at the Kallah in 1993. I learned that I could be free and liberated to express myself in ways I didn't know I could.

 A spiritual seeker for most of her adult life, as well as a musician, photographer, and artist, this woman, coming from a secular Jewish background and married to an Orthodox man, had been involved in both Hare Krishna and Chabad (Lubavitch hasidism) before settling into Jewish Renewal in the early 1990-1. While she still maintains connections with the Orthodox and Chabad communities, Krauthammer is so identified with the Jewish Renewal movement that she introduced herself to me by saying. "I am Renewal!" In addition to her work with women teachers, Krauthammer formed deep connections with such male Renewal leaders as Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Shlomo Carlebach, David Zeller, and Stan Levy.

from Women Remaking American Judaism by Riv-Ellen Prell:
For the artists of Jewish Renewal, Shekhinah is far more than a metaphor. This essay began with the words of Joy Krauthammer, a spiritual seeker who is an artist and a musician. For the past four years, among her other activities, Krauthammer has been the percussionist at Lev Eisha (Heart of a Woma, the Los Angeles women's Minyan, meeting monthly "with about 150 ruach-filled, singing, Miriayahm dancing, praying, learning, sharing women."

"I am gratefl to the Source of All BlesSings, as Rabbi David Wolfe-Blank, z'l, taught me to call the Holy One."
- Joy Krauthammer, Jan. 24, 2003

"I study Orthodox and Chabad, and davven Renewal." Jan 16, 2005. 

 - Joy Krauthammer
~ ~ ~

Monday, May 16, 2011


Reflections of Joy
seen on autos
photos and collage © Joy Krauthammer

 © Aviva Krauthammer

Monday, May 9, 2011



- Joy Krauthammer

For Mother’ Day, I asked for what I wanted and I got it. YAY.

It fascinates me that not only is my new one week old MacBook Pro laptop (a mother’s day or early birthday present to myself), now PURPLE, whereas before it was only sanitary silver colored manufactured universal metal to standard, a “unibody”, and boring in its contemporary sleek form, which did NOT move me in any way, but that NOW it also intrigues me that that my Mother’s Day purple gift is embracing the machine, AND the MacBook Pro feels like IT IS MINE. 

Such an emotional transformation I have experienced as I beautified my writing and photography tool with which I create. It feels like Hiddur Mitzvah to me. With this machine, I do mitzvot. I now relate to the computer emotionally because of the PURPLE cover that I placed over it, top and bottom. I am thrilled with it. And it is the same color purple as the purple computer bag I purchased several years ago but never used.  I never took my laptop anywhere. (It survived with cooking fans and constant renewal of freezer packs—just like my knees after surgery--don’t ask.)

Of course, as I use the open laptop, I won’t even see the color. But taking it in and out of its new purple quilted cloth bag thrills me. Just knowing it is purple, excites me.

Aviva and Brett heard my request for the purple cover as soon as I purchased and received the computer. Usually for Mother’s Day, and my birthday and Chanukah, I always tell my kids:  please, NO gifts, I have no space, but please call and write me a card; I would love that. Sometimes they don’t listen and I do receive a purple tchatzkah that I even like. (I see at this moment, the purple winged female angel perched high on the top of a tall bookshelf, near my flying Balinese female flying angel. The purple lavender plant sent by mail, died.)

I made my request only a couple days before Mother’s Day, and was hugely surprised when the box showed up at my door the night before Mother’s Day. I waited patiently until midnight, as Mother’s Day arrived my time, to open my present.

Was it chutzpah to ask my kids for the little gift I wanted, and even send them the link to Amazon for it? Now I know the price. I’ve never ordered from Amazon and I’d decided that I didn’t want the challenge, so I just ASKED FOR A MOTHER’S DAY GIFT!  J  I’m happy knowing my kids are probably happy that they could send a gift to me that I really like, even though they tolerate my passion for purple. When I visit them, I’ll bring along my new purple laptop, a Vision of Joy. Oh, yes, my kids also called and sent me a card!

This gift also makes me happy because tomorrow would have been my husband’s, z’l, 65th birthday. He was a total computer maven / genius. I feel proud of myself that I didn’t procrastinate, and have researched, chosen and bought for myself what I thought are my own computing needs.  This may sound silly, but I bought the laptop so I can shlep it to the Apple store for my weekly computer lessons, and no longer shlep in my large desktop iMac from my house and car and shopping mall parking lot, which is what I have been doing for 34 weeks.  On my husband’s birthday, I am taking my lessons, and I do think he would have been pleased with my computer accomplishments. My Apple trainers surely are. J

May 2011
Yesod sh b'Tiferet 
Kabbalistic Sephirotic Counting of the Omer day 20

photo collage, Joy Krauthammer ©

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Hod sh b'Tiferet
Splendor in Harmony and Beauty
- Joy Krauthammer

This beautiful rose in my garden is a Vision of Joy today.
I planted this rose bush and others, when my husband, z'l, ill, could not go beyond the garden.
This week would have been his birthday.

In the TREE OF LIFE, today is Hod sh b'Tiferet
Today is the Kabbalistic Sephirotic Counting of the Omer day #19.   
1+9 = 10 =  ONE 

More roses, view:

photo, Joy Krauthammer ©



- Joy Krauthammer

Arriving early at Vista del Mar today for Lev Eisha’s spiritual service, I parked my car in my reserved drummer’s space, right in front of the chapel. I watched as a small car was approaching on the private road. The male car driver and female passenger noticed me staring at the car and acknowledging them. They backed up to come closer, and I acknowledged their personalized vanity auto license plate. 

I asked permission to photograph their plate and they were delighted. "Surprised", they said, that I could decipher what their license message was. I didn't tell them that my serious hobby for decades, is photographing spiritual license plates and have hundreds.  The man said he had a hard time deciding between ONENES and WHOLNES. And the decorated metal silver frame (that the woman chose) was lovely also.  

The couple had just gotten off work at Vista del Mar, the children's foster care residence, and were grateful that they chose this inner road to travel, not their usual path. I, too, am grateful, for having met them, and sharing their joy in life.

I love the shadow in the early morning, of the growing palm tree reflecting on the car, adjacent to the license frame image of the palm trees.

Today is the Kabbalistic Sephirotic Counting of the Omer day #18. 
In the TREE OF LIFE, today is Netzach sh'b Tiferet.  

18 = Chai =  Choosing Life

This third week is TIFERET; compassion, truth and harmony, and today the 4th day of the week is NETZACH; endurance and stepping forth, in beauty and joy.

I stepped forward to the strangers to delight in their truth of their creative and spiritual service, letting their message of WHOLNES * be known.

I have informed myself that going forward in victory, is not only for warriors in war, but for warriors of truth and beauty.

* (Seven letters are allowed on vanity auto plates. Enjoy the photo.)

May 7, 2011

photo, Joy Krauthammer © 



- Joy Krauthammer

Today, as percussionist at Lev Eisha - Heart of a Woman shul, I began to pack up my percussion just before the service ended. (Takes me a long time to pack many instruments.) Thinking wrongly that I would no longer need it, I took off my large cymbal too soon, unscrewing it from the music stand, preparing to pack it away. 

What was I to do? Here was the song where I need cymbal. I heard the moment arriving.  I quickly placed the cymbal on the top of my left index finger pointing north, while still drumming on my djembe with only my right hand, and I spontaneously took the fat soft padded mallet and played the wide round metal cymbal resting balanced on my upright index finger.  I felt very proud of my ingenuity! And I saw others in the congregation near by rows, witnessing me and smiling, if not laughing with me.  That I could make others laugh, felt good!

Kabbalistic Sephirotic Counting of the Omer, day 18.
Netzach sh’b Tiferet.  Endurance in Balance
I went forth in victory, in joy and harmony.

May 7, 2011



- Joy Krauthammer

David was a first timer today at Lev Eisha – Heart of a Woman congregation. He had his adult Bar Mitzvah two weeks ago at VBS, I was informed. His VBS Jewish ‘mothers (and my four spiritual sisters), Carol, Shirley, Sydell, and Shirley were present with him today. David, when introduced to me, clearly explained his presence to me (the shul percussionist), that although it was a women’s shul, men were invited.

I explained to David that this is an experiential participatory service and he needs to get his feet dancing and his voice singing. When the women made snake lines of aisle dancing (while I drummed), from the musician's pit, I looked at David in the second row, and directed him that he needed to get up and join. (I know what it feels like to want to do something, but at first don't have the courage, until encouraged.) David listened. I saw that the zillion dancers were already a distance away circling the chapel's interior, and decided he would join them on their next circle around. It was perfect. David rose from his seat.

As the dancers came toward the front again, I encouraged David to join all the women and one man, and he did. At that point he jumped into the snake line and immediately became the FRONT DANCER with a timbrel high in his hand, leading all the women around the aisles, and HE LOVED IT, smiling with very good dancing feet.  This Persian male Jew knew how to fit right in to this Ashkenazi camp of dancing women.  And they circled around. David’s joyous expression is embedded in my mind and heart of a woman. Maybe David will return and he’ll be a second timer.

May 7, 2011

Today is the Kabbalistic Sephirotic Counting of the Omer day #18. 
18 = Chai = Choosing Life

In the TREE OF LIFE, today is Netzach sh'b Tiferet.  This third week is TIFERET; compassion, truth and harmony, and today the 4th day of the week is NETZACH; endurance and stepping forth (like a warrior), in beauty and joy.

The 'warrior', fully empowered, conquers him/her self, knows how to face truth with strength, and stand and dance his/her walk.
This is what David did (in the story above), transformed, dancing (in a foreign land). He was inspired.
This is also how I encouraged and supported David, no longer a 'first-timer'.

Friday, May 6, 2011

HEART ART. Tiferet sh b' Tiferet

ART of the HEART

by Joy Krauthammer ©  2011

Kabbalistic Sephirotic Counting of the Omer Day 17
Truth, Beauty, Balance, Harmony, Compassion

Sometimes we go to the inner heart.
Heart of the Heart.
Sometimes we need a pocket in the heart.
 One not for the good, that which breaks us.

With a hole in the heart, G*d can enter.
See Kabbalistic Sephirat HaOmer PSALMS of my Soul by Joy Krauthammer

"Each day of the Omer period is associated with a different aspect of the Sephirot. And on that day, everything which every-one in the whole world is talking about is purely an expression of that special aspect with which that day is associated. A person with understanding can hear and recognize this if s/he pays attention to what people are saying."
 - Reb Nachman of Breslov (1773-1810)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


WISTERIA at Gilla's home
- Joy Krauthammer

This season
I was too late for the wisteria at Hare's home.
I was too early for the wisteria at Lake Balboa.
I saw buds on the trellises over looking the lake.
I saw a little left over white wisteria at Karen's home.
I'm glad I witnessed Gilla's beautiful purple wisteria.
To me, wisteria is similar to lilacs which I used to grow, 
growing up in NY.

Wisteria delights my eyes and heart.

photo collage, Joy Krauthammer ©