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Elana Greenspan - composer, lyricist, guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, egoist, recording ar-teest

Elana Greenspan was born Alexa Lichtenstein to a secular, Jewish family in Jericho, LI.  (Okay, now I'm gonna stop pretending somebody else is writing about me and write in first person, 'kay?)  After graduating from SUNY Binghamton, I changed my name legally to Alexa Witt (a family name), worked for the literary agency Writers House, and published a children's book with Simon & Schuster, IT'S GREAT TO SKATE, an easy guide to inline skating.  Check out the book here!

I was living in Manhattan, skating to work every day, and playing guitar and singing in downtown clubs and bars at night.  Secretly, I had always wanted to get married and have a family, but it was considered lame at the time to state that as a goal.  You had to be focussed only on fame and career and acquisitions, like all the writers, artists, musicians, actors and dancers I hung out with.  I wanted fame and career, too, but not without a family to share it with and make life more meaningful.

When I found out about Torah living, I was part blown away, part resistant, like any proud, secular Jew. But when I saw how smart the Torah lifestyle is, how so obviously not engineered by humans who would naturally make things self-serving, it caused me to put aside my defensiveness and really look into it.  I learned with a chevrusa (learning partner) and asked all my pointed questions.  I experienced Shabbes, its beauty and peace, and came to see the restrictions as a gateway to serenity and freedom -- to being a spiritual, strong Jewish woman with everything to be proud of. Hurray for Torah!  

I spent a year in Israel learning at Nishmat.  To try out performing for women-only audiences, I started Women's Open Mike Night at the historic Pargod Theatre in Nahlaot, Jerusalem.  The show was a hit -- over 100 women at every performance, 30+ performers getting on stage.  Off-shoots of Women's Open Mike Night are still going on in Baltimore, Jerusalem, South Africa....  

I got my master's degree in Creative Writing at Bar Ilan University. (Check out this article I wrote for Aish.com!  And another! And another!)  Now I live in Passaic, NJ.  I perform all over for women, most frequently at the mother-baby post-partum hotels in Monroe, NY and Monsey, NY.  These places are a trip, and the women so appreciative of musical entertainment that also makes them laugh.  At times, I will have a paid gig every week, quite a feat for a performer who sings for women-only audiences!  

Summers, I've worked at Camp Raninu, Camp Sternberg,and Camp Dina directing drama and music.  I got into video as a natural expression of music in the visual dimension.  I love to help other people achieve their creative goals, too, by taking on clients in my recording studio, by writing songs for people, and producing their videos.  I am so, so grateful for this creativity, and daven for more opportunities to expand my career.  

Whoo hoo!  Thanks for reading this to the end -- you're awesome!  Wanna be my friend?

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Downloads

Elana's Albums

Elana Greenspan: Fully Halachic with a Beat
Elana Greenspan: Kidding Around