Richard is actively involved in teaching
many aspects of Jewish music.

Listed below are some examples of his workshops, offered
in an all-day, 2-4 hour, weeklong, or once weekly format.


"Very knowledgeable teacher...Passionate about his music...
A true talent with an impressive ability to share knowledge...
Teacher's enthusiasm was infectious...
Nice mix of intellectual/historical context with singing...
It is clear he loves the material...
He made tunes that I thought too difficul to sing - easy for me to sing."



Music for a Deep Returning

Congregation Beit Haverim, Davis, California

In this four-hour workshop, Hazzan Richard Kaplan will guide participants on a New Year’s journey upstream toward the Source, via the study of powerful traditional and new-paradigm Jewish teachings from Pnimiyut haTorah (The Inner Torah), on subjects including neshamah (soul), teshuvah (re-turning), levushim (garments) and mochin degadlut (expanded Consciousness).

All of these key concepts will be lifted up beyond the level of thought into the realm of experience, through the singing of joyous, exquisite, contemplative, healing and transformative songs from the treasure-chest of Jewish Sacred World Music. And, being an integral, Talmudically-oriented people, we will apply to our visioning several magnificent insights from the tremendous contributions of cutting-edge “New Cosmologies,” quantum physics, and the essential spiritual knowledge of “the non-dual view” of self and world.

Sheet music will be provided, and all texts will be presented in their original scripts, in transliteration and English translation. All levels are invited.

Healing Through Spiritual Music

Southwest Center for Jewish Education
Tucson, Arizona

If, as most World Wisdom Traditions teach, our spirituality represents the atsmut (Hebrew for “essence”) level of our physicality, emotional life, and mentation, then living from and in the Presence of this atsmut is a master key to healing many of our deepest obstructions.

This experiential evening session will use several powerful chants and mantras in whose immersion wonderful things can happen. These musical gems will be surrounded by exquisite teachings drawn from the world of Jewish mysticism, as well as from Global Wisdom Culture and cutting-edge science.

Jewish Musical Shamanism

Tuesday-Friday Afternoons,
eight hours of learning and singing at:

The 14th International ALEPH Kallah
University of Redlands
Redlands, California

Throughout the millennia, visionaries, prophets and healers worldwide have used music as a pathway to heightened states of awareness.

For many forward-looking philosophers, scientists and spiritual teachers, the attainment of and the wisdom drawn from these depths of consciousness are mandatory for the next, utterly critical evolutionary stages of both our species and the planet’s wounded eco-system.

Riding on ancient “power words” and exquisite new-paradigm teachings, we will lift our voices as we set out upon several inner journeys, with music from Eastern Europe, Turkey, Bukhara, Mongolia, and more.

Sheet music provided.

An Experiential Intensive

Chochmat Halev Jewish Meditation Center
2215 Prince Street
Berkeley, CA 94705

The Jewish Mystical Tradition holds that the neshamah (soul) has five levels:
physical, emotional, intellectual, transpersonal, and "beyond.”

In this six-hour workshop, we will present the key features of this brilliant Jewish model of Consciousness, as well as explore similar insights from other World Wisdom traditions and yes, from cutting-edge science - integrating all three into our “soul-journeying.” All this will ride upon the wings of a body of exquisite music.

The songs, which are the focus of the workshop, are drawn from both traditional and contemporary Turkish, Moroccan, Andalusian, Salonican, Hasidic, and North American music, and the sacred poetry and texts come from the depths of Judaism - penimiyut haTorah - the inner Torah. As the Tikkuney Zohar has it: “Leyt machshavah tefisa vach klal” (No thought can grasp You whatsoever); accordingly, we’ll also be using niggunim (songs without words) to help us reach beyond the intellective regions of Mind.

And so, along with the ample “philosophical” teachings that support the experiential nature of the workshop, participants will leave with songs, chants and mantras for daily practice, in order to stabilize our “selves” in that which is the true goal of this intensive - the contacting of, remembering of, and living from the deeper and ever-evolving regions of our Consciousness.

All songs will be presented in their original languages, in transliteration, in English translation, and in musical notation, and are included in Hazzan Richard's new CD,
"The Hidden One (Hane'elam): Jewish Mystical Songs."

Note: Please bring a tallit (prayer shawl) if you have one.

Into the Depths of Jewish Musical Mysticism

Tuesday-Friday Afternoons,
eight hours of learning and singing at:

The 13th International ALEPH Kallah
Ohio Weslyan University
Delaware, Ohio

The devekut niggun (Oneness-engendering melody) is an authentic Jewish artform
which seeks to empower the practitioner toward ever-increasing levels of devotion, humility, in-sight, Divine stillness, soul ascension and healing - ultimately evolving into non-dual Consciousness, as expressed in the Zoharic realization "Leyt atar panuy mineh" (There’s no place empty of You).

We’ll learn two extended contemplative niggunim and two shorter gems, all “brought down” by such illumined souls as Reb Nachman of Breslov and The Tsemach Tsedek. We’ll also present abundant teachings – "niggunology" – to support our excursions. Most songs are on Hazzan Richard’s new CD; sheet music provided.

Note: This class will davven (chant) a couple of its niggunim
for the whole Kallah at week's end.

more info:




This workshop presents the music of Middle Eastern and Spanish/Andalusian Jewish communities.

Musical textures, modes (maqamat), instruments, and the inter-relationship with surrounding musical cultures are all explored.

Mainly, though, these workshops are participatory, as we learn a Moroccan
Lecha Dodi, Adon Olam, and Eyn Keyloheynu, a Salonican Modeh Ani and Ve'Eyrastikh Li, an Afghani Le'El Adir, and many more little known gems of Jewish Sacred Music
from Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Central Asia, North Africa, and the Sephardim of Jerusalem.


Reb Nachman of Bratslav, the great-grandson of Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism, inherited a profound sense of the importance and efficacy of music in spiritual practice.

This workshop will introduce powerful music from the Breslover tradition. We will learn melodies and nusach (chanting forms) by Rebbe Nachman himself, including his transcendental contemplative niggun, as well as songs by his followers. We will explore his philosophy of sound - his musical mysticism - and attempt to infuse our singing with these perceptions of inner space.


This workshop will honor an all-too-often unsung hero of Jewish spiritual practice - the Contemplative Niggun. Using melody and vocalized syllables only, these extended "musical meditations without words" are designed to take the individual through many gates of awareness and states of soul elevation. We will learn and davven (prayerfully sing) several masterpieces from this genre, composed by various Hassidic masters. This workshop is appropriate for all skill levels.


The Jewish musical treasure-chest contains a wealth of zemirot (prayer-songs) for
the Sabbath Day. Drawing upon Middle Eastern, European, and Spanish/Andalusian traditions, we will learn several exquisite zemirot for Friday Night, Shabbat Morning and Afternoon, Havdalah, and Melave Malka times. Especially featured will be an under-exposed Yedid Nefesh by the Baal Shem Tov.
All musical levels welcome.


Cantor Kaplan is involved in teaching the Cantorial repertoire to students
across the country.

A course of study is individually designed, and may be part of an ordination process
through the ALEPH Cantorial Program.

News. Recordings. Concerts. Reviews. The Hidden One.
Past Appearances. Ongoing Events. Biography. Writings.
Links. Contact. Main Page.