HAZZAN STEVE KLAPER is a Jewish troubadour – a spiritual storyteller, minstrel and teacher. An ordained Cantor, Maggid and teacher of Torah, Steve draws upon his Orthodox Jewish roots and over 40 years experience as a professional musician, infusing traditional Jewish teachings with mystical chant and melodies, sacred tales and wisdom from a variety of traditions. His teaching is engaging and contemporary – yet reminiscent of an ancient time and place that feels somehow familiar.
As co-founder of Song and Spirit, Steve promotes deep ecumenism, as an exploration into the ways in which every faith tradition seeks to touch the Mystery.
MARY GILHULY is co-founder of the Song and Spirit Institute for Peace. She oversees a volunteer art studio and has completed commissioned mosaic installations for diverse groups. She leads classes, workshops and community art projects for all ages; her presentations highlight how the creation of works of art can be a spiritually fulfilling practice for young and old alike.
As a inspirational speaker, Mary brings humor and creativity to the uplifting message that we can all make a difference, and that meaningful, spiritual connections are available to us every day of our lives.
BROTHER AL loves being a Franciscan Friar. He also loves writing songs and sharing his music, giving concerts in various venues no matter the size, and almost anywhere! For years he has been committed to serving the poor, homeless, and marginalized. He co-founded the first HIV/AIDS housing ministry in Chicago back in the 1980’s, and helped establish two Canticle Cafes (think Starbucks for the homeless) in Cincinnati and Detroit. Committed to ecumenical and interfaith relations, he co-founded the Song and Spirit Institute for Peace in 2011.
Drawing from his rich Franciscan heritage, he spends most of his time these days emulating the example of St. Francis as a minstrel of God!