Since 2011, THE SONG AND SPIRIT INSTITUTE FOR PEACE
has worked to promote greater understanding among people of
diverse religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds through music,
art, cultural programs, dialogue, study, and compassionate acts
of community service. When we experience another’s culture,
their music, rituals, beliefs, we come to understand that there are
no “others,” that we are all one people seeking the same human
We offer people of all traditions and ages opportunities to be the
Hands of God, working together in creative service to further the
quest for true Shalom — from the Hebrew root shaleim, wholeness, completeness. More than just the absence of strife, we
seek a peace that heals a broken world, completes that which
has been left undone; we seek a shalom that allows us to move
beyond mere tolerance to loving one another
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 presentations are engaging and contemporary – yet reminiscent of an ancient time and place that feels somehow familiar.
MARY GILHULY oversees the Song and Spirit 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 an 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 and stories. 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, and 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! His latest project is a one-man musical on the life of Blessed Solanus Casey, OFM, Cap. Visit BrotherAl.org for more information.