2017-11-08 / Local News

If it’s Wednesday night, it’s time for Miss Jill to put your kids to bed

MEET JILL COGAN…
By JAYNE JACOVA FELD Voice staff

FAMILY: Parents Ed and Robin, identical twin sister Allie, boyfriend Andrew Moghadam

HOMETOWN: Philadelphia

FAVORITE JEWISH SINGER/SONGWRITERS: Dan Nichols, Debbie Friedman

FAVORITE SECULAR SINGER/SONGWRITERS: Joni Mitchell, Carole King and Sara Bareilles

FAVORITE SHOWS SHE PERFORMED IN: “Titanic” and “Waitress”

It’s 7 p.m. on a Wednesday night, and Jill Cogan is on the couch of her Northern Liberties apartment, guitar in hand, and ready to sing for her fans before they are tucked into bed.

“Hi everybody. Thanks for joining,” she says while strumming the opening cords to “Hinei Mah Tov.”

“Hi Mom. Hi Dad.”

“Bedtime Live with Miss Jill,” a weekly event is now indeed “live.” Featuring Cogan, Judaic coordinator of the Katz JCC in Cherry Hill, on vocals and guitar, and with cameo appearances from her two cats Jack and Burbles, the Facebook concert has become a routine for many children who know “Miss Jill” as the music teacher at the Sari Isdaner Early Childhood Center, Tikvah Tots at Cong. Beth Tikvah, the JCC Camps, or from her work as a Jewish and secular song leader.

Before the first song is finished, Cogan’s listening base will have expanded from just her own punctual parents to a core group of pajama-clad fans.

“Hi Dahlia! Hi Felicity!” she said, giving shout outs as families sign on.

A 2007 graduate of Cherry Hill East, where she was involved in theater, Cogan, 28, reads books and sings both Jewish and secular favorite songs. Besides the classics, she has trendy tunes from “Moana” and “Frozen” in her repertoire and takes requests from her listeners over the course of the hour. The Nov. 1 show was extra special, featuring the premiere of her newest original song: “Lilah Tov Means Good Night.” It received rave reviews.

Since Bedtime Live debuted in September, Miss Jill’s fan base has grown from eight or so core families to dozens who tune in live. Over the course of a week, hundreds more will view it at their leisure, including friends from Israel and the United Kingdom. Given the groundswell of support, she is now raising funds for future Miss Jill projects, including a recording of her original music.

“I had so many parents saying they wished I could sing their kids to sleep,” Cogan explained. “I started thinking about how I could bring a little Judaism into the home and realized people go live all the time on Facebook. This provides continuity of what I’m doing in the preschool, Shabbat Shebang, or whatever touch points they have from me.”

As Judaic coordinator, her job could not be more varied. She works with both seniors and the youngest children at the preschool while also co-running the Jewish Film Festival and working at the JCC Camps at Medford during the summer.

Voorhees resident Jessica Skolnick and her three young boys are among Miss Jill’s regulars. Her two older boys Zachary, 7, and Brandon, 4, dance around in their PJs singing along with Miss Jill. Brandon, who still thinks Miss Jill can hear him, will usually shout out request songs while Zachary, who is learning to type, will request his by keypad. Noah, 1, lasts about 10 minutes before his bedtime.

“I wouldn’t say Miss Jill makes bedtime easier for me, but it is a fun change of pace,” said Skolnick. “The kids really look forward to it. It’s something a little different than reading the same books over and over again.”

To see Bedtime Live with Miss Jill, go to facebook.com/missjillc. 

Return to top