Hebrew School


Hebrew School makes a great Christmas present
November 19, 2009, 2:26 pm
Filed under: record | Tags: , ,

Give the gift of Hebrew School this Christmas. Order yours today.

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Hebrew School… in Heeb
October 2, 2009, 2:00 pm
Filed under: pressed | Tags: , , , ,

Sometimes you’re reading a Jewish print magazine and you think to yourself, “Wow, this magazine really sucks.” Then that magazine goes out of print circulation.

Not so with Heeb. So yes, I’m happy to be part of the Heeb 100, rubbin’ shoulders with the likes of folks from ponytail, the pains of being pure at heart, the antlers, the coathangers, micachu, and ever so many more.

“With songs in which traditional melodies are demolished and remade into electronic parables, Hebrew School is a thorough lesson in ingenuity.”

From what I gather, this will all be in paper format some time mid-month, but for now see here.



Who’s your Jew?: Let’s organize!

“Who’s your Jew” is a series of posts where Hebrew School attempts to digest, swallow and/or spit out his experiences around this project’s creation and, by extension, mainstream Jewish organizational culture in the United States.

It’s important for us as Jews to organize. Here we are 10-20 years ago. We laughed about our hair styles when someone posted these pictures of us on Facebook last week. Brings back memories though!

Seriously, though, we were being honored as Potential Future Jewish Leaders, (PFJLs) because it’s the youth who will carry on our traditions. I think it was Rabbi Akiba (or possibly Whitney Houston) who said, if you can’t convince the youth, you can’t convince anyone.

I’m immensely proud of the .5%-1% of us that have gone on to be active and contribute to Jewish Life. Just last week for example, I had the privilege of being a Hora Motivator/Catering Service Technician at Harvey’s (above, 2nd from left) oldest kid’s bat mitzvah.

We’ll never forget our free first trip to Israel. It really opened our eyes and none of us was the same when we returned. Gave us a sense of purpose.

It’s important as Jews that we have heroes. People that the younger generations can look up to. Did you nominate your Jewish hero today?

I’m worried about how we might keep our children “engaged.” That’s why we need centralized, well-funded leadership that can determine the appropriate messages for our publications, and also possibly do photoshoots featuring images of attractive young adults.

Hope we don’t see the “rise of Old Europe” again in our lifetime.

It’s great to have secular cultural events to bring our people together, since there are all sorts Jews from different walks of life.  Some of us are bankers and lawyers, but some of us are art critics and sports professionals too. Some of us keep Kosher, and some of us are vegetarian. We try to organize Jewish events with open bars and free food  in major cities every 4-6 weeks. In a way this sort of reminds me of my sad Jewish grandpa who would give me a 20-dollar bill just so I would sit and listen to him, but remember this is a different generation.

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Harvey’s cousin– the one who was really quiet in high school– moved with his family to the West Bank a few years ago and recently started helping put up these signs. But I still worry about today’s kids. Where are our next “inglourious basterds?”

earlier Who’s your Jew: Hebrew School quiz!



from the mailbag…
August 18, 2009, 8:27 am
Filed under: mailbag | Tags: , , ,

Yesterday, I received the nicest note from a highly-respected fellow musician here in Brooklyn who had checked out my CD. It has some of the kindest words I’ve received to date about the project, especially since it conveys a lot of my intention for the album’s listeners. With her permission, I reprint it below:

David, I keep meaning to write to you about your album. The first time I put it on I thought it was pleasant but didn’t have much of a reaction. But then I put it on again, and again. And it’s funny, but it’s just about the only thing I listen to at home. I don’t actually listen to music very much (I try to keep my place mostly silent) but when I do, Hebrew School is all I want to hear. I put it on when I do the dishes. I put it on when I do situps and pushups. I put it on when I have friends over for dinner. I keep wondering why this is. If it matches my mood, or if it’s the mood I want to be in, or what. What I like is the coolness and elegance, the restraint of the vibe combined with the bits of warmth and compassion that spark out of the lyrics. I have no idea what the songs are about, I don’t really listen to the words, but to me they feel like someone who is quietly talking to him- or herself or to the universe in a very nice gentle way. And it’s just a really pleasant and happy experience for me. I don’t know if this is actually anything you intended, or that is actually in the songs, but that’s what’s there for me. I thought you might be interested in hearing one person’s reaction. And I wanted to thank you for making the recording because it’s added something really nice to my life.

Awesome, Brooklyn! I’m feelin the love.



Who’s your Jew? Hebrew School quiz!


“Who’s your Jew” is the first in a series of posts where Hebrew School attempts to digest, swallow and/or spit out his experiences around this project’s creation and, by extension, mainstream Jewish organizational culture in the United States.

Quiz: What do you make of “identity politics?”

a) say what now?

b) to them we owe a lot! can you say, “President?”

c) makes me “think of my art and how it informs my culture.” i mean, the other way around

d) it is something from the ’60s and has to do with hippies

e) it’s the name of a spoken-word jazz sextet formed by Amiri Baraka, Leroi Jones, and Bella Abzug

f) i’m just in it for the gravlax / free falafel-based snacks / open bars

g) it’s a convenient decoy for mimicking procreation/davening, à la Grateful Dead concerts

h) it’s a cynical money-making/social-ladder-climbing gimmick within cultures

i) like health care reform it is a “socialist conspiracy

j) it’s about being a “good jew

k) it was eschewed 40 years ago by white male post-modernists

l) it’s an assurance that only folks outside of your culture/ethnicity will like your art

m) it’s a strategy to get rich Jews/gentiles/LGBTs to fund your mass-circumcision performance art piece in a public “greenspace.”

n) its current application has something to do with “networking” and “web 2.0”

o) it’s all about “yielding power” from voter demographics

p) it’s about “communing with your tribe

q) NEVER FORGET

r) it has to do with jewish guilt/your mom

s) it is a venture capital firm invested in by Bernie Madoff

t) kidney harvesting

u) it’ll lay the groundwork for a discussion with your child about Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day falling on Rosh Hashanah.

v) it is a “voice for the voiceless” / it is “cultural hegemony”

w) it is why you can make a living by playing clarinet in rich Jewish peoples’ weddings

x) charedi pheromones

y) it obscures the only viable path to meaning which is G-d

z) OTHER (answer below)



“So Hebrew School, what’s next?”
August 4, 2009, 8:09 am
Filed under: > Project | Tags: , , , , , ,

You will hear silence… followed by a tone.

Before I dive in, I just want to thank everyone who’s been supporting me on this project for the past couple of years, including my bandmates, the throngs of you who made it to our shows, the tens of millions of you who bought my cd or got the tracks on iTunes, folks keeping up with these bloggings, folks who’ve been extolling the band’s virtues in print, web, and radio, the twitterati, and everyone who’s whispered an encouraging sweet nothing into my slightly challenged left ear. Couldn’t have done this– couldn’t be doing this– without you.

The Six Points Fellowship has been a game-changer in terms of my career as a musician. For the past decade, I’ve gotten a chance to be involved in other performers’ projects, much to my happiness and unimaginable success. From moonlighting with what has to be the coolest and joyfully irreverent Jewish band to ears and feet, to an extended dalliance into the college radio charts with another, I’ve never really looked the other way, much less had a chance to. All the while, though, I had secretly been scurrying away my own creations– with no false modesty, way too many of them. It was at this point that the Fellowship swooped in, encouraging and challenging me to take my music from the nether-reaches of my hard drive to the stage. For all this, a serious helping of gratitude is in order– who knows how long my music’s beard would have otherwise grown until it saw the light of day?

Hebrew School has represented a beginning for me to get more of this stuff out into the world, and there’s definitely more Hebrew School to come: Keep your browsers tuned here. At the same time, there are several other separate music projects I’ve been working on, to be unveiled in these pages in due course. What’s more, I’ve been developing some exciting new stuff for the web, focusing on music and jew-ish culture, soon to be linked to the light of day.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be putting together some reflections on some of what I’ve learned in this particular project’s peculiar trenches. For now, I’ll leave you with this:

“Celery”



Hebrew School on iTunes!
June 2, 2009, 8:30 am
Filed under: record | Tags: , , , ,

click to go to iTunes store...

Yep, the album’s now available in digital form on iTunes (as well as napster, Rhapsody, Amazon, etc.).

Of course, if it’s a physical copy your after, you can still get one of those here.