In the early aughts- I was introduced to the music of friend-of-Jewschool Jewlia Eisenberg, also the drive behind the band Charming Hostess. In addition to writing her own music, Eisenberg took traditional tunes, many of them Jewish, especially non-Ashkenazi in origin and turned them into danceable, punk, feminist anthems – without sacrificing their roots. I fell in love with her music immediately, and still listen to it now. Over the years she has taken many different turns in her music – different styles, different eras, but all of them true. All authentic. And all full of her deep joy.
She was deeply embedded in Jewish culture and religion – she studied at Pardes and often posted pictures of herself lighting Shabbat candles or doing other Jewish rituals- and played her music all over the US and Europe.
Over the last few years, Jewlia struggled with her health, and about two months ago, she received a bone marrow transplant to try to reboot her immune system. This morning, she lost her battle – may her neshama have an aliyah. She is survived by her partner, AnMarie Rodgers.
Covering Woody Guthrie’s “Vigilante Man”
Video from one of her long running projects “The Bowls Project”
Fairly recent, in 2017