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Hip-Hop Judaica: The Politics of Representin’ Heebster Heritage

The third meeting of the Jews & Performance Seminar, co-sponsored by JTS and NYU’s
department of Performance Studies
will take place a week from Monday.
Judah M. Cohen, Dorot Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow, New York University, will be speaking on “The Politics of Representin’ Heebster Heritage.”

Monday, January the 30th, 2006, from 7:00-9:00 pm,
Jewish Theological Seminary [Private Dining Room] 3080 Broadway (at 122nd St.)
New York City
RSVP to Shay Pilnik (shpilnik at yahoo dot com) by Monday, January 23, 2006.
Due to JTS’s security protocol, we must have the names of all attendees by that date.
Light refreshments will be served.

Read comment #1 for more about Dr. Cohen

10 thoughts on “Hip-Hop Judaica: The Politics of Representin’ Heebster Heritage

  1. About the speaker: Judah M. Cohen is a Dorot Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow, New York University. His research interests span many aspects of sound and its relationship to Jewish life and history, including studies of the cantorate, Shlomo Carlebach, music reflecting the Holocaust, music and dance, and historical perspectives on Jewish music study in the academy. Recent publications include “Modes of Tradition?: Negotiating ‘Jewishness’ and Modernity in the Synagogue Music of Isadore Freed and Fredrick Piket” (Jewish History and Culture), plus forthcoming essays on music in Jewish summer camps and “The Postmodern Landscape of ‘Jewish’ Music.” He has also conducted extensive research on Jewish life and history in the Caribbean, which was the subject of his first book, Through the Sands of Time: A History of the Jewish Community of St. Thomas, U. S. Virgin Islands (Brandeis UP, 2004). This fall, he will move to Indiana University to assume the Lou and Sybil Mervis Chair in the Study of Jewish Culture.

  2. judah’s great; we hung out at rejewvenation
    but ariel, if you’re going to be there, i’m just wondering — is this is going to be another occasion for you to slam this site’s contributors as creators of vapid, shallow, meaningless and non-substantiative culture?

  3. Hey Mobius, spaz on anyone else today? I read Jewschool. I love Jewschool, even if I don’t agree with much of what’s written. Jewschool is not Heeb, and, as I’ve written, I like heeb too–I just think that it isn’t providing content that the Jewish community needs. So Mo, how about you read before you post, eh? You might just learn that the world isn’t out to get you.

  4. What’s the difference between “Jewish rap” today and Irving Berlin writing “White Christmas” years ago? Discuss.

  5. ariel, i wasn’t suggesting that you were “out to get me”; however the jewish week article came down hard on many of the projects that are operated by this site’s contributors: heeb, jdub, the jewish fashion conspiracy, etc. you joined that chorus of criticism in order to promote your own project. it was unncessary to criticize them in order to justify your work. your work should be justifiable on its own merits.
    further, “what the jewish community needs” is debatable. we each have our own vision of that and only time will tell who is correct. when steve cohen and ari kelman’s report comes out later this year, which analyzes the effectiveness in projects like heeb in fostering jewish identity and affiliation, you might just find yourself eating your foot.

  6. Mobius, if I recall correctly the only project I spoke about was Heeb–and I didn’t even criticize them, but rather said what I always said in places such as, for example, this post from BlogsofZion’s live GA Coverage. Heeb, from what I heard from Joshua Neuman at two different sessions at the GA, is focused on being irreverent. That’s cool–but it puts it in Mad Magazine territory. And that is cool too, if you’re into that sort of thing. I happen to be a Mad Magazine fan–but I don’t go to Mad for thoughtful content. I respect Joshua’s work–I know how damn hard it is to get a magazine out, and they’re very well put together and produced. But I wouldn’t say that Heeb’s articles keep me up thinking at night, ’cause that doesn’t seem to be their point.
    JDUB is a completely different story, so don’t bring them into it. I appreciate what Aaron’s been doing a lot, and written and said that publicly too. They bring real soul to a mass audience.
    Now, as for your jab at me to think that I was promoting my project by speaking to the Jewish Week–you’re dead wrong. Gabi called me, and I was happy to talk to her. I think she’s a great reporter trying to get a good story, and I have commented on such projects in the past–and happen to be putting my money where my mouth is at the moment, so she noted that.
    Now, I dig you might be a little upset that you weren’t called to comment–since you do think of yourself as the Leader of the New School and all–and it probably didn’t help that she chose to quote Jewlicious and not you, but hey, it happens. And they let in a letter of yours to the paper the next week, so try and calm your ego a bit–no need to lash out at others. There are enough problems in this world, and within the Jewish world, for us to all worry our heads prematurely grey.
    As for your last comment about the report coming out soon, I have to admit that fostering Jewish identity and affiliation are less important to me than the type of Jewish identity and affiliation that people have. I think you would agree with me on that–I doubt you’d rather a billion Hebron settler Jews over a million Jews concerned with bettering all of humanity. But hey, you’re such a contrarian I wouldn’t doubt you writing me back to say I’m wrong.

  7. wow. unreal. this is about my ego? or you and your girlfriend using my own quotes about heeb being “mad” and t-shirt judaism being unsustainable to take a giant shit on my friends? i’m floored. way to turn it into me being an egomaniac and then take a slice at me over jewlicious’ inclusion in the story. that’s what we call “right wing debate tactics.” kudos. is that what they’re teaching you over at shalem?

  8. You’re right–I apologize for making these comments public. And neither should you have attacked me on your own website’s comments. There is enough to focus on out there, and God knows we both have enough to do, rather than engage in petty debates.
    Bari is not my girlfriend anymore, and hasn’t been for over half a year, so I can’t be held responsible for her work (or take credit for it, because she’s doing some great stuff). And I never took a shit on your friends (read the article for my quotes, not anyone else’s–I can’t be held responsible for other people’s words in an article). Nor have I used your “Mad” quote–I am not aware than anyone else ever made the Mad magazine reference, and, if someone did, guess we’re all onto something.
    Do yourself a favor, though: take a look at the response you wrote to the JWeek article, complaining that they interviewed Jewlicious and not you, and then check out your own debate tactics–Stalinist at best. So don’t try to bring in the ideological lens to draw people to your side. If I recall correctly it is you who began by attacking me.

  9. uh, maybe you should go back and read the post yourself. i never once mentioned jewlicious in the entire post. and bari, i apologize for dragging you into this — clearly you have better judgement than i presumed. 😉
    and ariel, i wasn’t attacking you, i was giving someone who i thought i had a friendly relationship a poke in the ribs and he took it as an opportunity to slam my character. i was more stupified by your response than anything else.

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