On Friday, I was the guest speaker for Book Fair Shabbat at Woodlands Community Temple in White Plains, New York. Rabbi Mara Young and the other speakers on the bimah did a commendable job of tying in counterculture and resistance with Jewish values. Cantor Jonathan Gordon used the Ramones‘ cover of “Surfin’ Bird” for the “Adon Olam” melody. Jewish punk fit right in!
My presentation featured songs by Yidcore, the Schleps, Moshiach Oi!, and Di Nigunim. Most are in the “Shabbat Punk Playlist” that I wrote for Jewcy last year. This was my first presentation during a Shabbat service in a synagogue that permitted music, so I focused on Shabbat songs. Synagogue regulars recognized “L’Cha Dodi” and “Adon Olam,” even if these renditions were unconventional!
In line with Book Fair Shabbat, I finished my presentation by talking about my writing process. People don’t ask about it often, but when Rabbi Mara suggested it, I was happy to do so!
After the service, I signed copies of Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk and was pleased with how many people bought the book. The book fair was a great event, and I’m excited to read a book I purchased: Yiddish for Pirates!