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March 2017

Punk Rock and the Book of Job at Artists’ Beit Midrash

There’s an artists’ beit midrash (study hall) about the Book of Job at Town & Village Synagogue in Manhattan, led by rabbinic intern Bronwen Mullin. Students study Job, discuss art based on Job, and then create their own Job-related art. I was a guest lecturer for several sessions this month, focusing on punk rock songs about Job by two artists featured in Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk: Steve “Gangsta Rabbi” Lieberman and Bad Religion. Gangsta Rabbi On March 1, the…

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The Klezmatics: Apikorsim (Heretics)

Three decades into their career, the Klezmatics released the album Apikorsim (Heretics) in November. In Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk, I noted: The Klezmatics was also the first klezmer band to explicitly incorporate punk sensibilities into some of its music, albeit not as a defining quality that applied to all songs and not as a punk rock band. From the get-go, the Klezmatics looked to create “a new klezmer with a punk attitude,” as one album’s liner notes put…

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