Friday, January 21st 2022   |

Music

Nissim Black and Kosha Dillz, Jewish hip-hop royalty, remix Adam Sandler’s ‘Chanukah song’ on the streets of New York

By PHILISSA CRAMER

(JTA) — Two leading Jewish hip-hop artists have adapted Adam Sandler’s 1995 breakout hit, “The Chanukah Song,” for the present moment.

Nissim Black and Kosha Dillz dropped the video for “The Hanukkah Song 2.0” just before the holiday began on Sunday evening. It features the musicians galavanting around New York City, riding the subway and hobnobbing with sidewalk vendors in Times Square.

The pair are two of...

2022 Grammy Awards: The Jewish nominees, from Doja Cat to Drake to an Israeli cellist

By SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — Some of the music industry’s most popular Jewish artists were included in the 2022 Grammy Award nominations unveiled on Tuesday.

Here’s a roundup:

Doja Cat, a Black and Jewish pop star-rapper hybrid who has become one of the most listened-to artists in the world — Spotify lists her as the 7th-most-streamed musician on its platform as of Wednesday morning — racked up nominations in in...

Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ Jewish manager, to be honored with a statue in Liverpool

By SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — The Beatles’ Jewish manager who was credited with ushering the band to global fame and success will be memorialized with a statue in Liverpool, according to the BBC.

Brian Epstein, born on Yom Kippur to a family of Russian and Lithuanian Jewish descent, first discovered The Beatles in 1961 at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. He became the band’s manager in 1962, overseeing the group’s...

Jay Black of ‘Jay and The Americans’ dies at 82

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — When Jay Black wanted The New York Times to understand that he was a hell-raiser, he said he was thrown out of New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn.

When he made the same point to The Forward, he added that he was subsequently tossed out of three yeshivahs.

“Three yeshivas,” Black said twice for emphasis in a 2014 interview. “I was a bad kid.”

Black,...

Daveed Diggs, Rachel Bloom, Sue Bird and more: The Almas award 5781’s top Jewish pop culture contributors

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — It’s not just the High Holidays, the time of year when Jews reflect on their past year and atone for their sins. For the third time now, it’s also time to appreciate the Jewish moments that helped define the year in pop culture — in the form of The Almas.

Alma, which like the Jewish Telegraphic Agency is part of 70 Faces Media, released its...

Ezra Furman has sung about God in her indie rock. Now she’s going to rabbinical school.

By ELLA ROCKART

(JTA) — “How would I describe myself?” Ezra Furman said wryly, tearing a corner off of her slice of pizza in a shop in Somerville, Mass. “I try to avoid it.” 

There’s certainly a lot to cover. The 34-year-old musician is an acclaimed indie rocker, an observant Jew, a transgender woman, a mother, and — as of this fall — a rabbinical student. 

“I would say I’m...

Barbra Streisand sets another record: A top 20 album in every decade since the 1960s

(JTA) — Barbra Streisand has become the only woman to record a top 20 album on the Billboard charts in every decade from the 1960s to the 2020s.

The only other person to achieve that feat is Bob Dylan.

Streisand’s latest album, “Release Me 2,” came out Saturday and debuted at number 15 on the Billboard charts, Billboard reported. The album features archival recordings as well as duets with Willie...

Billie Eilish promotes her new album to Israelis, and draws social media ire

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — Pop star Billie Eilish provoked a wave of angry criticism on social media after posting a short video online promoting her new album to Israeli fans.

“Hi Israel, this is Billie Eilish, and I’m so excited that my new album, ‘Happier Than Ever,’ is out now,” she says in a clip posted to her Tik Tok, the blog Israellycool reported Sunday.

The video was one...

Rush rocker Geddy Lee’s Jewish mom, a Holocaust survivor, was his biggest fan

By JACQUELINE RODERICK

(Kveller via JTA) – Our deepest condolences go out to Rush lead singer and legendary bassist Geddy Lee, whose Jewish mom, Mary Weinrib, passed away on July 2, 2021. Weinrib, who was set to turn 96 on July 16, was not only a massive supporter of her son’s music career but she was also a Holocaust survivor. 

In a moving tribute on Instagram, Lee shared a brief...

Elvis Presley was Jewish? A grave marker locked away for 4 decades confirms it.

By DAN FELLNER

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (JTA) – The large crate sat unopened in a 20,000-square-foot warehouse here for more than four decades, concealing a little-known fact about one of America’s cultural icons.

Inside was the headstone of Elvis Presley’s mother, Gladys, which had been stored in the Graceland archives along with 1.5 million other items since 1977. And on the upper left side of the long-unseen marker — designed by...