Alef List: Events 4 Hip Jews

Alef ListThis is a guest post by Matt Levitt.

The best Jewish events in the next two weeks, from November 17ththrough December 2nd, are all connected to music in one way or another.  There’s the spirited Instrumental Minyan at Beth El, a super hip concert at the Varsity Theatre, and the Minneapolis Jewish Federation’s Super Sunday, notably the After Dark party featuring karaoke.

Now I may be biased, but I find musical experiences to be among the most religious of all experiences.  Nevertheless, whether you want to be a part of it, or simply appreciate the talents of others, get out there and have a great couple of weeks.  There will be plenty of time for sitting around during Thanksgiving.

Here are my picks for hot happenings 4 hip Jews in the Twin Cities from November 17th to December 2nd:

11/21/2009.  Instrumental Minyan at Beth El Synagogue. 10:45am

Find a new spirit as instruments accompany the creative Shabbat services which are open to all.  “If you’ve not tried it, you’ll LOVE it!” is the word about Beth El’s musical minyan. Join Cantor Abrams, John Orenstein and other talented musicians at 10:45 for a spirited and spiritual morning.  I’ve heard great things about the quarterly creative service at Beth El and since this is your only shot until February, shul hop over for the morning.  I wouldn’t worry if you’re not a regular Shabbat services attendee (at Beth El or anywhere), you won’t be disappointed.

11/22/2009.  Super Sunday with the Minneapolis Jewish Federation. 9:00am-7:00 pm After Dark Party at 8:15pm.

Volunteer at Super Sunday, Federation’s largest fundraising and community-building event of the year. Make calls to raise money for Federation’s Annual Campaign and earn the chance to win great prizes, or join Young Women’s Social Action at the Tzedakah Fair, making blankets to donate to Hag Sameach and Hanukkah cards for Holocaust survivors.  There are volunteer shifts throughout the day but the young leadership shift is always last and you’ll find the most Jews aged 20-40 there.

Later, join others at Park Tavern in St. Louis Park at 8:15 p.m. to unwind and participate in Jewish Idol — the Frozen Chosen’s best (or at least most entertaining) karaoke — or just socialize, play darts or shoot pool. Super Sunday volunteers receive FREE food and two drink tickets at the party; others pay $10 admission fee for food and one drink ticket. To RSVP for Super Sunday, click here.  It doesn’t look likely that there will be an ice storm like last year, so expect a big, big turnout.  Contact Barb Adelman at 952-417-2347 or [email protected] for more info about Young Leadership or the After Dark party.

11/29/2009Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros with Fool’s Gold and Local Natives at The Varsity Theater. 8:00 PM.

SOLD OUT.  If you’ve got your tickets to this show already, consider yourself an A-level hipster.  The show has been sold out for at least a week now, thanks to internet buzz and both Edward Sharpe and Fool’s Gold being spun frequently on local stations like Radio K.  Fool’s Gold is the real (Jewish) treat of this bill.  Hailing from Los Angeles, they are led by two Israeli born, California raised Jews, Luke Top and Lewis Pesakov.  What makes their music incredibly interesting is that a good portion of the band’s lyrics are sung in Hebrew, including the standout single, “Ha Dvash” (The Honey) that can be heard on the band’s site.

Rolling Stone wrote, “Call it back in the highlife again: CA band nick the high, keening guitars of Afropop, lace them over percolating percussion and top them with vocals that sound like a Graceland B-reel. It would be easy to complain, but the whole thing is executed with such sincerity it’s tough to get too aggravated.” Unless your really cool friend has an extra for you, you’ll have to wait until the next time they roll through town.  But for now, acquaint yourself with their music, and pick up their debut CD on IAMSOUND records, today.

Check out a video of their song, “Surprise Hotel.”


Notable Mention:

11/24/2009: “Fugitive Virgins and Hebrew Maidens: Why Jewish Women Became Radicals,” a lecture by Deborah Hertz, part of the Center for Jewish Studies at the U of M’s Annual Lecture Series, to be held at Beth Jacob Congregation. Free and open to the public.