PopRocks: Jewish Rock Star Edition

This is a Guest Post by Gila Drazen.

Josh Nelson

Last week PopRocks was hanging out at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s Biennial Convention, listening to (in addition to speakers and workshops), a variety of amazing Jewish performers. Here’s a taste of what you missed: 

*On Monday night, the Robyn Helzner Trio performed. Their songs, in Hebrew and Yiddish and English and (I think) Ladino and niggunim, were a great blend of Jewish music from all over the world.

*On Wednesday night, we heard Six13, a Jewish a cappella group perform original songs as well as a set of musical parodies that took us through the entire Jewish year.  “You can come to my shul for Ne’ilah” sung to the melody of Rihanna’s “Umbrella“?  Yes, please.  If the Nice Jewish Guys calendar had a soundtrack, it would very prominently feature Six13. Check them out:


*On Thursday morning, we were joined for Shaharit by two artists from Storahtelling, Franny Silverman and Brian Gelfand.  Their take on Parshat Vayeshev is entitled “The Real Housewives of Egypt” – for someone who’s as amped about both Judaism and reality television as I am, it was like hitting pay dirt.  (Minnesotans and their friends who are or have been active at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin may recognize Brian’s name – it was just like old home week!)

*At the final plenary session, presented by Synagogue 3000, we heard songs by Josh Nelson.   His tagline is: New. Jewish. Rock. This is definitely true – the energy in the room while he was performing was absolutely tangible, and was a great way to cap off the week.  Not to be confused with kosher gospel singer Joshua Nelson, here’s Josh performing:


Speaking of fantastic Jewish performers, The LeeVees are not touring this Hanukkah, but say they’re putting out a new record in 2010.  If you haven’t heard their albun Hanukkah Rocks, you should check it out!  Here’s a Hanukkah treat from the boys…for those times you’re feeling Jewy.