Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jewish Diversity Rocks

What do a rapper, a dancer, a comedian and a handful of Sefardic, Ashkenazi and Hasidic performers have in common? They're all sharing the stage this Sunday in a show that celebrates Jewish diversity.

After an amazing year of events across North America, we're celebrating the first anniversary of the publication of my book with a blow-out show in New York City this Sunday. The Cool Jews Every Member of the Tribe Artist Showcase features an amazing cast of multicultural Jews. And, in an online giveaway we're running in conjunction with this event, one lucky winner will receive a prize package valued at almost $300 packed with their innovative creations.

Rosh Hashanah Giveaway

The Cool Jews Every Member of the Tribe Artists Showcase is slated for 5 pm, Sept. 13th at the JCC of Manhattan. Our diverse group of multicultural Jewish artists will hit the stage with their greatest hits. Performers include:
Sarah Aroeste,
Ladino chanteuse
Yisrael Campbell, comedian/Jew by choice
Eprhyme, Ashkenazi rapper Eden Pearlstein (on the Shemspeed label)
Elie Massias, Gibraltar-born Sephardic guitarist/solo artist
Adam McKinney, classically trained African-American Jewish dancer who has performed with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and other acclaimed companies, filmmaker and arts educator
Rachel Ravitz & Matti Brown, married singer/songwriter folk duo; Rachel is a storyteller in the tradition of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and Matti is a cantor and Jew by choice
Rav Shmuel, hasidic rabbi and rock n' roller

In conjunction with the Cool Jews Every Member of the Tribe Artists Showcase, we've created the Cool Jew New You Giveaway in partnership with This innovative website shares Cool Jew's approach to celebrating Jewish culture. Together, we have invited the Showcase Artists and several other Jewish mensches -- friends and colleagues, artists, writers, performers and entrepreneurs -- to donate prizes to the Cool Jew New You Giveaway in honor of the Jewish New Year, Rosh HaShanah, which falls on September 18th.

To enter to win the Cool Jew New You Giveaway, visit and submit your answer to this question: "In what ways are you "casting off" and starting new this year?'" You can also click through to purchase elements of the Giveaway. (No purchase is required to win. This contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada.)

The Cool Jew New You Giveaway winner will be chosen from all submissions and announced on Sept. 17th at the blog.

The Cool Jew New You Giveaway contains prizes valued at approximately $300. One lucky mensch will receive:

* Ladino chanteuse Sarah Aroeste's Puertas CD ($15)
* Stand-up comedian Yisrael Campbell's Circumcise Me DVD ($20)
* Eprhyme’s debut CD WAYWORDWONDERWILL ($15) and 7-inch vinyl single, Punklezmerap, on K Records as part of its International Pop Underground Series ($5)
*’s “Table Topics: Spirit Box” discussion cards ($25)
* Author Lisa Alcalay Klug's book Cool Jew: The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe ($13)
* Living Tree Community Foods’ organic Snugglespoon honey, raw almond butter and raw tahini ($47 total)
* Rachel and Matti’s CD sampler Your Kindness ($5)
* Jennie Rivlin Roberts' "No Limit Texas Dreidel" game from ($20)
* Jean Roth’s Rotem Gear What Would Maimonides Do? t-shirt ($24)
* Author Matthue Roth’s books, Never Mind the Goldbergs ($8) and Yom Kippur A Go-Go ($15)
* Musician/composer Elie Massias’ Brooklyn Days CD ($10)
* Singer/Songwriter Rav Shmuel's "Protocols" and "B'yameinu" music CDs ($18 each) and two t-shirts ($15 each)

Meet the folks behind the giveaway:

Inspired by her Sephardic roots from Spain and Greece, Ladino chanteuse Sarah Aroeste fuses Judeo-Spanish folk songs from her unique background with rock, funk, jazz and blues. Her exotic blend of flamenco melodies, Middle Eastern rhythms and modern soul presents a fresh take on Sephardic sounds.

American-born Yisrael Campbell performs stand-up comedy throughout the English-speaking world and Israel, his adopted home. Yisrael is currently creating a production of his one-man show, "Circumcise Me," to open off-Broadway in November, 2009. He trained for the stage at Circle in the Square.

Incorporating Kabbalah, psychology and politics, Eprhyme (aka Eden Pearlstein) spits rhymes intertwined with elements of jazz, funk, klezmer and Middle Eastern music. A kaleidoscopic counter-cultural exchange for mystics, punks and b-boys, his raps are a powerful, poetic plea for peace, justice, joy and unity., is an entertainment and media company devoted to helping Jews (and anyone else) find, use, share, and expand meaning and community. Jewcy operates an online site, theatrical productions, and a steady diet of exciting events for progressive free-thinkers.

Award-winning journalist Lisa Alcalay Klug is the author of Cool Jew: The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe, a 2008 National Jewish Book Awards Finalist. A contributor to the New York Times, Forward and many other publications, Lisa also edits the multicultural blog, Tolerant Nation.

Living Tree Community Foods is a pioneering natural foods company distributing kosher creations from its base in Berkeley, California throughout the world. Living Tree products are alive, organic and certified kosher.

Gibraltar native Elie Massias sings and plays acoustic and electric guitar, soprano saxophone and cajon and, using a boomerang sampler, creates loops in real-time, integrating the beautiful intricacies of Flamenco Guitar, Jazz, Middle Eastern and Sephardic music. Billboard Magazine named Elie among the top 10 acts of the U.S. North East at the Independent Music World Series 2007.

Rachel Ravitz & Matthew Brown met while exploring the world's various religions and married soon after their first musical collaboration. Fifteen years later, they continue to harmonize, compose and perform new Jewish melodies. Rachel is a singer and storyteller in the Chasidic tradition of Reb Shlomo Carlebach. Matthew, a Jew by choice, is a composer and cantor for several congregations in New York City. Rachel and Matti are currently recording their first CD of original Jewish music.

Jennie Rivlin Roberts is the founder of (this website!), an online Judaica and Jewish gifts store for progressive minds, spirits, and style, and the co-inventor of No Limit Texas Dreidel (NLTD), which crosses dreidel with Texas Hold'em poker. NLTD has received national recognition in media outlets such as NPR and Newsweek.

Designer R. Jean Roth embraces diversity daily at her graphic design studio and through her apparel designs at Rotem Gear. Having lived in the US, Israel and Japan, she brings her multi-hued background into her designs, along with a dose of American pop culture and quirky humor. Rotem Gear has been featured in fashion magazines, Jewish publications and the Cool Jew book!

Matthue Roth is the author of three novels, Losers, Never Mind the Goldbergs, and Candy in Action, as well as a memoir, Yom Kippur a Go-Go. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter, and he keeps a secret diary at

Rav Shmuel is a hasidic rabbi who hangs out in Greenwich Village and plays original compositions on his guitar. Billboard described his acclaimed debut CD as "immediately likeable... good humored anti-folk." Views of his animated video, "Protocols," have surpassed 125,000 on YouTube.

Take a moment for fun and enter to win the Cool Jew New You Giveaway!

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