NCSY Presents the Jewish Version, A New CD Featuring Familiar Tunes with Jewish Lyrics

25 Mar 2008


In the grand tradition of Jewish parody bands like Shlock Rock and Variations, NCSY now presents its own Jewish spin on popular music songs. The release of The Jewish Version, featuring newcomer Ben Klein and distributed by the company Adere, takes latest hits from the secular music world and translates them to the Jewish world, substituting the lyrics with predominant Jewish themes and phrases.

Rabbi Steven Burg, International Director of NCSY, declared, “NCSY recognizes that for many teens music is a major influence and interest in their lives and we wanted to provide an opportunity for them to enjoy a fun, Jewish take on popular contemporary songs.”

Ben Klein, a new musical talent hailing from Edmonton, Canada who performs the vocals on the CD and was involved with some of the songs’ production, has a long history of involvement with NCSY. “Ben Klein, having been associated with the Northwest region of NCSY, has his heart close to NCSY and the idea of bringing people closer to Judaism,” said Rabbi Burg. Yossi Toiv wrote the new lyrics for each tune, although he is better known as Country Yossi, famous for his Jewish parodies of popular secular songs.

While Shlock Rock utilizes songs primarily from the seventies and eighties, NCSY’s CD is different in that it takes the most recent hits – many played around the clock on the radio – and substitutes the lyrics with Jewish verses, all dealing with themes familiar to Jewish teens today. For example, the hit song from rock band Plain White T’s, Hey There, Delilah, is now translated to Hey There, Gedaliah, and rather than a man singing of his longing for his girlfriend, the song features a young man singing to his brother Gedaliah, who is learning in Israel for the year.

Instead of hit band Linkin Park’s lyrics to their hit song Numb, which speaks about falling short of a girlfriend’s expectations, The Jewish Version’s Dumb speaks about the pressures of the physical and material worlds when trying to immerse oneself in spirituality and religion. And Alicia Keys’ hit song, No One, about how no one can separate her and her beloved, appears on The Jewish Version as Shalom, and speaks about a Jew’s firm commitment to the Land of Israel.

“Dealing with 35,000 teens each year, NCSY has seen a demand for this type of music which offers teens an entertaining, Jewish way to enjoy some of their favorite songs,” said Rabbi Burg. With the advent of The Jewish Version, those teens now have the perfect outlet for that pursuit.
While the CD is available for purchase in major Judaica stores, NCSY is making copies available to NCSY members in their regions at a discounted price. Some of the profits from the sale will assist the NCSY chapter in Sderot, in Israel.