Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Coming of Age

Back in the early 1970s, there was very little variety of Jewish music and books. There was Carlebach, Pirchei, and Ohr Chodosh to name a few. There was the Mitzvah Tree series and the 613 Torah Avenue series for children. Regarding Jewish reading material, there was Lehman and others, but few and far between. The Jewish Observer ZTL and Olomeinu were among the few existent periodicals.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the proliferation of Jewish music and literature exploded exponentially. “A new tape comes out every week” noted Abie Rotenberg is his classic “Yeshivishe Reid” song. One can argue whether this expansion was the cause of the Artscroll revolution, or the effect. One can also argue whether “Seforim Superstores” were the cause or the effect. I once heard someone claim that it was Artscroll who built the Flatbush Eichler’s from a one-storefront into a three-storefront behemoth.

In any event, it seems that the Jewish entertainment world has caught up with society at large. More and more Jewish book publishers join the market every year, more and more Jewish singers abound, and, as noted in a previous post, the Jewish video market seems to be emerging from infancy.

Kein Yirbu

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