Friday, February 5, 2010

The Super Bowl and Diaspora Yeshiva Band

In the beginning, Jewish music was primarily comprised of Chazzanim. Yossele Rosenblatt and his contemporaries sang niggunim which were nostalgic of a time gone by, but their music did not necessarily resonate with the youth.

In the early 60’s and onward, Shlomo Carlebach changed that image, by singing trendy folk music accompanied with much Soul.

But in the mid 70’s, Avraham Rosenblum
and his Diaspora Yeshiva Band burst onto the scene with the new sound of “Country and Eastern Music": Tehillim, Bluegrass, Chassidic Niggunim, and Rock'n'roll.

As with any new trend, they were initially met with resistance. Their music was too similar to the secular music of the time, and the rabbis were not eager to dance to the new beat. Yet pretty soon, their music penetrated the hallowed halls of the Yeshiva World.

All music takes time to get used to, even Shmelka’s niggun was too modern when Ohr Chodosh produced it in the 60’s.

Some years ago, the good folks at Yeshivas Ohr Yitzchok, decided to combat the huge amount of time that was wasted by some Yeshiva Bochurim who watched the Super Bowl. They decided to bring a guest speaker, delicious food and fabulous music to their Yeshiva during the Super Bowl to hopefully persuade Bochurim to use their time more productively.

The singers were always the most trendy and were a huge draw. Lipa Shmeltzer graced the stage one year as did many others. Yet the most notable moment, was the time that Avraham Rosenblum of DYB fame began his performance with this opening line…

“It was always my dream to perform during half time of the Super Bowl!”


  1. Does anyone know if they do this anymore? I haven't seen their advertisements in several years.

  2. I just stumbled upon your blog and ever so glad that I did.

    Can't wait to read more.


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