Wednesday, December 17, 2008

what are we teaching our girls

So...Here's my latest.

I'm obsessed with the song "All the Single Ladies" by Beyonce
the beat is AMAZING! It's intoxicating - you can't help dance.
(While it's by Beyonce, the lyrics, like for many pop stars, were written by men: Christopher "Tricky" Stewart; Terius Youngdell Nash, better known by his stage name The-Dream and Thaddis "Kuk" Harrell. This team also wrote Rhianna's "Umbrella" which is a much sweeter and upstanding lyrical song!)

Is it a feminist song?
Beyonce's producers put it out as one...

And then...
I watch the choreography - (watch the video on youtube)

And then...
I listen to the words
"If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it
Don’t be mad once you see that he want it
If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it

I got gloss on my lips, a man on my hips
hold me tighter than my Dereon jeans
acting up, drink in my cup
I could care less what you think
I need no permission, did I mention
Dont pay him any attention
Cuz you had your turn
But now you gonna learn
What it really feels like to miss me"

And then I see this copycat video and it becomes pretty clear:
Watch this and tell me what you think we're teaching our little girls...

I'm really curious to hear your reactions.
Is this empowerment?

Please do comment.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

One Simple Thing - LIVE in Cleveland

Click on the video below for faster streaming!

Amazing new web-show - Go Amy Poehler!

While I'm not sure how I feel about their sponsorship being from Barbie (aka: unrealistic figures, shapes and sizes of women - see The Tribe movie and you'll get it) I do LOVE LOVE LOVE the new series that Amy Poehler has put together.

Smart Girls at the Party!
I love the take of of the "charlie rose" type of interviewing that they do and that they're interviewing girls about being themselves!

It's awesome!
As a Jewish Chick Rocker who promotes messages about being yourself and being strong with your convictions and choices in life, I totally recommend that you girls watch these videos.

Rock on, Amy and Co.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jewish Chicks Rock: Jew Spot Interview and Cleveland Rocks 11.23.08

Jewish Chicks Rock: Jew Spot Interview and Cleveland Rocks 11.23.08

Jew Spot Interview and Cleveland Rocks 11.23.08

Jew Spot Blogger Monica Rozenfeld published the following interview today. It really captures the essence of why we're on this mission.

I'm just flying so high right now because I'm in Cleveland with some amazing folks - I'm here for Storahtelling's performance of Becoming Israel, but I had the opportunity to work with 50 7th - 12th graders today at Bnai Jeshurun Congregation.
Here's a short video clip:

One Simple Thing 11.23.08

Early one sunday morning in Cleveland, I had the opportunity to play for and talk with some amazing teens at Bnai Jeshurun Congregation!

Naomi Less on iLike - Add iLike to your MySpace

I was so inspired I was by the juniors and seniors. I sat with about 11 of them and played them the track Responsibility (check it out at The song is about injustice and what happens when someone doesn't speak out - person to person injustice. What's your Response-Ability!?!?!

So I ran through the song and some discussion questions with the students, shared two suggestions for facilitating to them:
1. Don't be afraid of the silence - when you put a question out there, sometimes it takes 15-20 seconds for someone to respond.
2. Try to invite as many people to participate as possible and not have the same two people answering all the time.

Well, they teamed up with a partner and facilitated amazing conversations about justice, their schools and lives, when they've found it challenging to stand up for someone, the risks involved, etc. And did an INCREDIBLE job.
My thanks to Rabbi Hal and Erika Rudin-Luria for making this happen!
More tomorrow...
Very inspired,

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cool Jew-ess Rocked it last night...

Amazing gathering last night - seems the women are making a dent. There was almost an even split of female and male acts at Lisa Alcalay Klug's "Cool Jew" book launch last night at the JCC Manhattan.

We performed surrounded by old Jewish signs that are being featured at an art event - it's Rabbi Michael Strassfeld's collection! (I put together a band for his congregation, SAJ - come join us once a month on Saturday mornings!) Here's a picture:Fellow Chick musicians, Chana Rothman, Michele Citrin and Ladino rocker Sarah Aroeste (pictured in red) rocked in their unique and diverse styles along with Storahtelling's own Franny Silverman. It's interesting, all the male performers were observant Jews - two ultra-ortho-garb wearing (Yisrael Campbell - my favorite favorite hilarious chasid!! and Rav Shmuel as well as the dudes from Blue Fringe) and all the women rocked out to their own post-denominational version of Judaism - what do you think that means?

Jewish Chick Rock Street Team members Mara Berde (President) and Monica Rozenfeld (from The Jew Spot) came out to support the event and support JCR as a Movement.

Monica writes about it in her blog.

and now...
I'm off and running - to perform and work with some teens at Bnai Jeshurun Congregation in Cleveland! Talk about a rabbi who rocks - get to know Rabbi Hal Rudin-Luria...i mean FOR REAL!

AND, if you're around Cleveland on Wednesday this week - come on out to Vine and Bean Cafe where I'll be doing a solo set!

Peace and Midwesterners!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

JCR invades GoGirls NYC Music Fest 11.14.08

I love playing Jewish music for Jews - I love to see people connect to their heritage, culture, tradition and spirituality in a different way than perhaps they're used to.

I also LOVE playing Jewish music for secular, not exclusively Jewish audiences. I love to be reminded that Judaism is a unique and special take on the world - and quite exotic - as I've been told - in that it's so ancient yet consistently being renewed and reinterpreted.

This is the experience I had on Friday night.
The band played as part of a women's music festival at Hank's Saloon in Brooklyn. It was so awesome singing "Hashkiveinu" and seeing the whole audience vibing to the incredible beats that Glenn put out there on the drums. It was awesome hearing everyone say "Meshuga'at" knowing that they're speaking a language that's ancient and new all in the same breath!

I was terribly proud of Judaism at that moment!

Here's a little pic from the event.

Rock on everyone!

JCR and Avoda Arts on the Move 11.12.08

This has been a busy week for the project!

On Tuesday, Nov. 12th Avoda Arts on the Move invited the band
to perform for amazing students at Baruch College - it's a special program to bring more Jewish cultural arts to the NYC based campuses! Baruch student Elina Bank (head of the Jewish Women's Association and on the Hillel Board) worked hand in hand with Arts on the Move program staff and arts advocate Jackie Miller to create an incredible event.

Hillel Director Matt Vogel rocked out with Jackie Miller...(above right)

Event organizer Elina Bank with the band as well as the Hillel Student President Manashe!

This was the debut of bassist Jillian Laboi and guitarist Lisa Bianco!

(Also featured is musical director Glenn Grossman and me.)

Notice the great Israeli flag they put up - little did they know I'd be doing an acapella version of Shir L'Shalom (Song of Peace)!

What an amazing group of students and incredible set of organizers!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Official JCR Street Team Convenes! 9.25.08

Yes, it happened. It's official.

Mara Berde - the fearless leader of the Jewish Chicks Rock Street Team - convened 5 other fabulous rockin' Jewish women to passionately plot and plan the next steps to market the Jewish Chicks Rock Summer 2009 tour and beyond!

Publish Post
Pictured: (top from left to right)
Monica Rozenfeld (The Jew Spot blog chief), Mara Berde (prez and founder of street team), Joelle Asaro Berman (communications whiz of FJC fame), Hope Chernak (videographer and amazing Jewish educator), Naomi Less (Jewish chick rocker) and Molly Przetycki (production and marketing genius). Unfortunately one member was injured - SaraBeth Berman - whose brilliant project management skills were sorely missed. (A speedy recovery, SBB!)

With Naomi's first solo album focusing on Jewish chick rock almost complete, plans are gearing up for a major summer tour - entitled: The Response-Ability Tour

Check back here soon for more info on programming, concerts and other exciting news!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Exciting news...this will be a short post.
After months of hunting for an amazing chick bassist for the project, we found one!
Her name is Jill Laboi
and she ROCKS!

She's played bass for 14 years, studied at the Julliard school, and has been playing off broadway, tours, and session work.

She is thrilled to come on board, as are we to have her!

More on Jillian soon!


Friday, August 29, 2008

Is summer over? Thank all of YOU for a great one!


It's hard to believe that so much has happened this summer - and that I'm going to enter Elul soon - the Jewish month where reflection begins and taking stock of who you were this last year becomes front and center in our minds.

Summer can't end - can it? I don't want it to. I feel like it just started - it makes me wonder why I live in NYC - if I hate summer ending so much - but who can say goodbye to this crazy city with it's ups and downs? I would probably be pretty bored anywhere else!

So, let's do a little reflection of all of the people and places that I've visited this summer who've rocked my world. My way of showing appreciation Is by giving someone a ROCK ON!

Rock On to the AMAZING counselors and senior staff, directors and co-trainers at the five UJA Federation camps in NY - Poyntelle, Berkshire Hills Emanuel, Eddie Isaacs, Surprise Lake and Louemma! You all are amazing! Shout out to Shalom Orzach for his support in making sure that counselors are trained to be inclusive as possible in the bunk!

Rock On to the amazing trainees and Trainers that are part of the Keshet Training Program! Huge shout out to Jake Goodman, Shira Epstein (my co-trainers featured left) and Andrea Jacobs at Keshet!

Rock On to the awesome counselors at Camp Ramah in California! You all are incredible! Huge thanks to R. Dan Greyber and Zach Lasker - you two ROCK! Shout out to Eli!!

Rock On to the amazing team of professionals at U of Chicago and Northwestern University (go Cats) Hillel - and to the awesome people from the Hillel International Center in DC. Groundbreaking work in emerging adulthood - a privilege to present to you all! Shout out to Jane Shapiro, Dan Liebenson, Josh Feigelson and R. Scott Aaron! Can't wait to spend Yom Kippur with you all at University of Chicago! It's going to ROCK!

Rock On to the amazing educators and leaders who I trained at the Leadership Institute for Congregational Educators. And Rock On to Evie Rotstein who directs this program. Huge thank you to my partner in crime, Dr. Shira D. Epstein, for taking me on our project "Addressing Evaded Issues in Jewish Education!" (See, there's me training for this program!)

Rock On to the incredible leaders that I trained as a part of the Day School Leadership Training Institute. And Rock On to Fran Urman who leads that program. Again, huge thank you to my partner in good things, Shira Epstein!
(Featured, Matt Bellas)

Rock On
to the INCREDIBLE educators who participated in Storahtelling's StorahLab training program. And Rock On to the amazing new MAVENS who were trained as well! Shout out to all of my friends at Storahtelling - for all their amazing hard work to put that together.

Rock On to the incredible and talented participants and staff of Brandeis University's Genesis/BIMA programs - what a privilege to play, sing, train and celebrate Shabbat with you! Huge shout out to Bradley Solmsen, Rachel Happel, Dvora Goodman and Aliza Goodman!

Rock On
to my friend Josh Nelson - incredible musician, performer and educator, who shared his stage and let me open up for him at GENESIS/BIMA! (Josh and I FEATURED ON YOUR LEFT)

Rock On to the folks at Florence Melton Communiteen! High School program. What a thoughtful, intelligent, edgy, progressive, highly motivated national Jewish high school educational program! A privilege to work with geniuses like Evan Segal, Gordon Zacks, Jane Shapiro, Ilene Cohen and Shani Lasin!!! One of my FAVORITE consulting projects!

Rock On to the UJC Cabinet leaders - what an amazing time I had with you all performing at your annual Cabinet retreat in Scottsdale, AZ! Beautiful location, beautiful program, beautiful people doing amazing work! What an amazing time performing with Amichai Lau-Lavie, Brian Gelfand and Glenn Grossman for Storahtelling there!

Rock On to the CAJE Craziness! You amazing educators - you incredibly inspiring professionals. What a treat it was performing with Storahtelling at the opening, training folks in our methods and then ROCKING out at my launch of Jewish Chicks Rock. A HUGE thank you to Abbi and the team at the CAJE office. And a HUGE thank you to Mike Edelstein of MJ Productions. Major props to my musical friends who also performed there - Chana Rothman, fellow chick musician!, Josh Nelson and his amazing band, Craig Taubman, Joe Black and Sheldon Low. You all inspire me so much! Thank you so much to my street team at the conference, Hope Chernak, Roland Roth, Sandra Goldmeer, Mara Berde and Laura Hegfield - and our youngest Jewish Chick Rockers, Rosie (pictured) and Belin from New Hampshire!

Rock On - in the biggest way possible to my amazing teen vocalists who I worked with for a week at JCC Maccabi ArtsFest in Minneapolis. Thank you to Steve Barberio, Josh Nelson and Arlene Sorkin for inviting me in, Todd Herzog - fellow musician and friend - for taking me in, and the other amazing artists in residence that made this program so INCREDIBLE!!! I love you all!

And lastly, Rock On to the amazing facilitators who joined me as part of Lou Bergholz (CEO of Edgework Consulting)'s team of trainers who led MIT Sloan Business School's training days! What an amazing group of people, what an amazing program. I look forward to this gig every year! (well, for the last two years, at least! Hopefully more!) You all are incredible!

WHEW, is that enough for one summer? Can you get more inspired looking at the incredible work that's being done in this world?? I am so blessed to have the opportunity to work with such great people!

Thank you all!

Now...onto the FALL!
Next Blog will be about what there is to LOOK FORWARD to!

Have a Great Great Great Labor Day!

Peace - Shabbat shalom!


Monday, August 25, 2008

Post ArtsFest - thinking about the fall

I had the privilege of being thoroughly inspired by 12 amazing teenage women at JCC Maccabi Artsfest this last week in Minneapolis - their depth, their passion and their beautiful songwriting abilities inspired me. I can't get one of the songs they wrote out of my head. They profoundly stated: "Strip away those layers, and take a look inside - in the eye of the beholder - is where true beauty lies." Can you imagine - young women so sure of this - that beauty is in the eye of the beholder - and that if you really look at yourself and see yourself as beautiful, you're bound to see the world as beautiful, too. They give me great hope...
They rock.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Who will rock at CAJE?

I'm just so excited to be heading off to CAJE conference in about two days. The band is coming with me and will tear down the walls at the University of VT's Brennan's Cafe at 8:45pm on Monday the 11th of August.

The big question - will there be other Jewish chicks that rock there?

Send 'em my way!