A Tale of One City – With Two Songs.

Matt Bar
November 14, 2011
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It is said you can’t truly understand a subject until you can teach it. Consequently, I have always had difficulty teaching my students about Israel as there are so many layers to this country and its people. It’s a tight knot. I highly encourage you to closely examine this month’s Shma Journal. Each article provides insight into the politics of Israel and the UN, and for me, they made me more aware of how little I know about this subject. As far as my contribution, I’ve decided to give two distinct impressions with two songs about the same city: Jerusalem. One is of helplessness and another of empowerment. Their juxtaposition serves to highlight the complicated relationship a Jew may have with the Holy Land and its inhabitants’ relationship to history and the world stage.

Click on song title to start the music video!

1. Jerusalem (tune of ‘Dona Dona’)

2. Shoutin’ Out Zion (First peak from upcoming Bible Raps album)

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Matt Bar is founder and Executive Director of Bible Raps, a non-profit born from Matt's desire to engage his Hebrew School classes on a deeper and more contemporary level than the way they were being taught at the time. Bible Raps launched out of Bar's participation in the PresenTense Institute during the summer of 2007. He continued to further his Jewish education during his 2008 year of study at The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Since its inception, Bible Raps has reached tens of thousands of young Jews with Torah-rich performances in schools, Hillels, conferences and camps across the US and abroad. Their teaching materials are being used in countless classrooms and teachers are currently being trained to be certified "Bible Raps educators". ‬ ‪In 2011, Bar was also named to The ‬NY‪ Jewish Week's "36 Under 36" list, a prestigious list ‬"highlighting the dedicated lay leaders who are reordering our legacy organizations alongside community activists and social justice crusaders whose startups are chock-full of innovation,". He is also 2009-2010 member of slingshot. Before his current role as Executive Director of Bible Raps, Bar was also featured on MTV and NBC, has opened for Grammy winning group Outkast and performed at numerous clubs and venues as a folk rapper. Matt currently resides in Philadelphia and is working on Bible Raps Album #3 and hoping to put out Hip Hop Lullabies, within the calendar year.

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