The Yeshiva University a capella group will make its first appearance in Minnesota
By ERIN ELLIOTT BRYAN / Community News Editor
The Minneapolis Jewish Federation and Adath Jeshurun Congregation will present an afternoon concert featuring the Maccabeats, an all-male, religious Jewish a capella group from Yeshiva University, on Sunday, May 5 at the synagogue in Minnetonka.
The concert also will celebrate Jewish summer camp. The Federation will sell $10 raffle tickets, the proceeds of which will benefit its camp scholarship fund to help Minneapolis children experience the magic of Jewish camp.
The Maccabeats were founded in 2007, as the first Yeshiva University collegiate a capella group, by current member Michael Greenberg. Today there are 12 active members of the group who travel around the world — this will be the group’s first stop in Minnesota.
“For decades, collegiate a capella has been an important part of student life on campuses across the country,” Maccabeats member Ari Lewis told the AJW. “Michael took his love for singing and found others who shared his passion, and brought collegiate a capella to YU. As you can see from recent phenomena like NBC’s The Sing Off and the film Pitch Perfect, a capella is gaining popularity not only in the U.S., but all over the world.”
The Maccabeats shot to international fame with the release of its YouTube videos, many of which have gone viral. Among the most popular is “Candlelight,” a Hanuka song based on Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite,” which has nearly eight and a half million views.
Lewis said the group takes inspiration from all realms of music, including classical and contemporary. The group has released two albums, Voices from the Heights and Out of the Box, which feature everything from classical Israeli to modern day pop music.
“As long as we find meaning in a piece of music, we will sing it,” Lewis said.
Lewis said he has always had a passion for music and was “ecstatic” to discover YU’s a capella group. He has been a member of the Maccabeats since 2008.
“The Maccabeats has enabled me to continue to do what I love — sing — with a wonderful group of friends,” he said. “As an added perk, we have been able to travel the country and the world, meeting new people and sharing incredible experiences.”
Lewis works in nonprofit marketing in New York City and lives in New Jersey with his wife, Shira. He said the Maccabeats is a part-time job for him, but one that also allows him to pursue another personal hobby: music production.
As for the May 5 show, Lewis says there will be something for everyone.
“We make our shows interactive, energetic and fun,” Lewis said. “We have types of music for everyone — from eight to 88.”
The Maccabeats will perform 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5 at Adath Jeshurun Congregation, 10500 Hillside Ln. W., Minnetonka. Tickets are $9 for children younger than 12, $18 for general admission and $36 for reserved seating. For tickets and information, visit: www.adathjeshurun.org/maccabeats. To make a donation to the Minneapolis Jewish Federation’s camp scholarship fund, visit: jewishminneapolis.org/donate.
Since 1912 the AJW has served as an important news resource for the Jewish community. The Jewish World unites the main Jewish communities in St. Paul and Minneapolis, as well as those in Duluth, Rochester and smaller cities, and bridges the divides between the various Jewish religious streams.