Jewish Camp Songs Like You Never Heard Them Before


Think back to your weeks at Jewish summer camp—site of first kisses, pranks, and, of course, endless singing. Now ask yourself: As you belted out Adon Olam for the 100th time, did you ever wish, just a little, that a jazz band was accompanying you?

If the answer is yes, you can revel in your camp experience with jazz drummer Ben Perowsky‘s inventive yet reverent Camp Songs, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Inspired by the Jewish camp melodies of his youth, Perowsky, with pianist Uri Caine and bassist Drew Gess, tickle the Shema, the blessing after meals, Adon Olam and more into ecstatic, playful reinventions. The trio explores unexpected layers to these familiar melodies: the closing cadence of the Shema sounds almost gospel-like, while the Birkat Hamazon opens with the warm chords and resonances of a 1980s pop song.

So the next time you find yourself doing the rumba while benching, you’ll know who to blame.

Listen to the Shema, like you’ve never heard it before:

Watch a hilarious scene from Girls in which 2 Ramahniks reunite:

Recommended from JTA