Kid Tested, Rabbi Approved

This post is part of a series on new innovation being created at the Jerusalem based incubator PICZ, The PresenTense Institute for Creative Zionism.


The Bible Raps Project: a new approach to Jewish education

“Therefore, write down this song and teach it to the children of Israel” (Deuteronomy 31:19)

The Bible Raps Project is a new initiative aimed at exciting young Jewish students about Judaism, Jewish Heritage, and Jewish texts. Built around a series of raps that draw on texts from the Bible and Midrash, the Bible Raps Project will resonate with Jewish youth in a way that traditional media cannot by fusing rap music, this generation’s most powerful mode of cultural communication, with Jewish discourse. It is an innovative strategy, consisting of professional grade music and an accompanying curriculum, to express the value of Jewish Peoplehood and cultural relevancy among young Jews while injecting needed excitement into the Jewish educational experience.

In the words of Bible Rapper Matt Bar, about his experience this past summer with PICZ:
“I walked in with an idea that seemed to resonate with people. I walked out with seed-funding, business partners, media attention, significant contacts, direction, inspiration and absolutely endearing memories. In just six weeks PICZ changed the landscape of my future. Time well spent to say the least.”

Do you have a dream project you would like to turn into reality? Time is running out but, there is still time to apply for a Fellowship for 2008 at the PresenTense Institute. Click here for the online application.

updated February 15th with a great story about Matt and his Bible Rap Project in today’s Haaretz,

Bible rapper infuses Jewish education with his rhymes:

“Matt Bar was a fledgling musician in New York supplementing his income as a Hebrew school teacher when he hit on the idea of inventing Bible raps. Now, he’s spearheading a movement based on his raps to fuse popular music with Jewish education. A ‘folk rapper’ by profession, he was trying to keep a group of middle school kids interested in Bible, Hebrew, and yet another lesson on Jewish tradition one Sunday morning when he decided to rap for them as a kind of “carrot” to keep them well-behaved.”

to read the complete story, click here