No latkes?

A crazy worldwide Hanukkah party
By STEVEN LEE BEEBER  |  December 11, 2007
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Four bands, seven countries, and a couple of sponsors: that’s what it took to stage the festival of spotlights known as “A Crazy Worldwide Hanukkah Party.” Taking place simultaneously in 12 cities (among them New York, Buenos Aires, and Moscow), the event resembled a Jewish Hands Across America — though minus the feel-good messages, and without much Jewish content.

Co-sponsored by JDub Records (home to Balkan Beatbox) and Taglit-Birthright Israel (provider of all-expenses-paid trips to you-know-where), the Boston portion at T.T. the Bear’s Place last Saturday was certainly a good time. Wailing Wall, the Brakes, Mocean Worker, and Simple People took the crowd from brass-and-string rave-ups and solid rock beats to funky horn explosions and atmospheric dance electronics before casting everybody into a frigid night’s cold sweat.

Yet aside from plastic dreydls and pieces of gelt (coin-shaped chocolates), there was nothing especially Jewish about the evening. Okay, there was a band called Wailing Wall, and the Israeli-based Simple People evinced a cool Middle Eastern vibe. But . . . no latkes! No sour cream! Not even any applesauce!! What the farkakt!

As for Taglit — call me a killjoy, but I couldn’t help mentioning to the guy proffering the brochures that I prefer the alternative program Birthright Unplugged, which sends Jewish kids to the Occupied Territories and Palestinian kids to Israel in an effort to educate and unite. He took that in stride. And as nobody else seemed bothered by the lack of Jewish content, it hit me that maybe this was the point. As 23-year-old Sophie Dabuzhshy told me, “We’re celebrating the Festival of Lights by lighting up and dancing.” Given Hanukkah’s origins in a Jewish/Greek battle, the Crazy Hanukkah Party might not be so crazy after all.

  Topics: Live Reviews , Culture and Lifestyle, Holidays, Mocean Worker
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