A new document label from this 27-yr-old Brooklynite celebrates Jewish tunes

New York Jewish Week by means of JTA — Steadfast listeners of “Borscht Beat” — a weekly FM radio exhibit showcasing Jewish new music, aged and new — will be thrilled to listen to of host Aaron Bendich’s newest job: a new Jewish record label of the exact same identify.

On his hour-extensive radio application, the 27-calendar year-previous performs a large wide variety of Jewish recordings — songs from the heyday of Yiddish theater, as properly as a mix of contemporary klezmer, Yiddish and Jewish music from about the world.

Earlier this thirty day period, Bendich’s label announced their initial launch: The next album from the band Forshpil, which Bendich describes as “Yiddish psychedelic rock fusion.”

Bendich recognizes that people’s inner thoughts about Jewish new music are rooted in nostalgia — and, so, far too, are their thoughts about bodily albums (data, CDs, cassette tapes). He acknowledges that, at times, it feels like stress to convey again memories that quite a few listeners never ever knew they experienced.

But Bendich tells The New York Jewish Week that he prefers to body Borscht Beat as continuing a tradition, alternatively of just reviving a person.

“It has helped me sense like I’m not by yourself in this, I’m not seeking to resuscitate one thing — I’m just participating in society in the way that men and women have for a very long time,” he said.

“Jewish tradition, Yiddish tradition, and klezmer tunes is nonetheless a living tradition,” Bendich added. “Of program, with the Holocaust and assimilation, factors have altered the way or the amount of the culture which is created, but there’s a continuity to it. There was never ever a hole.”

Bendich’s lifelong enthusiasm for Jewish audio is a little something that’s been handed down from technology to technology. His grandfather, Max — who lived in the Bronx and died in December 2020 at age 105 — was a collector of Jewish documents, much too.

Bendich introduced the Borscht Conquer radio clearly show from his Bed-Stuy condominium in November 2020, when Vassar College’s radio station enlisted alumni to fill open up air time. Since then, he has created up a much larger group of listeners, and has expanded to 3 supplemental radio stations — WJFF Catskill, WVKR Poughkeepsie and WCFA Cape May possibly — all though working his day career for Digital Media Legal rights, a movie distributor in Manhattan.

Aaron Bendich released Borscht Conquer, a radio exhibit that plays Yiddish and Jewish songs — both contemporary tunes and throwbacks — in November 2020. Now, he is launching a file label of the similar name. (Graphic by Hanna Sheehan/by way of JTA)

The weekly hour of Jewish songs is nonetheless going sturdy, and Bendich has no programs to stop anytime quickly. In current broadcasts, he’s played “More! Sing Alongside in Yiddish!” by Marv Kurz, an album of classic preferred Yiddish and Hebrew music interviewed klezmer clarinetist Michael Winograd and performed the tracks and monologues of Yiddish theater icon Noah Nachbush — all from his private selection.

“I appreciate pulling things from the assortment and sharing it with my listeners,” he said. “I enjoy that I’m bringing songs to people’s life that they heard long in the past and have not listened to since in numerous conditions.”

The achievements of the Borscht Defeat radio plan — which, he said, has garnered hundreds of e-mail from enthusiasts and dozens of calls from listeners — assisted give him self confidence that a new Jewish report label could be a achievement. Bendich also skilled, firsthand, the unwavering enthusiasm between New York’s klezmer group all through the pandemic: All through the lengthy months of quarantine, Bendich attended many superior-energy outside klezmer live shows, and even a 24-hour long klezmer session on Zoom hosted by Yiddish New York at the stop of 2021.

Launching a record label “is form of the reasonable upcoming action,” Bendich reported. “I was fascinated in discovering a way to contain myself much more on the energetic side of what’s currently likely on in the Jewish new music scene, possibly in the output or the release of music.”

After speaking with numerous buddies and musicians, Bendich resolved that his label’s debut release would be a CD of an album from the Brooklyn-Based multi-instrumentalist Ilya Shneyveys. The two had satisfied at klezmer picnics that Shneyveys hosted in Prospect Park during the top of the pandemic.


The band, Forshpil, is manufactured up of Shneyveys, the instrumental lead, and vocalist Sasha Lurje, the two immigrants from Latvia. Forshpil, a Yiddish term usually translated as “prelude,” also refers to a form of musical overall performance that is given for a bride just before a marriage. Bendich describes their audio as a blend of Previous Entire world and New: it’s “psychedelic tough rock combined with people tune mixed with some klezmer components.”

Bendich hopes to operate with other Yiddish bands and singers in bringing their tunes into the globe.

“Most new music organizations will not publish Jewish-particular new music except if it’s currently popular, Jewish file labels that curate a distinctive sort of ethnic fare are an absolute requirement,” Eddy Portnoy, the academic advisor and exhibitions curator at YIVO, advised The New York Jewish Week. “They’ve been close to for a very long time and have brought us all varieties of content, from comedy to cantorial, and every thing in among.”

“Small Jewish history labels released the careers of preferred performers like Allan Sherman and Matisyahu,” he additional. “We might under no circumstances have listened to of them if not for these unbiased labels. So it’s a excellent signal of cultural ferment that new ones are popping up.”

Jon Madof, the co-founder of record label Chant Information and bandleader of Zion80, a 10-piece outfit that brings together Jewish new music, Afrobeat and avant-garde jazz, is also hopeful about a new Jewish record label on the scene.

“Even even though the new music landscape can be complicated to navigate, I’m certain their artistry and dedication will serve them perfectly as they help to convey Jewish and Yiddish audio solidly into the 21st century,” he said. (Madof is also the director of technology at 70 Faces Media, The New York Jewish Week’s mother or father corporation.)

The Forshpil CD is remaining unveiled with a 24-site booklet that will involve lyrics in the authentic Yiddish, transliterations and English translations. The psychedelic artwork is by Avia Moore Michael Wex, creator of “Born To Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Society in All of Its Moods” wrote an introductory essay.

Looking in advance, Bendich mentioned he’s thrilled that he’ll be able to increase to the world’s collection of Jewish information — a thing that has been this sort of a enormous element of his everyday living.

“Just to visualize that somebody sometime will be seeking for a document at a file keep and will arrive across some thing that I’ve released… I really like that strategy,” he mentioned. “It’s so interesting. I’m executing it for the sake of ethnic tradition, the cultural heritage that I’m so proud of and involved in.”

The album is dwell at https://borschtbeat.bandcamp.com/releases, and Bendich’s radio software streams on Sundays at 1 p.m. Jap Time on Radio Catskill.

By Indana