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Family Singalong

Jewish music you and your kids can both tolerate

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Cover of The Macaroons’ Let’s Go Coconuts(JDub Records)

  Children’s music has become much more interesting in the past decade. Now there are world-music lullaby collections, educational albums put out by indie rockers, and classical music repurposed for kids.  What about Jewish children’s music, has it kept up with the trend?  Tablet Magazine parenting columnist Marjorie Ingall assesses releases from 2009, measuring success by how long the album would be tolerated on a family road trip.

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Thank you, thank you, Marjorie. I’m the program director for a Families with Young Children group at a Conservative synagogue, and I am always looking for Jewish music for kids that is, as you say, “un-sucky.” I need tunes to greet families as they creep in slightly late to programs, I need tunes to soundtrack the hands-on projects, and I need tunes to teach parents and kids that Jewish can be FUN. The closest thing I’ve found, strictly kid-wise, is Shira Kline. The little kids like her and the parents can take it for awhile.
At my Hanukkah program this year, I played The Lee-Vees “How Do You Spell Channukka” for the Hanukkah freeze dance, and everyone loved it. My two-year and my fifteen year-old love it at home and in the car: the whole album. So I was thrilled when I heard on your podcast that The LeeVees have reincarnated into the Macaroons. Can’t wait to check that out on iTunes during naptime later.
I was sad when you left the Forward, Marjorie, but if you had to go, Tablet is the place to go to.
Joanna Brichetto

thanks, joanna! my kids love shira kline too — she’s great live. she does have a new album, earth worm disco, but it’s not an explicitly jewish record. it’s about environmentalism, which is certainly a jewish value….but for this podcast, i stuck to explicitly jewish stuff. (besides, and now i’m going off on a tangent, i’m kinda over the respect-mother-earth reductive messages aimed at kids. kids are sanctimonious enough as it is. i wrote about that for tu b’shevat in the forward — yes, turning off the lights is great, but our kids also need to hear bigger-picture talk about industrial pollution and emissions, and pressing governments to do the right thing even if it makes our own lives harder and more expensive…and that’s a way less perky topic than “hey, kids, don’t litter!”)

Carol Ingall says:

Hi Marjorie–

I love the way you’re using the media…You inspire me as I obsess over my distance learning class for next semester.



Amy K. says:

oh goodness, thank you for affirming me. I’m sitting here guiltily looking at the still-unopened CD by Oy Baby! that came from the free Jewish book library. I fear it. I fear it greatly.

Jill Davidson says:

Excellent podcast! Off to download The Macaroons for my three coconuts.

Thanks so much for putting up this podcast. Very interesting opinion and information!

Deb Bogen says:

Thank you for your fine show. My family has been loving The LeeVees for years. They really hit the matzoh ball out of the park (sorry) The Macaroons just continues what they did before, smart, fun, musical and sooo catchy. Thank you Marjorie for playing and spreading the word about the good stuff.


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Family Singalong

Jewish music you and your kids can both tolerate

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