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SJ Super 7

by: Leslie Bunder and Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2004-12-21

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani

The seven most amazing things you will discover in Jewish life and culture.  This week: Jewish wedding for EastEnders’ star Tracy-Ann Oberman, the most offensive episode of South Park ever, Jewish reggae star King Django and is this the world’s worst Jewish rap song?

1. EastEnders’ first Jewish wedding: EastEnders star Tracy-Ann Oberman has married the love of her life, music producer Rob Cowan. Oberman, who stars as the non-Jewish sounding Chrissie Watts in the BBC One soap, had a kosher wedding to Cowan – the happy couple had a chuppa at the Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square, London. “It was the happiest day of my life,” said Oberman, who tied the knot in a fur-trimmed wedding dress. Her new husband Cowan runs Point Blank, a music college and record label in London. The pair have been together for a year and announced their engagement in the Jewish Chronicle a few months ago. We’re looking forward to seeing the wedding pictures in the paper some time soon, but based on other people’s experiences, we may have a while to wait!

2. Best new Fiddler cover: Songstress Gwen Stefani pays tribute to the Topol classic If I Was A Rich Man on her new album Love, Music, Angel, Baby. Rich Girl is a funked-up version of the track, substituting ‘man’ for ‘girl’ and bringing the lyrics up to date. You can hear the track - and see the video - for yourself at: www.gwenstefani.com. Wonder if her half-Jewish husband Gavin “Bush” Rossdale, inspired her?

3. South Park blames the Jews…and we like it. One of the funniest, most offensive episodes of South Park ever has just aired on US TV. Woodland Critter Christmas tells the story of cute forest animals who are trying to spoil the festive season by bringing the Antichrist back to earth – and in order to do so they need a human host who has not been baptised. Cue South’s Park’s token Jew Kyle…our US spies tell us it’s a classic, and we hope Sky One show it very soon.

4. King of Jewish reggae: SJ’s favourite new Jewish reggae star is King Django, a multi-talented member of the tribe who blends ska, reggae and dancehall music with Jewish influences. His new album Roots and Culture is a corker, with a fine version of Oseh Shalom among others. For more info, visit his website: www.kingdjango.com

5. World’s worst Jewish rap: Just because you’re Jewish and have an interest in music, doesn’t mean you should take up rapping. Take the case of Joel Moss. While we respect his good intentions, his attempt to break into Jewish rap with A Bissel Rap, is just embarrassing, and brings back bad memories of Two Live Jews, who at least were a parody.

We hope this guy isn’t trying to take himself too seriously, because frankly random mentions of Jewish things to a backing beat do not a good rap make – the only relief is that he didn’t mention fishballs or knishes. Compared to the awesome Remedy of Staten Island and Israel’s mighty Subliminal, Joel’s force-fed Yiddishkeit is stunning in its awfulness. Joel also says he is set to work with one of SJ’s favourite Jewish groups, heavy metal outfit The Makkabees. Let’s hope that he doesn’t make their hard rock music into something that sounds like it was recorded for five-year-olds. Of course, that’s just our opinion and no doubt if we tried, we would be equally bad, but we’re not trying to be rappers.

Make your own mind up by hearing the track at: http://www.supermasterpiece.com/features/joel/bisselrap.html

6. London Producers’ triumphs: may have only opened in London a month ago, but Mel Brooks’ The Producers is already scooping the accolades. Last week the London Evening Standard crowned the Hitler romp Best Musical in its annual Theatre Awards. Nathan Lane and Lee Evans, who play the lead roles of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom accepted the award on behalf of the show.

7. Beasties’ kosher T-shirt Everyone’s favourite New York Jewish rap trio The Beastie Boys. are now selling their first ever kosher themed t-shirt. The new Challah At Your Boy (i.e Holler At Your Boy) T-shirts come in a range of sizes including the usual small, medium, large and extra large as well as toddler sizing. You can order yours from: http://www.beastieboys.com/store/