The hottest musical act on TikTok is a group of Jewish teenagers singing Orthodox pop songs in Hebrew

TikTok’s latest music craze has nothing to do with pop stars or top 40 hits. Instead, users are obsessed with a 2007 recording of a Jewish teenage choir singing an Orthodox pop song in Hebrew.

The now-adult members of the Miami Boys Choir said they are still trying to figure out their newfound viral fame.

The 15-year-old performance of the song “Yerushalayim” (which translates to “Jerusalem”) had been viewed on the platform more than 7 million times.

The clip spotlights four soloists — David Herskowitz, Binyamin Abramowitz, Yoshi Bender, and Akiva Abramowitz — who have quickly become sensations in their own right on the platform.

“No idea what they’re saying but David killed this,” one person wrote in the comments section of the video.

“[I don’t care] what anyone says, Yoshi sets the tone,” another wrote.

Another simply commented, “Kpop (kosher pop).”

The new fame was both hilarious and completely unexpected for the soloists in the original video.

“We’ve never been so recognized before. It’s fascinating,” Abramowitz said. “The fact that everyone in the world likes it even if they don’t understand the language…I’m trying to understand.”

Abramowitz, 24, and Herskowitz, 27, both joined the choir around age 9 and left at age 14.

They said they weren’t on TikTok before the viral video took off and instead learned how big it had become from friends and family who texted them saying they were TikTok celebrities.

“I hadn’t seen that video of myself in probably 10 years, so it was really funny to see it,” Herskowitz said.

The video was posted on August 21, but its popularity only started to explode over the past week. By Wednesday, more than 6,600 videos had used the audio of “Yerushalayim”.

Herskowitz has since created an account, where he posted a few Miami Boys Choir-themed videos. Abramowitz said he created an account but hasn’t posted anything yet.

The Miami Boys Choir was founded in 1977 by Yerachmiel Begun in Miami Beach, Florida. He then moved to New York, although he retained his original name. Dozens of her performances are available on YouTube and the choir’s website. The group also releases an album every year.

The group organizes events around major Jewish holidays and national and international tours – although touring has come to a halt during the coronavirus pandemic.

Begun’s son, Chananya Begun, launched the Miami Boys Choir’s TikTok account just over two months ago.

“I said to him, ‘Dad, we have to go on TikTok. … There’s a chance, no one knows for sure, but there’s a chance something crazy will happen,'” Chananya Begun recalled in telling his father.

He said he thinks the choir could become a TikTok sensation because orthodox pop is “extremely real and authentic and deep…and it’s an extreme pursuit of excellence.”

The original video became so popular on the platform that some even bought the full version.

Currently, the 2007 choir members have no concrete plans to reunite, they said. But some of them, who said they hadn’t been in contact for many years, formed a group chat and said they were interested in getting together – perhaps to do some social work. new music.

Herskowitz released a song he wrote, produced and sang called “You” on TikTok. Abramowitz, who is in residency to become a gastroenterologist, said he sometimes sings with his brothers but considered making music a bigger hobby after the overwhelming response to the 2007 video.

“I think maybe I’ll focus a bit more on the music and show people, if they really want to see it, what I might have to offer,” Abramowitz said, adding that he was considering uploading. music on his new TikTok account.

Herskowitz said there was an added beauty in the nostalgic video’s virality: seeing it being received positively, with very few anti-Semitic comments.

“There’s so much hate out there and so much negativity and so much difference in the world,” Herskowitz said. “And seeing people come together and love something positive, pro-Israel and pro-Judaism, I think that was so good, and it really blew my mind.”

CORRECTION (September 29, 2022, 12:30 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article mistranslated the title of a song. “Yerushalayim” means “Jerusalem”, not “Jerusalem of gold”.

About Michael S. Montanez

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