Happy (almost) New Year! It’s Josh of “Josh and the Jamtones” here with my very own “Jammin’ with Jew!” playlist for Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot. The Jewish New Year is such an exciting time—it’s the beautiful season of autumn, back to school (secular and religious), and a time to start fresh with new goals and new music! Now, just so you know, I waded through thousands of CDs, podcasts, playlists, cassette tapes and records to create this list. Endless hours of listening and intense analysis brought me to this moment. This is to be taken seriously. OK, ¾ seriously. Fine, it’s just for fun…serious fun. Here are my top five Jewish New Year and Sukkot songs…EVER!

No. 5: “L’shana Tova” by Josh and the Jamtones

created at: 2013-08-22L’shana tovah tikatevu. Say happy, happy new year, happy new year to you!” This is a fun track off our second Jamtones release, “Jammin’ with Jew!” It’s a pretty sweet reggae/ska jam and is sure to get you excited for the New Year. We are so fired up that this CD will be distributed nationwide through the PJ Library this winter! So if you’re four years old or live with a 4-year-old, look for this CD at your door in December if you subscribe to the program.

No. 4: “Shofar Blast” by Peter and Ellen Allard

“I love to hear the shofar blast! Sometimes slow and sometimes fast!” I learned this one for a High Holidays family service last year, and all the kids were going crazy. Peter and Ellen are Worcester natives and rock out at tot Shabbats nationwide! They also have about a thousand great secular albums for preschoolers, so check them out.

No. 3: “Under the Sukkah” by Julie Silver

“Can you see the gourdes of yellow, green and red? How I love to see the cranberries swingin’ above your head?” This magical remake of “Under the Boardwalk” is just plain awesome. Julie Silver fun fact: besides the fact that she’s awesome, she was once my babysitter! In her college days, Julie led songs at my religious school, where my mom was the principal. Julie is the coolest song-leader on the block and had an early influence on me. She is the definition of engaging.

No. 2: “Rosh Hashanah Rock Anthem” by Aish.com

C’mon, you have to admit this video is pretty darn funny! The formula for YouTube success is pretty obvious: get a bunch of Orthodox Jewish men together to cover a silly pop tune and BAM! But it’s not that easy; you also need to know how to break-dance/street dance really well. These guys are killin’ it, Rosh Hashanah-style.

No. 1: “Creation Song” by Josh and the Jamtones

“Thank you, God, thank you, God, oh, what a beautiful world!” I wrote this song a few years ago while preparing for a Rosh Hashanah service. At the time, I couldn’t find any songs that taught the days of creation. I wrote it as an “add on” song so it repeats itself a lot, making each day easy to remember. This song comes alive when sung with a large congregation, as each day has fun hand movements and moves fast. This song is also featured on our CD.

Josh Shriber loves music and kids. He received his first guitar for his 13th birthday and began teaching himself to play from songbooks of his favorite musicians. After graduating from Wheaton College, Josh began teaching piano and guitar lessons, as well as song-leading in Boston-area synagogues, before starting his band and the Jammin’ With You! music school.

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