By Ben Goldstein
Shalom shalom! Anachnu Ben v’Louis, two nebbishe boys from the mean streets of NW London.
I’d like to introduce our weekly student radio show with a slight twist: it’s all very, very Jewish. About as yiddish as Woody Allen transported to Tel Aviv, with a penchant for falafel, klezmer and the results of the Maccabiah Games.
The only non-Jewish bit of the whole endeavour is that our studio is in a city full to the brim of chapels, vicars and monks in robes: Oxford. The show goes out every Thursday evening at 7pm on Oxford University’s student radio station Oxide Radio. It’s called JewkboxOx (see what we did there?), and it’s really rather fun – at least for us.
Once a week, we get together to blast out Jewish tunes from around the world – Dire Straits, Lenny Kravitz, Ester Rada, Matisyahu, Haim, Drake and Hadag Nahash to name but a few. In between songs, we also do a nice bit of schmoozing.
You can hear our resident Zeyde give the answers to Jewish dilemmas as taxing as: ‘I was wearing a hoodie with Hebrew writing on it in the library and people were looking at it funnily – is that anti-Semitism?’
You can find out what’s been going on in the big leagues of Jewish Sunday football, and what’s been making headlines in the Jewish world. You can ever hear some pearls of wisdom from our new Jewish Thought for the Week feature.
And if it’s interviews you are after – then we will do our best: last week we featured both UJS President Joe Tarsh and NUS Sabbatical Officer Rachel Wenstone, and this week we chatted to French-Israeli reggae artist Michael Greilsammer who is performing at JW3 this Sunday.
All in all, it’s all a bit meshuggah and fits in perfectly with the Jewish scene here at Oxford, which is truly buzzing.
JSoc is rammed full with students keen to engage with their heritage – whether that be on a Friday night, at the copious lunch’n’learns, at the termly ‘Jewbilation’ sell-out parties or doing social action projects.
Jewish identity thrives and develops in an atmosphere that fosters a diverse range of Jewish expression – there are vibrant Orthodox and egalitarian minyanim, and a host of cultural and social activities.
It is partially this environment (alongside a healthy rivalrous desire not to be outdone by our Cambridge equivalent Hava Nagiggle) that led us to start up the show, but our obsession with things Jewish started before we entered the quads of Oxford.
We both come from the febrile Jewish youth movement scene: myself from RSY-Netzer and Louis from BBYO.
Louis, who is studying Geography at Brasenose College, is a renowned DJ in the alternative Oxford clubbing scene – as well as being an Oxford celebrity after running a successful chutzpahdik campaign in the elections for the Student Union President.
And myself? I study Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Lincoln College, and admit to having a terrible taste in “lamestream” music. Nevertheless, I have a love of Jewish tunes that was bred by a desire to appear cool on RSY-Netzer events.
If you want to get in touch, please do – we love hearing from everyone and anyone in the Jewish world. Tweet us @JewkboxOx, find us on Facebook and tune in live on Thursdays at 7pm at www.oxideradio.co.uk/listen-in.
And if you do, you’ll be making our neurotic Jewish mothers kvell like nobody’s business.
You’ll also get a shout-out, probably in some sort of Yiddish accent.
Click here to listen to JewkboxOx!