Jewish Hip-Hop And Reggae: Modern Jewish Prayer
Jonathan Gutstadt (Yo-natan) is a Jewish hip-hop artist who combines traditional Jewish song, prayer and liturgy with contemporary hip-hop beats and rhythms. He has led Jewish hip-hop prayer services and workshops at synagogues, day schools, summer camps, Hillels, and Jewish Community Centers across the country. Families, college students, teens, grandparents and children have all discovered a renewed enthusiasm for Jewish prayer and music through the “HipHopShabbat” experience. This program has already served 30 different Jewish organizations and the music has spread all around the world.
In 2004, Jonathan wrote and produced the “HipHopShabbat” CD. He made the album simply to honor the songs of his Jewish ancestors. Now, his vision is to bring his inspiring and educational Jewish hip-hop programs to the Jewish community. Yo-Natan believes that worship through music provides a meaningful channel for connection with G-d among people of all backgrounds. His vision is to rejuvenate Jewish prayer for the Jewish youth of today.
Highlights over the last 10 years include participating in the ROI Conference in 2009, as well as performances at the BBYO International Convention, Regional BBYO Convention (St. Louis), Craig Taubman & Friday Night Live (at Sinai Temple in LA), Stephen S. Wise Synagogue (LA), USC and UCLA Hillels, the To Life Festival (2005-2007) (Palo Alto, CA), Jewish Music Festival (2005, 2006) (Berkeley, CA) and the San Francisco JCC. “HipHopShabbat” has made headlines in the Jerusalem Post, San Francisco Chronicle, the Jewish Journal (LA), the J-Weekly (Bay Area), Daily Jews Online Magazine and the National Hillel Website.