Wise wanted its students to connect more with Jewish history

Faculty members of Southern California’s Jewish Wise school decided to strengthen their students' connection with Jewish history with the help of a heavy metal video. The prestigious Bel Air school taught its students something more than humdrum Jewish history and Hebrew. They also received a lesson about two finger hand gestures, mullets, and leather pants. All these were made possible by Yoshi Zweiback, the senior rabbi of the school.

To accomplish his mission, the 48-year-old Zweiback gathered not only the school faculty and students but also a few of his famous music industry friends like Kenny Aronoff who at one time was the drummer for John Mellencamp. The collaboration produced a heavy metal song accompanied by a video. The song had two authors: Zweiback himself and his brother, a professional musician. The song chronicles the survival trait of Jewish people.

According to the rabbi, the song was actually written sometime back. It was simply sitting there, unsung, when Zweiback told his brother that they should record the song. The two also decided to make a video to go with it. The rabbi also decided not to make an ordinary video but with all the stops pulled out. The result is the energetic 80s vibe and big hair seen in the video. The rabbi was seen rocking in the video, with complete heavy metal makeup. The pictures show him making the devil invoking horn sign with his fingers. If someone complains about this, then the rabbi has a plausible excuse. The same finger sign is prevalent in Italian culture. This gesture was used to banish evil.

Zweiback, Aronoff along with a few others coated themselves with Gene Simmons look-alike makeup and pounded in front of cameras. Prominent among the participants were Nathan Lam, the cantor of the school.

Lam has previously worked as voice coach for the likes of Belinda Carlisle and the legendary Rod Stewart. The rabbi said the synagogue clergy played a majority of the parts. He added humorously that he gets to do lead vocals due to him being the senior rabbi and also for composing the song. The video was named Am Yisrael Chai: They Tried to Kill Us, We Survived, Let's Rock. It was posted on Facebook and YouTube on April 19.

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