Uncle Moishy and the Mitzvah Men
|Uncle Moishy and the Mitzvah Men|
Uncle Moishy and the Mitzvah Men is a Jewish American children's educational entertainment group based in New York City, featured in audio and video releases, as well as appearing live in concert. Their tapes, CDs and videos are sold in most Jewish music and Judaica stores.
Lead musician and singer Moshe Tanenbaum is a Hasidic Orthodox Jew who stars as "Uncle Moishy" who leads his "Mitzvah Men" in song and verse that expresses the observant religious lifestyle of Orthodox Judaism. They focus on the religious aspects of Judaism that most easily relate to young children, such as the laws of Shabbat, kashrut and the giving of charity, as well as the good deeds of Ethics of Our Fathers, such as helping others and being nice.
Uncle Moishy is not Tannenbaum's main occupation, and when not entertaining children, he works as a wedding and portrait photographer.
Characteristic songs are "Give a Little Tzedakah" and various tracks encouraging keeping kosher. For example, the following is an excerpt from one of his songs (sung partially to the tune of "Ten Little Indians"):
- Throw away your ham and bacon
- I won't eat it, you're mistaken.
- I'm a Jew and I'm not fakin'
- I eat only kosher.
- So every time you're in the market,
- Only get food with the kosher sign on it.
- It's good for me and its good for you
- And what do you know: Hashem loves it too!
The project began in Toronto, Canada in 1979, in conjunction with the Jewish Education Program. The original band members were Tanenbaum, Zale Newman, and Chaim Shainhouse; Newman played the role of Uncle Moishy on the early albums. Shainhouse left early on, though he composed for and sang on the first few albums. The group has produced 22 audio albums and 14 videos to date.
- Paramus Post August 28, 2008
- New York Times, August 27, 2000
- New York Times, March 10, 2000
- The Jewish Week, June 9, 2000
- New York Times, November 2, 2007
- Something Jewish, May 2, 2004
- Jewish World Review, July 7, 2004
- The Jewish Journal, July 10, 2003
- Stewart Ain, "New NCSY Chief: Lanner behind us", The Jewish Week, 11 July 2003.
- Official website
- Works by or about Uncle Moishy and the Mitzvah Men in libraries (WorldCat catalog)