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Museum Musings

9.28.17: Rapping through Jewish history

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How can you condense 360+ years of American Jewish history in a fun, memorable way? NMAJH Board Member Alec Ellison took on the challenge with this Hamilton-style rap. Watch the below video, then try to rap it yourself! Let us know if you're able to master the lyrics in a comment. Now we just need someone to beatbox...


American Jewish History Rap
By Alec Ellison

An ancient people from the land of the Bible;
Who knew first hand about exile and survival.
Like others, they came here to realize their dreams;
For liberty and freedom from oppressive regimes.

The #1 founding father - I'm talkin' George Washington;
Gave a big veto to persecution!
"To bigotry no sanction," he emphatically said;
Now.....Jews in America knew they could get ahead!

First came the Sephardim - Jews exiled from Spain;
Ashkenazim from Germany, Poland, Russia, Ukraine.
Most came with little 'cept ambition and their brains;
Their religious tradition they fought hard to maintain!

Across America they spread far and wide;
Though many got their start on the Lower East Side.
In fields quite diverse they made huge contributions;
In medicine and science, they found new solutions.

Levy, Lazarus, Lauder, Streisand, Szold, SoloMON;
Brandeis, Berlin, Bernstein, Gershwin, Gompers, Grove, PerlMAN,
Einstein, Dylan, Roth, Rothko, Heschel, SchneerSON;
Kissinger, Koufax, Ginsburg, Sarnoff, Spielberg, LieberMAN!

Changed film, finance, and fashion - for polio found two cures;
Strauss, Dell, Schultz, Page, Brin, Zuckerburg - and other entrepreneurs.
Three centuries and counting - it's one amazing story;
Time now to learn more 'bout their challenges and glory...

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