Beware of falling sukkahs and flying lulavs in a fun holiday video by Rogers Park, newcomers to the Jewish holiday parody song genre.
It’s hard to resist the foot-stomping rhythm, sweet vocal harmonies and good-hearted humor of “Sukkah’s Falling,” a riff on The Beatles’ “I’ve Just Seen A Face.”
Rogers Park is Yosef Peysin and Mordy Kurtz, 22-year-old lifelong friends who named their band after the Chicago neighborhood where they grew up in the Chabad community. The two recently received rabbinical ordination and work in outreach and programming at the Chabad House on the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois.
The duo recorded the song in June, before Peysin went to Israel for an Orthodox Union-sponsored Birthright Israel trip and some time studying at a Yeshiva in Safed. In the early fall, they reconvened on the university’s campus and teamed up with filmmaker Mendel Katz on producing the video.
Katz brought popular Hasidic comedian Mendy Pellin in on the project. The funnyman plays an ever-patient campus rabbi trying every which way to introduce and explain the customs of Sukkot to students. Collapsing sukkahs do not deter him from his mission.
“Sukkot is a lesser-known holiday. We chose to do something that had tremendous potential to make people aware the holiday was coming,” Peysin said of the video, which has had 27,740 views since being uploaded to YouTube on September 30.
“People seem to love the video,” he said. “We hope this translates in to more awareness of the holiday and more familiarity with Sukkot traditions.”
As Jewish outreach professionals, he and Kurtz are also optimistic that the parody song will bring more young people out to Chabad House events at the University of Illinois, as well as on other campuses.
Peysin reported that as a result of “Sukkah’s Falling,” Rogers Park has gotten calls offering gigs around Chicago, and also in New York.
“Sure, it’s a taste of stardom, but now we need to figure out how to afford another video,” Peysin said.
“And we’d like to do a full-blown Hanukkah tour along the East Coast.”