Tired of all those upbeat, cheery “Happy” videos that have been circulating on social media this past year? Well, then you might want to check out “I Fink U Jewish,” a new parody video released last week by the Gardens Shul in Cape Town, South Africa.
This video is lively, but not in the same way as Pharrell Williams’ ubiquitous bouncy anthem. A riff on the out-there “I Fink U Freeky” by South African rave group Die Antwoord, “I Fink U Jewish” has a real edgy vibe going on.
It might be a good idea to check out the Garden Shul’s version first, because if you decide to start with the original video, you may be so grossed out that you’ll never move on to the Jewish one — which is thankfully not disgusting at all.
“If you take out the grossness and swearing, there are some core ideas and content that are relevant,” said Choni Goldman of the song that inspired him and others to make the “I Fink U Jewish” parody. Goldman, the congregation’s cantor, is also a singer known as Choni G. He’s the guy you see singing in the video.
Just as there are many types of freaks, there are also many types of Jews. And just as all freaks share a commonality, so do all Jews.
“All Jews have one essence, one core. We need to work for a sense of Jewish unity,” said Goldman.
When the song by Die Antwoord came out in 2012, one of Goldman’s friends told him he thought it lent itself to a good parody. It took two years, but the friend finally convinced Goldman to write the “I Fink U Jewish” lyrics, which are punctuated by the chorus of, “I am Jewish and I like it a lot” (as you might have guessed, “freeky” takes the place of “Jewish” in the original).
According to Goldman, 30, the Gardens Shul occasionally puts out videos, and it decided to release this one at the New Year as a message of unity for the global Jewish community. The synagogue’s young lay leadership, as well as its young rabbi, Osher Feldman, were instrumental in getting the video made. (Feldman happens to be Goldman’s brother-in-law.)
The rabbi and some of the other young leaders can be seen bopping around in the black and white video, along with members of the congregation of various ages, and the wider Cape Town Jewish community.
The clip was filmed in and around the Gardens Shul, also known as the Cape Town Hebrew Congregation, which was founded in 1841 and is the oldest Jewish congregation in South Africa. Its building is a historic landmark located on a community campus that houses a number of other community institutions, including the South African Jewish Museum and the Cape Town Holocaust Center.
The 173-year-old congregation obviously has staying power, and based on 13,533 views on YouTube in the last week, it seems this eerily catchy video might have some, too.
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