13 July 2011
JDUB and Aaron Bisman
When he went abroad to Hebrew University, he dove into the Israeli-Palestinian encounter through music, dee-jayed on mixed his own music, grew dreadlocks, faced the devastating loss of two dear friends in the brutal bombing atop Mount Scopus, and came back to New York with a singular dedication to build a dynamic memorial to friendship, a prayer for peace, and a boundless idea for new Jewish music, culture and social gatherings. His friend Matt became Matisyahu and JDUB Records was born.
Since JDUB announced the closing of its operations after a remarkably productive nine year run, the Jewish social media sites that Aaron helped pioneer to bring together countless young Jews in the altneuland of their own identity project have mourned this end, paid tribute, and wished Aaron and his staff the best of luck as they chart new waters. Aaron has been on every panel, in every cohort, a grantee of virtually every major fund for innovation in the Jewish community in the 21st century--basically flung around the world and back, around the world and back again, to speak to older leaders about the necessity for supporting the promise of a new generation's Jewish Identity Project.
Well before the age of 35, Aaron accomplished more than most in a much longer career--always with an unrestrained optimism, a depth of purpose, and his own spiritual model of living a life of Jewish religious integrity. In his spare time he founded Altshul, a thriving indie-minyan in Brooklyn, which we proudly host at CBE, and which sustains me personally whenever I have the privilege of praying with them.
I'll miss Aaron's parties--JDUB and Brooklyn Jews hosted those first Jewltides at Southpaw. But I have great faith in whatever next will be for my favorite Jewish dynamo.
Congratulations Aaron! You remain an inspiration.