About JDub

JDub was a not for profit that forged vibrant connections to Judaism through music, media, and events. Founded by Aaron Bisman and Ben Hesse, it operated a kick-ass record label whose music is now available through The Orchard. JDub operated from 2002 to 2012.

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    History of JDub (as best we remember it)

    Dec 8, 2002 - JDub’s first event: Zachor: A memorial concert for Ben and Marla; the Knitting Factory, NYC

    March 2003 - Co-founder Aaron Bisman begins 2 year Joshua Venture Fellowship for Jewish Social Entrepreneurs

    April 2003 - The first Unity Sessions event takes place; Opaline

    May 2003 - Kehilla: A concert to inspire community w/Sheva, Hadag Nachash, & Sagol 59; Tayellet Armon HaNatziv, Jerusalem

    Dec 3, 2003- Jacob Harris joins the staff, bringing the staff to 2 

    Dec 24, 2003 - The first Jewltide party; Southpaw, Brooklyn 

    July 1, 2004 - The Unity Sessions @ Celebrate Brooklyn w/Matisyahu, Mookie, Sagol 59, Tamer Nafer, and Kenny Muhammad; Brooklyn

    August 2004 - Matisyahu’s first appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live

    Oct 28, 2004 - Matisyahu’s debut, Shake off the Dust…Arise, is released

    March 2005 - Balkan Beat Box has their US premiere at S.O.B.’s for JDub’s annual Purim party. 

    April 2005 - JDub partners with EPIC for future Matisyahu releases; Live at Stubbs is released

    June 2005 - The Socalled Seder: A Hip Hop Haggadah is released

    Sept 2005 - Balkan Beat Box’s self titled debut is released 

    Dec 2005 - The LeeVees’ Hanukkah Rocks is released on Reprise/JDub

    March 2006 - Matisyahu’s Youth is released; Matis departs JDub  

    Aug 2006 - Golem’s Fresh Off Boat is released 

    Sept 2006 - JDub, along with Avoda Arts and the Foundation for Jewish Culture, launches the Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists 

    Nov 2006 - JDub produces Just For a Day concert with Guster & The LeeVees as part of Hillel International day of service; Los Angeles 

    June 2007 - Balkan Beat Box’s Nu Med & Socalled’s Ghettoblaster released

    Nov 2007 - Michael Showalter’s Sandwiches & Cats is released 

    Dec 2007 - JDub produced The 8, a simultaneous series of Hanukkah events around the world.  (watch the Harold & Kumar video)

    July 2008 - JDub celebrates its 5th Anniversary with events at Celebrate Brooklyn in NYC and Grand Performances in LA, and shows in Cleveland and Denver

    Aug 2008 - DeLeon’s self titled debut and Tomer Yosef’s Laughing Underground are released.  DeLeon tours with Ozomatli and Mike Gordon. 

    Feb 2009 - Golem’s Citizen Boris comes out. 

    April 2009 - The Sway Machinery’s Hidden Melodies Revealed comes out on CD and vinyl.

    May 2009 - JDub releases Hospital Blossoms by the Wailing Wall as a free download. 15,000 fans immediately download the record.

    Sept 2009 - JDub releases the debut albums of Girls In Trouble and Soulico (featuring Ghostface Killah, Rye Rye, Del, Lyrics Born, and Ceci Bastida).

    Oct 2009 - JDub announces that it has acquired Jewcy.com, the premiere online media outlet for young Jews.

    Nov 2009 - JDub Kids launches with the first release, Let’s Go Coconuts by the Macaroons.

    Dec 2009 - JDub announces a strategic partnership with Nextbook Inc. and its projects, Nextbook Press and Tablet Magazine.

    March 2010 - JDub launches JDub Digital, a new platform for the release of promising development projects via digital distribution.

    April 2010 - The first JDub Digital album is released, the Gangsta Rabbi’s DiKtatoR 17.

    June 2010 - The Wailing Wall’s second LP The Low Hanging Fruit is released.

    July 2010 - Monsters & Healers by Can!!Can is the second release from JDub Digital.

    Aug 2010 - Axum’s self-titled debut album hits the stores.

    Sept 2010 - Clare Burson, an artist under JDub management and a Six Points fellow, releases Silver & Ash on Rounder Records. The release catches the attention of the NY Times and NPR.

    Nov 2010 - JDub holds its first fundraiser, Festival of Strikes, in Brooklyn with comedian Eugene Mirman, and JDub artists the Sway Machinery, DeLeon and Soulico.

    March 2011 - The Sway Machinery’s record “The House of Friendly Ghosts, Vol. 1 featuring Khaira Arby” is released to much critical acclaim. The band launches a tour ending at SXSW.

    April 2011 - JDub Digital releases the self-titled album by Shotnez, a band featuring the founding members of Balkan Beat Box. The same day, JDub Digital releases “Sabbapath” as a free download.

    January 2012 - JDub sells its catalogue in its entirety to The Orchard.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 26th 2013

    Oral History of JDub Records

    Ten years ago, JDub Records was a collegiate pipe dream. By 2006, it was the single coolest thing in Jewish popular culture. Five years later, JDub Records ceased to exist.

    Even if you’ve never heard of JDub Records, you may have heard of the Hasidic reggae-rapper Matisyahu, their flagship artist. But the story is bigger than him.

    It’s the story of a scrappy start-up that broke all the rules, revolutionizing Jewish music over eight years and thirty-six albums. It’s the story of the savvy innovators and radical artists who shook up Jewish popular culture at the dawn of a new millennium.

    And who better to tell that story than the people who were there: the founders, the staff, and the artists. Nearly 20 JDub principals spoke to The Brooklyn Ink’s Daniel Arkin about their decade at the forefront of alternative music.

    An Oral History of JDub Records

    Posted on Tuesday, June 25th 2013