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February 07, 2003 - Image 101

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-02-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Eighteen performs at Temple Shir Shalom in West Bloomfield Friday and Saturday,
Feb. 7-8.

includes Nichols on guitar, Mark
Niemiec on drums and Aaron
Hatmaker on bass.
All of them sing.
"The other guys are non-Jewish,
but they love what we're bringing and
how we're bringing it," Nichols says.
"We want to present Jewish ideas
and values through where [our listen-
ers] are at in pop culture," he says.
"We're promoting Jewish identity
and the pride of being a human
being, and trying to make Judaism
cool."
To this end, the band considers
itself on the cutting edge of the
music scene, melding prayer and
English and Hebrew lyrics with a
sound similar to bands like Third
Eye Blind and Barenaked Ladies.
"More cerebrally, we are influenced
by the message of Israel's first rabbi,
Rav Kook, who spoke about making
the old new and the new holy. That
is what we want to do."

Shir Shalom: Ready To Rock

"[Dan's] incredible. He could be an
incredible cantor," says Rabbi
Michael Moskowitz of Temple Shir
Shalom. "He's as genuine as can be,
warm, welcoming, inviting; what you
see is what you get. And he gives a
great 'sermon in song.'"
Rabbi Moskowitz should know. He's
known Nichols since 1985, when they
were both counselors at Goldman
Union camps in Zionsville, Ind.
Over the years, the rabbi has
brought Nichols to the temple for
the High Holidays, youth retreats

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and religious school events. He's even
written songs with him.
"Dan was coming in for our
Madrichim program, which had the
theme "B'tzelem Elohim." So I said,
`Lees write a song about it.' I later
found out he gave me co-writing
credit on that and some other songs
we worked on," the rabbi says.
"A lot of what we are doing is com-
pletely new," Nichols says. "Those
who come to hear us should expect a
high-energy experience, a participa-
tory rock show that makes no apolo-
gies that it is a rock concert and no
apologies that it is Jewish."
That makes sense to Rabbi
MoskoWitz.
"As a rabbi, any way you can get
people to connect Jewishly is worth-
while. Teens get it. But there have
been 70-year-olds in the congregation
who come forward to buy the CDs."
The local appearances of Dan
Nichols and Eighteen are supported
by the Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit's Artists in
Schools program.
Learn more about Eighteen and
hear the band's music at
www.jewishrock.corn.

Dan Nichols and Eighteen per-
form at Shabbat services 7:30
p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, and at a
Havdalah rock concert 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 8, at Temple Shir
Shalom in West Bloomfield. Both
performances are free and open to
the community. (248) 737-8700.

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