Every year in these (digital) pages, we love to cover high production value parody videos related to the Jewish holidays. But a recent video that came across our radar (and by that we mean, was sent to a member of our staff by a Jewish relative, of course!) proves that you really don’t need much to make an absolutely delightful holiday parody.
This Rosh Hashanah parody of “Oklahoma!” called, yes, “Roshklahoma!” comes to us courtesy of Congregation B’nai Israel in Sacramento, California. Led by soloist Robert Vann, and featuring lyrics by the congregation’s cantor, Julie Steinberg, it was simply shot in house, with its performers sitting comfortably (or standing, in Vann’s case) with lyrics and notes in hand. The costumes are mostly just what the performers were wearing that day, with some in the choir adding straw hats and cowboy shirts — Vann brought an excellent belt buckle.
As for props, the members of the choir simply wave green apples, wine glasses and jars of honey in the air. We hope they partook in them after the performance, because they certainly deserved to!
Truly, this very simple and silly parody is so pleasurable to listen to, we really don’t think we could’ve asked for anything more. The Rodgers & Hammerstein song makes for a perfect Rosh Hashanah parody beginning with, “Ro(oooooo)sh Hashanah, where the year comes sweeping to an end!” and including lyrics like, “In shul we will stay/ where we will pray/ and give our neighbor a big CHAI!”
Though maybe the best part is when the entire choir sings, “We know fresh green apples are in hand” and add a delightful “yum yum!” It’s so very sweet — which is really all you want in a Rosh Hashanah song.
This video already has over 400,000 views and was features on Broadway.com. Honestly, it’s very worthy of all the fanfare. Kol hakavod, Congregation B’nai Israel’s High Holiday choir! And shana tova to all.