Einstein Med Student Strikes Hanukkah Hit With Maccabeats A Capella Group

December 10, 2010 – (BRONX, NY) – Their music video is a viral hit on YouTube. They've been featured on The Today Show and CNN. Their work has been compared to Adam Sandler's “The Chanukah Song.”

Joshua Jay, medical student
Joshua Jay, medical student
The Maccabeats, an a cappella group made up of 14 current students and alumni of Yeshiva University, has made a big splash with their Hanukkah song “Candlelight,” a reworking of the Mike Tompkins a cappella version of Taio Cruz's “Dynamite.” With lyrics about making latkes and spinning dreidels, the song is a tongue-in-cheek presentation of the group's earnest celebration of the holiday.

Joshua Jay, a first-year medical student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and a member of the Maccabeats, has been taking his new celebrity in stride.

“It's been a whirlwind,” said Mr. Jay. “It's great that the song has caught on, but it was totally unexpected.” Balancing the demands of medical school with media appearances has been a challenge. “I'm in anatomy class one minute and on 'The Early Show' the next. It's been a bit surreal.”

The Maccabeats, which formed in 2007, had a more modest hit with a cover of Matisyahu's “One Day.” Yeshiva University President Richard Joel appeared in the video and sang on another song on the album. The group also released a CD of 12 songs last March called “Voices from the Heights.” They will continue to write and record music and perform live, including at a concert on December 26 in the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College.

As for Mr. Jay, he’s just relieved Hanukkah is over. “Now I can concentrate on studying for finals.”