"Say It Loud, I'm Jewish and I'm Proud" could be Yom Hadash's theme song since the quartet makes no bones about their strong beliefs (Yom Hadash means "it's a new day" in Hebrew). Kansas City Jewish Journal reporter Mike Levine calls them "the fab four of Jewish music." The Boston, MA group blends Jewish texts and ideas with modern rock, blues, and punk -- spiritual music with a Jewish twist. Yom Hadash attempts to get young Jewish people excited about the music in hopes to reconnect them to the synagogue.
The group was founded by brothers Jon and Josh Nelson. Jon sings lead, plays bass and guitar and also works as a youth director for a conservative Jewish synagogue in Chestnut Hill, MA. In addition, he graduated from the University of Massachusetts and Cambridge College with a Masters in Education. Josh assists his brother with songwriting and sings lead, plays bass and keyboards. He works outside of music as a youth advisor and Hebrew school teacher. Joining the Nelson brothers is Dave Lefkowitz, who plays drums, percussion, and shines on backing vocals. He graduated from Berkley College of Music where he majored in Music Production and Engineering. He has produced and provided engineering services to many recording artists in the Boston area and owns the Renaissance Recording Co., located in the heart of Boston. Furthermore, he also composes material for the band. Adam Dehner counts as the final member of the quartet, having attended Hebrew school and played together in various bands with Jon and Lefkowitz throughout high school. Dehner plays guitar, is a strong vocalist, and is committed to his Jewish heritage. His addition molded Yom Hadash into a tight unit.
The exciting band's first recording was a limited, 1,500-print edition three-song demo. They keep a busy schedule -- appearing at mostly Jewish venues across the country such as the Yom Ha-Atzmault Community Celebration in Houston, TX, the CAJE Conference at Hofstra University in New York, the Israel 50th Jubilee, on Boston Common, and Temple Shir Tikva in Wayland, MA. They released a full-length, 12-song CD in 1997 entitled When We Were Young.~ Andrew Hamilton