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MC Paul Barman’s Adult B-Mitzvah (and rap!)

This past year, we expanded the Lab/Shul’s Raising the Bar (RTB) program to include a full, year-long adult BM process for the first time! The guinea pig? MC Paul Barman, a virtuosic hip-hop impresario. The process? A year of learning with maven mentor Jon Adam Ross that included Torah study, Jewish history, religious rites and culture, Hebrew vocabulary, and theology. The result? An evening few will forget where Paul served as Maven as the Torah was read aloud for a congregation of his friends and family on stage at a music venue in Brooklyn. The script was in MC verse, the crowd was hip, the story deep and resonant, and the feeling jubilant. A 40 year old became a man this past Shabbat at the MC Paul Barmitzvah. And we at Storahtelling Lab/Shul couldn’t be prouder.

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photo by Brice Rosenbloom


-written by RTB Trainer, Jon Adam Ross
(see his B-Mitzvah wrap-up rap below)

Jon Adam Ross’ MCPaulBarmitzvah Tribute Rap

BMitzvahs are common
Many shuls every week
Host these rites of passage
Not hard to find if you seek

In a shul that is
But a food/music/bar venue?
I’d imagine a BMitzvah
Would not be on the menu

I’d be wrong

And not just any BM
But one hosted by an MC Maven
Who came of age at 40
And was inspired by Poe’s Raven

To serve as translator
of the biblical tale
Of Abe, Sarah, Isaac
Hagar and Ishmael

The work was strong

I had a front row seat, you see
Not just on stage at Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right
As the maven mentor on this MC’s journey
I watched him work hard day and night

To get the translation true
And connect it to his story
And communicate it to his world
Which he did in a blaze of glory

And ended with a song

I’ve been proud before of my trainees
Kids who are stepping up to take their place
In the long line of Jews
To get BM’ed on a dais

But nothing compares to the man who became a man
This past Shabbat, all rhymin’ and all charmin’
The crowd as they spiritually hugged him tight
On his bar mitzvah night – that prophet: Paul Barman.

A man now? Not just – this guy is King Kong.

For more information on the RTB Program, contact Naomi – [email protected]