“Jews on Vinyl,” an unusual museum exhibit focused on the recent Jewish past, has arrived at the Yeshiva University Museum after touring the West Coast for two years. The exhibit is a project of the Reboot Stereophonic non-profit record label, and is based on the 2008 book “And You Shall Know Us by the Trail of Our Vinyl: The Jewish Past as Told by the Records We Have Loved and Lost,” a glossy collection of over 500 vintage record covers collected over 15 years by guest curators (and Stereophonic Reboot founders) Josh Kun and Roger Bennett.
Unlike most museum exhibits, “Jews on Vinyl” is meant to be heard more than seen. Visitors choose from a handful of listening stations, impeccably set with period appropriate couches and chairs. Here they can sit and browse iPod playlists chosen by Kun and Bennett. Eartha Kitt singing “Sholem”? They have that. The Temptations doing a “Fiddler” medley? Yep. More versions of Hava Nagila than you dared imagine? Oh yes. Scattered on the listening station coffee tables are record covers representing some of the music featured on the playlists, as well as information cards with short blurbs about the artists and songs.