The Shmooze

iTunes Classifies Jewish Music as Christian

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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It looks like iTunes must have been snoozing during Comparative Religions 101. The Jerusalem Post found that the world’s largest online music and video vendor doesn’t seem to know the difference between Jewish and Christian music. Or maybe it just doesn’t care.

The newspaper reported that it found most popular Jewish singers’ songs and albums were classified as “Christian and Gospel,” and that there was no separate category for Jewish music. Some Jewish songs were listed in the “World Music” section of the iTunes store.

Recordings by well-known Orthodox singers like Avraham Fried) and Mordechai Ben-David with words like “Yiddish,” “Jew,” “Shabbos,” and “Yom Tov” were classified as Christian. The same was reportedly the case with the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach’s “Am Yisrael Chai” song, Jewish children’s music, and some highly regarded cantorial tracks.

When the Post made Fried aware of the situation, the surprised singer definitely had something to say about it. He said it made no sense to categorize Jewish and Hasidic music as Christian. In trying to figure out a possible motive for this, he said, “I don’t understand where they are coming from and what the point is of doing this…I would hate to think this is an attempt to bury Jewish music under a Christian or Gospel label.”

Apple, on the other hand, had nothing to say about the matter.


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