The Shmooze

Bob Geldof Re-Booting 'Do They Know It's Christmas' For Ebola

By JTA

Getty Images

Musician and philanthropist Bob Geldof, who in 1984 inspired a generation of rock stars to record a charity single for Africa, will raise money to combat Ebola with a new version of the song.

Geldof, frontman for Irish new wave band The Boomtown Rats, pulled together the Band Aid supergroup for “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” three decades ago to help those affected by famine in Ethiopia.

Geldof confirmed at a conference in London that the song would be re-recorded. The new line-up is expected to include boy band One Direction and singers Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, British media reports said.

The original song, which raised 8 million pounds ($11 million), featured some of the era’s biggest acts including U2’s Bono, George Michael and David Bowie. It has been re-recorded twice in 1989 and 2004.

Geldof co-wrote the song with Ultravox singer Midge Ure. It topped the charts in 1984 and sold millions of copies, with proceeds going to Ethiopian famine relief.

They followed it up with Live Aid in 1985, a transatlantic concert that raised an estimated $100 million for Ethiopia.

Ebola has killed 4,950 people out of more than 13,000 infected since it broke out in West Africa earlier this year, according to the World Health Organization, mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia an

Read more


How Jennifer's Bat Mitzvah T-Shirt Ended up in Africa

By Adam Soclof

(JTA) — While reporting on the phenomenon of T-shirts originating in the U.S. and winding up in Africa, NPR Planet Money recently turned up a Bat Mitzvah T-Shirt in Nairobi and asked for help tracking down the owner.

What we Know: Jennifer’s Bat Mitzvah was on November 20, 1993. The theme may have been cartoons. And there’s a nametag in the shirt labeled Rachel Williams.

After some Facebook sleuthing — and pinging the wrong Rachel Williams a couple of times — I finally got in touch with Rachel Aaronson, who led me to Jennifer. Interviews with both below.

Read more


Bono Says to Think About Africa This Sukkot

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images
Children line up for a meal in Mogadishu, where more than 100,000 people have fled to to seek help from a severe drought that has hit Somalia.

Bono would like Sukkot observers enjoying their bountiful meals in the sukkah to take a moment from their celebration to think about famine in Africa. ONE, the grassroots advocacy organization that the U2 musician founded to fight poverty and preventable disease in Africa, has put out a special Sukkot 2011 guide to educate people on the issue and its relevance to the Jewish harvest festival.

The 5-page booklet was written by Marc Friend, who works for American Jewish World Service in its advocacy department and who was recently an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. It provides some basic background on the rituals, traditions and religious texts of Sukkot, as well as useful statistics about the situation on the ground in the Horn of Africa and resources for further learning about food justice.

Read more



Would you like to receive updates about new stories?






















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.