By Jill Fox

The four male choir members in one of Parkland’s most popular synagogues took to social media to share their excitement about returning to live services.

In just a few days, the music video where the men invite “everybody” to come to celebrate the high holidays at Congregation Kol Tikvah has garnered almost 1,000 views on social media.

“We sit in the back row, behind the women in the choir, so I thought ‘Back Row Boys, Back Street Boys’ and it sprung from there,” said Ellis Mass, a choir member for nine years who wrote the lyrics for the parody.

As a business coach and consultant, Mass said he’s the one in the group who wears the marketing hat, and he came up with the idea of the video for social media.

The other Back Row Boys are Laibel Block, a choir member for 11 years, Jay Gelfand for 12, and Larry Schwartz, for 23 years. The remainder of the choir comprises five women led by Cantor Arnold, who plans to retire in June after 21 years with Kol Tikvah.

Mass said the thought behind the video was simple. “We were really excited back in June or July when things were starting to look better, and we thought we would be able to come back in person,” he said.

The choir typically performs during the High Holidays and occasionally for Shabbat, but Kol Tikvah’s services have been virtual since the onset of Covid-19.

Mass said the video is bringing a smile to a lot of people’s faces.

“Hopefully, if they are on the fence about coming to services, it will inspire them to join us.”

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Author Profile

Jill Fox
Jill Fox
Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.

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