In what can only be described as the biggest fraud in music history since the exposure of Milli-Vanili, reporters have confirmed that the Yeshiva University’s singing sensation known as The Maccabeats are nothing more than a well choreographed lip-syncing scam. Aside from their now infamous Youtube videos, the fourteen 20-something YU undergrads and alumni have fooled hundreds of concert goers with expertly timed lip coordination and expensive audio equipment.
The unexpected turn of events has broken the hearts of tens of thousands of Jewish girls across the world. Each depressed girl once hoped to end up marrying a Maccabeat in order to enjoy the soul-stirring beauty of his voice during weekly Shabbat Zemirot. Now, those dreams have all been dashed.
Rumors began to circulate about the group’s lack of authenticity around Chanukah time when the Maccabeats’ hit video “Candlelight,” was generating millions of views on Youtube while attracting media attention from around the world, both Jewish and secular. After several weeks of television news interviews and appearances, including several on major broadcast networks, those responsible for performing the vocal tracks associated with the Maccabeats decided it was time to stop hiding and step into the light.
As it turns out, the true voices behind the handsome faces and skillfully choreographed lip-syncing are a dozen older men who once belonged to the original Miami Boys Choir, founded in 1977 by Yerachmiel Begun in Miami, Florida.
“I was initially contacted by Chanina [Abramowitz], who is a fellow MBC alum,” Chezky Goldberger, one of the “Real Maccabeats,” said. “He told me they were looking for some guys with great voices who weren’t young enough to attract the maidelach anymore, but wanted to get their voices out there on the market again.” Chezky and his fellow “Maccabeats,” now in their mid-40’s, with beer bellies, receding hairlines and children in high school, were perfect for the part. “So I called up a few friends from my Miami days, and we began recording in the private studio in my basement. The rest, as they say, is history.”
“It’s definitely a strange thing,” remarked Yaakov Brickman, another one of the men behind the A Cappella phenomenon. “I wasn’t really sure we could pull it off, but Julian [Horowitz, the Maccabeat’s director] is extremely talented in coaching the art of vocal miming,” Brickman told Shades of Grey. “I still find it odd that I have girls my daughter’s age who swoon when they hear me singing the solo in ‘Aleinu’ or ‘Go the Distance.’ It’s really strange, yet fulfilling at the same time.”
The burgeoning scandal has rocked the entire YU world, most notably University President, Richard Joel. “I honestly had no idea the Maccabeats were phonies!” He declared, throwing his hands in the air with shock. “Had I only known I would be the only one really singing on their first album [From The Heights], I would never have agreed to sponsor the project with University funds or participate in it. I’ve been taken for a fool,” the forlorn President sighed in anguish. When asked about his son Nachum’s membership in the now-disgraced group, President Joel replied, “Nachum? I have no son by that name,” before slamming the door to his office. The interviewer reported hearing loud, exasperated sobbing and angry fist pounding coming from within shortly thereafter.
The former Maccabeats have withdrawn from public society since the scandal broke, though there are reports that there may be a pending lawsuit refuting the charges against them and suing for defamation of character. Their silence in the face of numerous interview requests is, unfortunately, a form of self-condemnation at best.
Goldberger and Brickman, along with their fellow “Real Maccabeats” have not yet announced any future albums or tour dates, but they briefly spoke about working on an upcoming video with Maccabeats video director, Uri Westrich.
“Uri is a very talented guy,” Goldberger said. “Knowing how great of a job he did vaulting those youngsters to stardom, we have high hopes he can pull off some sort of inventive camera angle or something that will let us look just as good on screen.”
“We can only hope that one day,” Brickman added with a smile and wink, “we can receive the recognition we deserve for all our hard work. In the meantime, I’m happy with all the re-directed fan mail, though the dozens of marriage proposals are beginning to drive my wife a little crazy.”