Toronto Bar Mitzvah YouTube mashup goes viral
Fan-Yee Suen, CTVNews.ca
Published Monday, March 18, 2013 9:48AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, March 18, 2013 10:31AM EDT
Singing his own words to the familiar opening drum beats of Queen’s We Will Rock You, 12-year-old Torontonian Jorel Hoffert has become an Internet sensation with his online bar mitzvah invitation.
In the three-and-a-half minute video, seen more than 290,000 times since being featured on NBC’s Today Show, Hoffert borrows from Queen’s crowd pleasing stadium anthem, belting out lyrics like “I’m half a Jew, I learned Hebrew. Still half Asian, I’m proud of that.”
Hoffert, who is set to cross the ritual threshold into manhood on April 27, is also seen in the YouTube video showing off some serious air-guitar skills, playing the piano, and hitting the dance floor for an epic Gangnam-style finale.
“I thought it would be a fun way to, like, invite people to a bar mitzvah,” said Hoffert on CTV’s Canada AM. “My friends definitely like it. They think it’s pretty cool.”
Hoffert’s father David said the video, which also features himself, his wife, Jorel’s grandparents and his son’s piano teacher, was a family project originally sent out to about 130 friends and family.
“We put it on YouTube with private setting so that only our friends would know about it,” said David, who has produced recordings for the Beastie Boys and has been nominated for three Gemini Awards.
But after a week, the Hoffert family decided to post the over-the-top bar mitzvah invite on Facebook and since then the video has gone viral.
David said he was surprised by the reaction and jokes that he hopes his son’s bar mitzvah won’t become a “Brad and Angelina” style wedding event.
“We’re picturing helicopters, you know, with telephoto lens.”
David said the homemade video was shot with his son’s hand-held camera and did not take a lot of time. “We’d just do it like here and there. Five minutes, 10 minutes.”
Asked if he thinks he’ll become an Internet celebrity at school, Hoffert said “No, I think we’ve kind of moved on.”