IsraelCast Episode 129
“So you value social justice, are you kiddin’ us, what the h*** gives you the right to tell us who’s indigenous?” This line, from Noah Shufutinsky (AKA Westside Gravy) “Diaspora,” is emblematic of his increasingly popular music: provocative, unapologetic in his identity, and has something meaningful to say. On this week’s episode of IsraelCast, host Steven Shalowitz sits down with Shufutinsky to discuss his mixed-race heritage as a black Russian Jew, how his rap music is both an extension of his identity and a platform to discuss real-world issues, and the importance of minority communities not being defined by outsiders, instead forging and maintaining their own unique identity.
Noah Shufutinsky is an acclaimed artist who operates under the stage name Westside Gravy. As a musician, he fuses his passion for Jewish culture and history with his lived experience of growing up Black and Jewish to write and produce hip hop. Through unapologetic songs like “Diaspora,” “Angry Black Man,” and “Yahud,” Westside represents his roots and illustrates the importance of using art to communicate the history of his people. Shufutinsky is a recent graduate of The George Washington University, where he was heavily involved in Jewish life and Zionist activism.
You can also hear more from Shufutinsky in Episodes 4 and 6 of Jewish National Fund‑USA’s Conversations on Zionism.