Y.Shofario - Returning to Judaism, and then to groove and hip hop

How a nice Jewish young man from Baltimore rediscovered his Jewish roots and moved to Israel - but didn't give up his love for music.

Tags: Music
Yoni Kempinski ,

Y. Shofario
Y. Shofario
Yaal Herman

Yosef Packer, better known by his stage name, Y. Shofario, grew up in a traditional Jewish household in Baltimore, Maryland.

At the age of 16, he began playing the saxophone, and developed an interest in jazz.

After he went off to college in New Orleans, Packer joined a local music group, playing alongside veteran musicians. The group quickly became successful, playing at major venues in the area.

During his time in the group, Packer performed both as a rapper and a saxophonist.

Later, however, Packer stopped performing, concentrating instead on his law degree, and later, his work as an attorney.

A growing interest in his Jewish roots led him to lectures at a yeshiva, and later, to visit Israel. Packer ended up studying in Jerusalem’s Machon Meir yeshiva, before making Aliyah in 2006.

He combined with his Torah studies research into Jewish history, aspiring to weave the two into a series of novels aimed at conveying the central messages of Judaism.

For nearly a decade, however, Packer shelved his musical work, until he met and befriended a fellow musician.

“For almost a decade I didn’t do anything musically. My world was filled with Torah.”

“When I was working on the book project, I met a talented musician by the name of David Eda, who became a true friend and a collaborator with the music I was writing then.”

And so today Y.Shofario is back to music, but with a powerful Jewish message of faith and strength.