JUNE 21, 2018 – As the founder of Jammin’ With You! and the leader of Temple Tots at Temple Beth Shalom in Needham, Josh Shriber knows how to play nice with little kids and how to use music to boost their self-esteem and connect them to their faith.
When not writing and playing songs with his band, Josh & the Jamtones (who recently released “We Are One” on www.joshandthejamtones.com) or at the temple, Josh can get a little rambunctious. He recently went to Philadelphia to compete in season 10 of the popular TV athletic competition “American Ninja Warrior” and may appear on its broadcast later this month.
“They edit from 100 plus dudes down to 20 or so,” Shriber said, “so there’s no guarantee that I’ll be on.”
Even so, the dynamic performer is able to bring the energy and dedication it took to train for the show to everything he does.
The son of an educator who taught at Temple Emanuel in Worcester, Shriber was familiar with Jewish music from an early age.
“Jewish music was actually my entry point,” he said, recalling years at Jewish camps, the Jewish Community Center, and other spiritually supportive venues. “So when I got my first guitar at age 12, the service tunes from religious school were accessible and ultra familiar.”
Since then, Shriber has won wide acclaim for his Jewish and secular music, including top prize in the American Songwriting Awards and The John Lennon Songwriting Contest. His Jewish-themed “Jammin’ with Jew!” series has sold nearly 100,000 copies and is distributed by PJ Library. His animated musical film, “Bear Hunt,” has even been featured at Chuck E. Cheese.
So what does Shriber do for an encore? Run up 15-foot walls, of course.
“I started obstacle training about two years ago,” he said.
In addition to falling in love with the sense of achievement he enjoys as a warrior, Shriber also loves the community he has found, which includes his wife, trainer Patience Orobello.
“The progress is addictive,” he said, “especially when you start and can’t do anything.”
Moving forward, Shriber hopes to continue to bring that sense of achievement to others through his music and his muscle.
“We help each other learn new skills and continue to raise the bar for each other,” he said. “It’s awesome.”