Eli Wirtschafter (right) and father Josh in their family’s “Fiddler on the Roof” coronavirus parody video. (Screenshot/YouTube)
Eli Wirtschafter (right) and father Josh in their family’s “Fiddler on the Roof” coronavirus parody video. (Screenshot/YouTube)

‘Separatiooooon!’ — East Bay family’s ‘Fiddler’ coronavirus parody goes viral

“A seder on the Zoom — sounds crazy, no?” Eli Wirtschafter says at the beginning of his family’s coronavirus-inspired video parodying “Tradition!” from “Fiddler on the Roof.”

The original song’s triumphant refrain is replaced with “Separation!” and other classic lyrics are replaced with lines about making masks, teaching on Zoom and other timely references.

Since it was posted on April 11, the video has racked up 2,100 shares and 43,000 views on Facebook, and is approaching 61,000 views on YouTube.

We’d recap some of the best lines, but… well, just watch it for yourself:

The Schon Wirtschafter family, who are sheltering in place together in Berkeley, are all accomplished musicians.

In the video, “Papaaaaa” Josh sings and fiddles; “Mamaaaaa” Diane sings, dances and plays piano; “Studeeeeent” Rafael, home from college, sings and dances; and “Milleniaaaaal” Eli, a reporter and producer at radio station KALW who wrote the lyrics, sings and plays piano.

They first performed “Separation!” at two virtual seders. “We were hosting two seders on Zoom, so I felt like we should give people a good show,” Eli said.

Rafael, Eli and their sister, Marnina, who is sheltering in Los Angeles, all performed in “Fiddler” when they were kids, so it was a natural choice.

A previous year’s family Passover parody video circulated among friends and family. “But this time, it’s all over the world and people we don’t know are sharing it,” said Eli. “Our second cousins in Israel heard about it from a friend of theirs before we had even sent it to them.”

Not content to be left out, Marnina posted a response Monday in the form of her own video parody of another “Fiddler” classic, “Far From the Home I Love.” It currently has 8,800 views on Facebook and 1,400 views on YouTube

David A.M. Wilensky
David A.M. Wilensky

David A.M. Wilensky is director of news product at J. He previously served as assistant editor and digital editor. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @davidamwilensky