Reuben Formey serves as the gabbai, the person who calls on congregants for aliyot, during services at Chevra Ahavas Yisrael (Chabad of Toco Hills), but he is best known for the music he performs under the name Prodezra Beats.
He moved to Toco Hills from Alpharetta and became one of the founding members of his shul. When a woman approached him about her daughter, who was becoming more observant but still wanted to listen to hip-hop, he began to understand his role in the Jewish community.
“She said my music was a really great transition with something positive to say,” Formey said. “I think people like because it’s not corny and it has the same style as regular hip-hop.”
In 20 years he hopes the Messiah will have arrived, but at the least he hopes to have greater success musically. “I want to be able to touch people’s lives and possibly be playing with my grandchildren.”
For now, he’s happy to be considered a young, vibrant part of the community.
“There’s a lot of things we can do to inspire each other. It’s a positive sign that people are inspired. Being under 40 is great, and we should take advantage of every moment.”