The Machon Le’Hora’ah has weighed in on a dispute about who owns the name “Uncle Moishy,” and who can perform the songs that the performer has sung for 40 years.
The Wikipedia entry for “Uncle Moishy and the Mitzvah Men” says that the group began in Toronto in 1975. The original members included Moshe Tanenbaum, Zale Newman and Chaim Shainhouse. Their first album, according to the website, was released in 1979.
With the trademark Hebrew letter mem affixed to his black fedora, Uncle Moishy has brought joy to children around the world ever since. Uncle Moishy and his Brooklyn-based production company, Suki & Ding Productions, have produced 22 albums and 14 videos.
But some time ago, Tanenbaum’s relationship with Suki & Ding soured, following a dispute over money and who owned the Uncle Moishy character. The case went to the rabbinical court.
In a ruling delivered last October and clarified in the last few weeks, the beis din found that while the songs and music of Uncle Moishy belong to Suki & Ding, both parties may use the stage name “Uncle Moishy.”
Tanenbaum then moved to another production company, Sonic Duo Productions, and continues to perform and record as Uncle Moishy.
Meanwhile, Suki & Ding found a new Uncle Moishy, Rabbi Yossi Berktin, a long-time Toronto children’s musician and entertainer who goes by the moniker “Rabbi B.”