Meet the real rabbi who starred in Drake’s controversial new music video

Ari Sitnik, a computer specialist and rabbi in Toronto, found himself starring in the internet’s most popular music video without realizing what he was getting into.

For the past 20 years, Ari Sitnik has taken small acting gigs on the side in Toronto. But nothing compared to two weeks ago, when he got a call to show up at the Royal York Hotel for the top-secret filming of Drake’s new music video, “Falling Back”.

The video shows a lavish wedding featuring Drake getting married to 23 Instagram models. Sitnik, as the officiant, appears right at the beginning, clad in his own actual ultra-Orthodox outfit, asking the betrothed if they will act “according to our values and traditions.” He then pronounces them “man and wives.”

Today on The CJN Daily podcast, you’ll meet the real Sitnik, the father of four who works as a computer specialist, who doesn’t call himself “Rabbi Sitnik,” who was born in Brazil before moving to Canada—and who isn’t too worried about Jews criticizing his portrayal of our religion for what is currently the most popular (and controversial) music video on the internet.

Listen and subscribe to The CJN Daily above.

Watch Drake’s latest music video with a real rabbi in it (he’s from Toronto).

What we talked about:


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Victoria Redden is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.