Idan Amedi was discovered in the eighth season of the Israeli show “A Star is Born” (Kokhav Nolad) and, in a short period of time, managed to conquer the Israeli charts with songs such as “Soldier’s pain,” “Tashlich,” “Running to the light,” and “to you.” His singles have won “Song of the year” and “Breakthrough act of the year.”
Here’s a couple of videos of his hits, Bazman Ha’Acharon and Nigmar:
Legendary American Jewish actress and singer Barbra Streisand will receive an honorary doctor of philosophy degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem next month.
The university said it is honoring Streisand “in recognition of her professional achievements, outstanding humanitarianism, leadership in the realm of human and civil rights, and dedication to Israel and the Jewish people.”
Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, president of the Hebrew University, stated, “Barbra Streisand’s transcendent talent is matched by her passionate concern for equality and opportunity for people of every gender and background. Equally important, her love of Israel and her Jewish heritage are reflected in so many aspects of her life and career. We are deeply proud to honor an individual who exemplifies these values which we at the Hebrew University share and uphold.”
Streisand established the Emanuel Streisand Building for Jewish Studies on the University’s Mount Scopus campus in 1984 in memory of her father, whom she praised as “a teacher, scholar and religious man who devoted himself to education.”
Referring to her 1983 award-winning movie, “Yentl,” she said she was pleased that women could now “pursue Jewish studies without having to disguise themselves as men.” The film, which she directed, produced, and co-wrote, had its Israeli premiere in 1984 under the sponsorship of the Israel Friends of The Hebrew University.
Streisand will sing publicly for the first time in Israel when she visits next month and performs in two concerts. The personal highlight of her trip will be the performance on the opening night of the Israeli Presidential Conference at the Jerusalem International Convention Center June 18.
Two years ago, Streisand appeared in a program on behalf of the welfare of soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, raising $12 million.
Born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn in 1942, she lost her father when she was just a child. While still in her teens, she launched her career as a singer by initially winning a singing contest. At age 19, Streisand made her Broadway debut, and in 1962 she issued her first album, which quickly became the top-selling record by a female vocalist in the United States.
By age 28, Streisand had already earned five of the entertainment industry’s most prestigious awards – the Grammy, Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe, making her an icon of American culture and an international favorite.
The honorary degree from Hebrew University will not be her first. Streisand holds an Honorary Doctorate in Arts and Humanities from Brandeis.
Streisand once sang the Israel national anthem, taking the stage at the conclusion of the 1978 Stars Salute Israel show.
A YouTube video of her rendition can be seen below.
I had the pleasure of seeing the band Shotei Hanevuah (Fools of Prophecy) perform live during my first and only trip to Israel prior to making aliyah, and I’ll likely forever associate their sound – a fusion of dub reggae, hip-hop, dance and eastern Mediterranean music – with the magical time when I first fell in love with Eretz Yisrael.
Here’s a very raw live version of their hit song “EinAni,” performed in front of an IDF unit in 2012.
The Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte-Carlo will perform a “Violins of Hope” concert in Monaco featuring
Several violins of Jewish Holocaust victims murdered by the Nazis
The concert will be held May 5 at Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum, and the stories of their owners will be told, according to a report in the Nice, France Matain daily.
The idea was initiated by Smadar Eisenberg, president of Friends of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte-Carlo association, who obtained the instruments from the atelier of Amnon Weinstein – an Israeli violin maker who for years has been collecting and restoring musical instruments belonging to Holocaust victims.
The life stories of the instruments’ owners will be told during the concert along with other biographies of musicians who lived through the Holocaust, including that of Alma Rosé, a conductor of the Auschwitz women’s orchestra and niece to the composer Gustav Mahler.
Additionally, homage will be paid at the concert to Hans Krasa and Gideon Klein – two Jewish musicians who continued to compose until their deaths in the Nazis’ gas chambers.
All proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Hebrew University’s neurology research center.
Idan Raichel burst on to the Israeli musical scene in 2003, inviting collaborations from artists of multiple ethnicities and singing in languages as diverse as Spanish, Arabic, Amharic and Swahili. The resulting highly evocative music – blending African, Latin American, Caribbean and Middle Eastern sounds – made Raichel one of his country’s biggest musical breakthroughs.
Here’s a live version of his 2010 hit song “Mima’amakim” (Out of the depths).
Mosh Ben-Ari was born in Afula, Israel in 1970 to a Yemenite mother and an Iraqi father. Though he first discovered music through the traditional ethnic chants that were part of his everyday life, he eventually went on to study music formally throughout the world in places such as India and in the Sinai and Sahara deserts.
In 1997 Ben-Ari founded the world music ensemble “SHEVA” with band members who had Muslim and Jewish backgrounds, and, in 2001, began his solo career, writing music with a blend rock, soul, reggae, and world music.
Here is Ben-Ari in a live performance of his hit song, “Jah is One.”
Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters has declareed that a boycott of Israel is the “way to go”(“Roger Waters Calls For Boycott Of Israel,” Rolling Stone, March 20,2013). This statement is distressing not only because his numerous accusations leveled against the state are based on falsehoods, but are inflammatory as well. As members of the entertainment industry, we question Mr. Waters’ misinforming his fans in a way that only triggers further hostilities while continuing to dampen hopes for peaceful dialogue in the Middle East.
Mr. Waters blatantly condemns Israel, yet ignores the facts. Israelhas never practiced or enforced racial segregation. As the sole democracy in the Middle East, Israel has always encouraged and legally enabled the integration of Arab peoples into all aspects of Israeli life. Arabs have been elected to the Knesset in every election since Israel’s founding and the Israeli Supreme Court guarantees all Arabs equal rights and full protection under the law.
The recently crowned Miss Israel was born in Ethiopia and quoted Martin Luther King in her acceptance speech! “There are many different communities of many different colors in Israel, and it’s important to show that to the world,” said the new Miss Israel.
Also consider that Israel has already elected a female prime minister, LGBT Israeli soldiers have the right to serve openly in the military, and married LGBT couples are ensured full adoption and inheritance rights. In fact, Israel’s official policies are often more advanced than America’s in promoting and supporting freedom of religion, women’s rights and gay rights, none of which exist in their neighboring nations or states.
Mr. Waters also proclaims his outspoken support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a frequently vilified organization that fundamentally questions Israel’s very right to exist. Even political author-activist Norman Finkelstein – a noted advocate of the Palestinian cause – has branded the movement “a hypocritical, dishonest cult” and said in a recent interview that BDS is “not really talking about rights. They want to destroy Israel.”
One-sided cultural embargos such as those advocated by Mr. Waters are an affront to both Palestinian and Israeli moderates who seek peace. We too wish for a resolution to the complicated Palestinian-Israeli situation, and believe that the unique connection between artist and fan is part of the solution. Music can reflect politics, but should never be disingenuous.
Mr. Waters should remember that music is our shared language, one that transcends dialects of hatred. Fans are the same everywhere in the world, and today many of Roger Waters’ fans are severely disappointed that he chose the words he did instead of those spoken on the same day by President Obama: “The United States of America stands with the State of Israel because . . . it makes us both stronger. It makes us both more prosperous. And it makes the world a better place.”