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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘talent’

Singing Haredi Brothers’ Star Keeps Rising (Video)

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

The Haredi Gat Brothers, Aryeh and Gil, have become the first act named to the semi-finals of the popular new Israeli talent show “Rising Star.”

The show, which allows Israeli viewers to vote in real time for their favorite performers using an app on their mobile phones, is designed to uncover the next hot Israeli singing star, which is why the brothers’ rise in popularity among the Israeli public, and the judges is so unusual.

Even judge Israeli rapper Mooke D, who at first refused to vote for the brothers because he did not believe they would be marketable, broke down and voted for them on Sunday night.

In the first of four semi-final shows, the brothers performed three duets with other singers, including a rendition of Eicha, with lyrics from the Book of Lamentations. The brothers faced off against the other top vote-getter in order to become the first act to advance to the semi-finals.

And they did it performing their own arrangement of “Shalom Aleichem,” the song to welcome the Sabbath.

Only in Israel could two guys who look like that, singing a song with those lyrics, make it on a popular talent show.

Trading In Maryland for the Mediterranean

Monday, August 19th, 2013

When Sergeant Brandon Berry made aliyah (immigrated to Israel), he did not come looking for the easy life. If he wanted that, he would not have left his hometown of Potomac, Maryland to serve in the army of a foreign country half a world away from his family.

Sgt. Berry also was not looking for an easy job in the IDF – he wanted to serve wherever he was most needed. He wanted to take his talent and drive with him to contribute one hundred percent.

Sgt. Berry passed all the tests to serve in the prestigious Paratroopers Brigade. Instead the American immigrant took to the sea as a member of the Israel Navy’s Dvora-class patrol boat squadron.

It is not everyday that a young man from Potomac, Maryland travels for tens of thousands of miles to join the Israel Navy. “It was clear to me that I was destined to serve in the Navy,” he said. Sgt. Berry, stationed on a base overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, is able to indulge his love for wide-open spaces every day of his service.

Aside from his thick American accent, Sgt. Berry is indistinguishable from the other soldiers at his base – completely at home on a boat with a tan to match. He credits the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers for helping him through the entire enlistment process.

“The work the association does is a blessing,” he says. AWIS helps soldiers in a number of ways, which included providing assistance to lone soldiers, running soldier homes and recreation centers, and providing support for bereaved families.

Sgt. Berry says that even though he grew up with a strong Jewish identity and attended a Jewish day school, he always felt like something was missing. Now, as a soldier for Israel, it seems he has truly come home.

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