Photo Credit: Esty Dziubov/TPS
The Shalva Band performs during the event at Binyenei HaUma in Giv'at Ram Jerusalem, marking the US’s 243rd Independence Day. Jerusalem, Jul 2, 2019.

Hollywood movie star Jamie Foxx warmly endorsed the Israeli Shalva band, which is comprised of Special Needs people, as “an inspiring group of talented young men and women.”

Sharing a clip on the band published by Shalva National Children’s Center on Facebook, Foxx wrote that “this is so beautiful and close to my heart! As many of you know, my sister is the face of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. What an inspiring group of talented young men and women!”


Foxx’s youngest sister is DeOndra Dixon has Down syndrome.

Some 3,300,000 people have viewed the clip.

Shalva Band, comprised of young adults with various special needs, was a favorite to win Israel’s HaKochav HaBah (The Next Star) televised song contest to become Israel’s candidate at the 2019 Eurovision contest, but forfeited because participating in the Eurovision would entail the desecration of the Shabbat.

However, the band performed during the Eurovision’s second half of the competition and received global recognition.

The Shalva Band was established as part of the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, a non-profit organization for children with special needs.

The band members are Shay, the band’s director, Tal who plays percussion and has Down Syndrome, Joseph, a drum player and singer who has Williams syndrome, Naftali the percussionist who contends with PDD, and Guy the keyboard player and singers Dina and Anael who are blind.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.