Here are five artists whose music we recommend getting to know!
They are all top quality artists – their musical ability and professionalism are beyond question. What does unite them, and differentiates them, is the extent to which they fit four criteria that might be useful for you:
- known by young people in Israel (current),
- work relates to Judaism and the Jewish world,
- work speaks about life in Israel, and – perhaps –
- whose music might be sung in a congregation or around a camp fire…
1. In choosing an artist who is well-known, then your people will not only enjoy the music, but will be able to share experiences with Israelis who also know the artist’s work
2. Looking, as we are, to reimagine Israel in Jewish life, it is important for the artist’s work to speak a “Jewish language”.
3. There are many Jews around the world creating Jewish music. Israelis can offer a unique added dimension of the unique Jewish experience of life in Israel.
4. This may not be a priority for all organisations, but we thought singability might be an interesting criteria when thinking about a long-term impact…
|Current||Jewish content||Israel content||singability|
|Alma Zohar||She is one of the big new stars. 9||Rich use of liturgical language for modern metaphor8||She is an activist for African refugees, and sings about world affairs as well as the nature of being Israeli7||Strange African reggae Israeli feel – can be strummed…7|
|Ehud Banai||Classic and current. Incredibly well-respected8||Extremely rich – social justice songs referring to Moses, Golden Calf, plus his “Shabbat” album… endless10||Of late his work touches less on current issues, but his classic songs that he performs live are deeply informative and enlivening about Israel and about social justice8||His secular songs are definitely strummable, and his Lecha Dodi is stunning.9|
|Kobi Oz||Both current and classic8||Incredibly rich – knowledgable blend of ancient and new, Talmud and Torah and prayer and Jewish thought10||Addresses land issues, big social justice emphasis in his songs, very current9||His soulful Shaavat Aniim will transform your prayers on a Shabbat…8|
|Berry Sakharoff||Classic. Extremely well-respected8||Rich use of liturgical language for modern metaphor, and recently released an album of Ibn Gvirol songs9||His work is full of sharp and almost-prophetic critiques of Israeli life.8||Perhaps a bit too “rocker” for the campfire?5|
|Yonatan Razael||Rising star7||Almost entirely liturgical-based music.9||His music seems more focused on the heavens than the earth!1||Very strum-able…9|