"Hallelujah" global song contest.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Participants in "Hallelujah,"
a global song contest for Jews aged 18 to 30, are starting to feel the
pressure in preparation for the first semi-final, which takes place on
Hallelujah is a new version of a nearly 20-year-old
Hebrew song contest for young Jews from across the globe, which
culminates in the 29 finalists spending two weeks in Israel touring the
country, learning Hebrew songs and exploring their Jewish roots. This
time around, the Internet has taken center stage, with almost all the
preliminary competitions, voting and footage being featured and carried
out on the Web.
The grand finale, which will be webcast live on
JPost.com, will take place on August 18 in Ramat Hasharon in front of an
audience of over 1,000 people.
The 29 finalists, who
hail from 14 different countries, are currently in Israel rehearsing and
touring the country. They were whittled down from hundreds of other
young Jewish hopefuls from all around the world who sent in their
As well as preparing for the live shows, the
group of young Jews have come together to learn about their Jewish
heritage through the sound of Hebrew songs.
The stakes are high;
the winner will be awarded the opportunity to record a song, which will
be released to national radio and various radio stations around the
globe. The winner will also receive a cash prize, offers for career
advancement and offers to perform in front of Jewish communities
throughout the world. The singers that finish in second and third place
will win cash prizes.
Last year's winner, 21-year-old Mexican
singer Adam Kleinberg, has had a busy year. The dreadlocked singer has
not only released his first single – a duet with Israeli vocalist Momi
Levy on Meir Banai’s classic “Geshem” – but he’s in the final stages of
packing his bags on the way to making aliya.
Fans can listen to this year's contestants on Hallelujah's website
page and voting will soon be open via the same channels. Organizers are
encouraging fans to get involved and follow their favorite candidates
by voting for them and "Liking" their Facebook page. The candidate with
the most votes will win the Prize for Hallelujah 2012 Audience Favorite.
There is also a special YouTube
page which features the latest rehearsals and performances. David Brinn contributed to this report