Asaf Avidan .
(photo credit: Hadas Parush)
A star lineup of local and international Israeli musicians - including globally-beloved singer Asaf Avidan, local favorites I Got The Hotties and Izabo, as well as Shai Dibo and Marina Maximillion - performed at The Dolev Foundation for Medical Justice's fifth annual "Take Me to the Riots" benefit concert on Sunday night at The Barby in Tel Aviv. All the musicians participating in the concert volunteered their performances, and all proceeds went to Dolev.
The Dolev Foundation is an Israeli organization which promotes the medical rights of the general public. The founders of the organization – Ricki and Yoav Dolev – lost their daughter Karen in 2007 as much to a battle with cancer as a battle with the health insurance companies, which refused to approve the new treatments that three different doctors recommended for her. Distraught by the politics that saw Karen denied the treatment she badly needed, the Dolevs founded an organization to ensure others would not suffer the same fate. Visibly moved by the turnout and the star line up, Yoav paused briefly to reflect, "Karen would be proud of us."
The star attraction was undoubtedly Asaf Avidan, who battling the flu took the stage nonetheless. The performance marked the singer's fifth year participating in the concert. When asked about his personal connection to the project, Avidan cited his own battle with cancer at 21, but prefaced his statement with the fact that "you don't need to have had cancer to know it's a worthy cause."
Not only did Avidan amaze and thrill the audience as he belted out tune after tune, the singer agreed to an encore performance – provided he was indulged with a modest bottle of water - and performed his most famous Reckoning Song
. As a gesture to his fans, he even tilted the microphone to the crowd and invited concert-goers to sing-along with him.
In addition to Avidan, the audience rocked out to the lively performances from I Got The Hotties and Izabo, bopped along to English and Hebrew tunes from Shai Dibo, and swayed entranced by Marina Maximillion's cover of Lana Del Rey's Videogames.
Despite the sad story that inspired the organization and the concert, the show itself was a lively affair. Speaking briefly about the larger significance of the show, MC Liron Weizman said that despite the tragedy that had brought stars and fans together this evening, tonight "we're celebrating and flying," living fully in the face of death.