Will you be able to hear The Shalva Band's new single?

The beloved Israeli singing group has a new music video - but it's only available once you commit to integrating people with disabilities

May 7, 2019 16:38
3 minute read.
Will you be able to hear The Shalva Band's new single?

The Shalva Band with singer-songwriter Amir Dadon and Bank Hapoalim CEO Arik Pinto. (photo credit: AVIV GOTTLIEB)

Chances are, you won’t be able to hear The Shalva Band’s new single.

The eight-member singing group, made up mostly of young adults with a range of disabilities, released their first ever single on Monday. But, the group said, only 10% of Israelis will be able to hear it. That’s because only 10% of Israelis want their children to take part in activities alongside children with disabilities, a new survey revealed.

“Hello, thanks for choosing to watch our new clip,” say the band members in a promo video for the song. “But only one out of 10 of you can watch it. That’s how it feels, when only one out of 10 parents in Israel are willing for their children to participate or take part in or be around children with disabilities. And now, it’s time to change that.”

In order to view the video for the new single, titled “The Door Will Be Open,” music fans are asked to click and express their support for a “treaty of integration.” Only then are they redirected to the video of the song. The survey, carried out by the Israeli Association of Community Centers, showed that only 10% of Israeli parents gave their full support to integrating their children in activities alongside those with disabilities.

“The Shalva organization has been in operation for almost 30 years, with the goal of advancing people with disabilities and integrating them into society,” said Shalva founder and president, Kalman Samuels, at the song’s launch on Monday. “We’re happy and excited for this incredible initiative and we believe there will be a significant change in Israeli society’s sensitivity toward those who are different, and their acceptance of them as equals.”

The Shalva Band burst on to the scene late last year, when they participated in Hakochav Haba (Rising Star), the TV singing competition that selects Israel’s Eurovision contestant. The group advanced all the way to the finals, and won the hearts of tens of thousands of Israelis, but ultimately dropped out of contention due to their Shabbat observance. But KAN invited the group to perform during one of the live semi-final Eurovision shows next month. The band – made up of Dina Samteh, Anael Khalifa, Yosef Ovadia, Yair Pomburg, Tal Kima, Guy Maman, Sara Samuels and band director Shai Ben-Shushan – will also be performing next week at the national Independence Day ceremony.

The band’s new song and the social initiative was launched together with Bank Hapoalim, The Israeli Association of Community Centers and with the support of YouTube.

Arik Pinto, CEO of Bank Hapoalim, called on business leaders throughout the country to work together to make Israel more handicapped accessible.

“Unfortunately, in Israel in 2019 the door is not open to everyone,” said Pinto. “Hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities fight daily to be treated as equals in all aspects of life.”

Barak Regev, the director of Google Israel, said that “being different and unique is an asset today. The goal of YouTube is to allow every single person to make their voice heard, and express themselves.”

Singer-songwriter Amir Dadon wrote the music for “The Door Will Be Open,” and penned the lyrics along with the band.

“Don’t stop, keep walking,” sings vocalist Dina Samteh, “Whether it’s autumn or it’s spring.” Fellow singer Anael Khalifa chimes in: “There’s a life there that’s just waiting for you to live it.” Together the group sings: “At the end of the journey you’ll find your home/ And the door will be open.”

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