Search for Jewish singing star begins

Hallelujah song contest sees 29 young Jews from 14 different countries compete for opportunity to record song.

"Hallelujah" global song contest (photo credit: Courtesy)
"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 Thursday.
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, 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 audition tapes.
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.
Click here for full coverage of HallelujahClick here for full coverage of Hallelujah
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 and Facebook 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