Who will be the next 'Jewish Idol'?

Contestants from around the world begin rehearsals in Israel ahead of semi-finals for "Hallelujah," a global Jewish song contest designed to strengthen Diaspora ties.

August 16, 2011 16:14
2 minute read.
SHARON CUNHA, 18, is a contestant from Brazil.

Sharon Cunha Hallelujah contestant. (photo credit: courtesy)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Participants in "Hallelujah," a global song contest for Jews aged 16 to 26, are starting to feel the pressure as rehearsals get into full swing. Event organizers are hoping that their endeavor will establish a new musical tradition for world Jewry that will strengthen the connection with the Diaspora.

Hallelujah is a new version of a nearly 20-year-old Hebrew song contest for young Jews from across the globe, amped up for the Internet age.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

The grand finale, which will be webcast live on JPost.com, will take place on August 25 in Ramat Hasharon in front of an audience of 3,000 people. The semi finals will take place this Wednesday and Thursday and will also be shown on JPost.com.

The 30 finalists are currently in Israel for rehearsals and to tour the country.

You can listen to the contestants, and will soon be able to cast your votes, via the website or the Facebook page.

There is also a special Youtube page which features the latest rehearsals and performances.

“This is much more than just another reality show,” says Eitan Gafni, the competition’s founder and head producer. “It fosters a love of Hebrew songs among young people from around the world. It starts out in the Jewish communities of the Diaspora, and then moves to Israel. It’s not just about the music and the artistry, but about the heart and the soul. In these songs there is the story of this country, and the feelings of those who built it.”

Although the contestants chose mostly contemporary songs, Gafni says, rather than anything biblical, “they all have the experience of singing in the Hebrew language.”

Click for full Jpost coverage

Although the experience and the exposure are surely the biggest draw for the participants, there are also cash prizes. The winner will receive an $8,000 cash prize and record a duet with an Israeli artist that will be broadcast on local radio stations and Jewish radio stations worldwide.

The two will also go on a concert tour of international Jewish communities. The runner-up will receive $4,000, and the third-place finalist will win $2,000.

The finalists represent Jewish communities from the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, France, Australia, Argentina, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Turkey, Costa Rica and Uruguay. There is also one Israeli, Mor Machlav of the IDF Education Corps.

As they tour the country, they will be accompanied by musicians and artists, as well as staff from the IDF Cultural Department and the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music.

The team of judges will be headed by veteran singer Yehoram Gaon and includes such well-known musicians and producers as Kobi Oshrat, Hanan Yovel, Yehuda Edar, Tomer Hadadi, DJ Skazi, Niv Tomer and Gafni.

Related Content

Vilnius, Lithuania
August 31, 2014
Travel: Let’s take it slow in Lithuania