Israeli musician performs at Obama fundraiser

Miri Ben-Ari plays “Symphony of Brotherhood” before US president at Boston’s Symphony Hall.

By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER, JPOST CORRESPONDENT
June 27, 2012 02:58
1 minute read.
Miri Ben-Ari poses with US President Barack Obama

Miri Ben-Ari poses with US President Barack Obama 370. (photo credit: Noam Galai)

 
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WASHINGTON – Israeli musician Miri Ben-Ari said she wanted her performance opening a fundraiser for US President Barack Obama Monday night to start the event on “a very high note.” And that is what she literally did with her violin, on which she reaches high up the scale playing jazz, hip-hop and other musical riffs not traditionally associated with this instrument.

For her performance before Obama at Boston’s Symphony Hall, she played “Symphony of Brotherhood,” which samples Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

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Ben-Ari, who is also a US citizen, herself speaks of the dream she made come true by moving to America soon after finishing her service with the IDF. She told The Jerusalem Post that was why she wanted to help ensure that Obama remained president.

“I came her with a violin and a dream,” she said. “I was pursuing the American dream. I believe that President Obama is the only one in this race with a vision for... protecting and keeping this dream.”

Obama has come under criticism from some quarters of the Jewish community for not being supportive enough on Israel and his approval ratings in Israel have at times been very low.

But Ben-Ari said she hoped that she – as an Israeli musician honored by opening his event Monday night solo – could help change the less-positive views that some Israelis might have of Obama.

Ben-Ari’s performance Monday night was her first before Obama, but the 33- year-old Grammy winner has previously played at the White House, where first lady Michelle Obama chose her as one of 22 “remarkable women” for a 2011 event marking Women’s History Month.

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Obama praised Ben-Ari for her performance once he took the stage.

“I want to thank Miri Ben-Ari for her outstanding talent,” he said. “We appreciate her appearing here today.”

After the Symphony Hall event, Obama went to a second fundraiser at a private residence in a well-to-do Boston suburb. Among the guests was Massachusetts state Treasurer Steve Grossman, a major fundraiser for Jewish and Democratic causes who backed Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee in 2008 but now supports Obama.

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