Israeli singer Chava Alberstein receiving Brandeis honor

Alberstein and four others will be granted the honor on May 13 during the commencement ceremony.

April 26, 2018 12:42
1 minute read.
Chava Alberstein

Chava Alberstein. (photo credit: FLICKR / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)


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Chava Alberstein, the legendary Israeli singer, will be among those receiving an honorary degree from Brandeis University next month.

Alberstein and four others will be granted the honor on May 13 during the commencement ceremony, the university announced this week.

Brandeis called Alberstein a “living legend, one of Israel’s most popular singer-songwriters, whose five-decade career is still going strong.”

The university added that “her passionate engagement with the world has caused many to see parallels between her growth as an artist and Israel’s growth as a nation.”

Alberstein was born in Poland in 1946, just after the end of the Holocaust, and moved with her family at age four to Israel. She has released close to 60 albums throughout her career – mostly in Hebrew, but also in Yiddish and English.

“Alberstein’s emergence as an artist has been likened to the ashes of the Holocaust transforming – miraculously – into the flourishing State of Israel,” the university wrote, “and the humanistic, life-affirming ideas expressed in her work have been seen as expressions of Israel’s past, present and future.”

In 2011, she received a lifetime achievement award from ACUM, the Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers of Music in Israel, and has honorary degrees from both Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Alberstein will be honored alongside Jay Ruderman and Shira Ruderman, the president and executive director, respectively, of the Ruderman Family Foundation. The foundation advocates in Israel and the United States for inclusion and disability rights.

The other two honorees are Freeman A. Hrabowski III, the president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Mary Sue Coleman, the president of the Association of American Universities.

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