Jewrovision, the international song and dance competition for Jewish youth across Europe, returned this year and was hosted by the Central Council of Jews in Germany on Friday.
Entrants from the ages of 10-19, all of whom are attending the council's "mini-machane" camp, submitted an act and introduction video and performed the act, which must be a maximum of four minutes, while the accompanying video should be no more than two minutes.
Each performance and video are graded on the same criteria for all acts. There are three major categories for each submission. The original lyrics, presentation and overall “impression” are all taken into account when it comes time for the judges to rate the various performances.
The video, however, is graded separately and coincides with its own individual prize. The video must include the theme of support and celebration for Israel’s 75th Independence Day.
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Jewrovision's motto: Don't stop believing
Every year, Jewrovision has a different “motto” or guideline that each performance must represent. This year, the motto is “don't stop believing.”
The motto focuses on believing in yourself and also urges participants to “believe in something bigger,” the competition organizers stated.
Fans and press are able to attend the event on Friday afternoon and can fill the stands of the Frankfurt Festhalle. The official Jewrovision website says they are expecting up to 4000 spectators.
The competition has been around for over 20 years and provides a sense of belonging and community to young Jewish youth living in Germany. They are able to be with their peers throughout the competition and experience “their community in a positive and carefree way.”
Josef Schuster, the host of Jewrovision and President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said that the “opening of the competition is always an inspiration” to him and gives children the opportunity to be confident in their Jewish identity.
“It is impressive to see how self-confidently and with their very own perspectives and forms of representation the young people express their Jewish identity, their wishes and hopes but also their fears and worries,” Schuster said. “This experience of positive Jewish self-confidence and the feeling of being part of a large, vibrant and proud Jewish community is felt more strongly at Jewrovision than at any other event.”
The competition included a special guest performance from Israeli singer Eden Ben Zaken.