DAY 5: Music

Like Israeli food,  Israeli music is a true essence of the melting pot.  At the beginning, even before the establishment of Israel, the songs were very Zionist and inspired by Chasidic melodies and prayers.


After 1948, there wasn’t a big change. Not yet. Still, the songs were very Zionist, they talked about the ideals of the youth and a new genre was born: war songs.


As you know, at the first years of Israel as an independent country, we suffered from wars and, therefore, the IDF had a major influence on the shape of Israeli culture. Military bands were cultural leaders and all the famous singers started their careers in the IDF.

When the Israeli society changed its face and absorbed immigrants from Arab countries it affected many aspects. Music was one of them. During the years, from an underground music, it became mainstream music.


Rock and pop Israeli music in the 60's and 70's was influenced by American and British music. And as music evolved outside of Israel, genres like alternative music and hip hop, also “made Aliya” to Israel and became part of the culture.



Singer:  (male) Za-mar           \ זַמָּר

             (Female) Za-me-ret \ זַמֶּרֶת



Although in Asia, Israel participating in the Eurovision (Europe’s original songs competition). Three Israeli singers have won the first place


One of my favorite artists in Israel is Arik Einstein. He recorded an English version of one of his famous songs. Arik was a singer, song writer, actor and screenwriter and he passed away on November ’13. Everyone in Israel felt like a family member died that day. Israeli music critic Yoav Kotner has said: “Arik Einstein is more than the greatest Israeli artist of all time. Einstein is the real Israel himself." 

Shlichim Mamlitzim (shlichim recommend)

I asked my friends, the shlichim in North America, what’s their favorite Israeli song? Here are some answers:

Gal, Baltimore, MD: “Chorshat Ha’Ekaliptus” (חורשת האקליפטוס)- my favorite all time Israeli song. The first song that comes to my mind and I absolutely love it. 


Yoav, Baltimore, MD: “Atur mitz’chech” (עטור מצחך) - I love the 4 singers: Arik Einsein, Korin Al-Al, Yehudit Ravitz and Yoni Rechter; their voices and the lyrics.

Liron, Nashville, TN: “ Yerushalaim shel Zahav”(ירושלים של זהב) , the song is beautiful and sad at the same time and it’s practically telling the history of Israel, all in one song.


Amir, Baltimore MD: “Eretz Chadasha”(ארץ חדשה) . The singer, Shlomo Artzi is the Israeli essence.


Noa, Chatanooga, TN: “Eenyan shel Zman”(עניין של זמן) , I connect to the lyrics and feel that everytrhing is a matter of time- just like the song says.


Niv, Houston, TX: “B’toch”(בתוך) . Lyrics by Yael Tevet and performed by Harel Ska’at who sings beautifully. You can interpret it as if he sings either to his love or to god. 


This project was compiled by Carmel Nitsani,

Jewish Federation of Howard County 2014-15 Shlicha