Sunday, February 5, 2012

Community Singalongs Help Jerusalem's Needy with Hakova HaHafuch


Sing alongs have always been part of the Israeli scene. From the early days of its founding to the present day there's something about group singing of folk songs old and new that appeals to the Israeli psyche.

We can remember singing old folk songs with lyrics projected on a screen while seated on folding chairs on the banks of the Kinneret at the Nof Ginnosar kibbutz guest house in the 1980s. Nothing much has changed except the songs chosen for the singalongs, but an organization called Hakova Hahafuch (the upside down hat, as in pass the collection plate) has found a way to turn this popular activity into fund raising for needy people and social causes in Israel.

"We can change the way people think by getting everyone involved," chairman Hanan Rubin explained to GoJerusalem.com. "We want to give people culture on the one hand, and we want to get people socially involved on the other." The group has held a number of successful events, attracting thousands of young people and raising over 100,000 NIS for various charities.

Last Thursday evening we sat on folding chairs in the auditorium of a cultural center on Emek Refaim Street in Jerusalem while a band of three musicians and a singer carried on for more than two hours. The audience of more than 100 sang and swayed to the music. Many of the songs were new to us, but we fell into line when the projector showed lyrics to Finjan, Tumbalalaika, and Katyushka, all Russian imports to Israel in the days of the halutzim (pioneers.) We taped part of this medley for your enjoyment.

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)