Friday, June 8, 2012
Last Sunday Israel was celebrated not only on Fifth Avenue in New York City, but also in Rockville, Maryland, where we were spending the weekend.
Thousands of adults and children gathered at Rockville Town Square to enjoy an Israel @64 Festival sponsored by the Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington.
On a glorious sunny day, the square was filled with booths displaying Judaica, jewelry making, sand art, face painting, tefilin demonstrations, and lots of Israeli food.
For us the highlight of the event was a one hour concert by Danny Sanderson and a musical troupe that brought to life many of the most popular songs by his band, Kaveret (Poogy) which has been a major presence on the Israeli music scene since 1973.
The band, several of whose members met during their service in the Israel Defense Forces, was formed in 1973. It broke up in 1976 by consensus of the band members. Subsequently, Kaveret veterans Gidi Gov and Danny Sanderson along with female vocalist Mazi Cohen and other musicians, formed a spinoff band named Gazoz, and later, another named Doda. As it turned out, six of the seven band members became stars in the Israeli music and entertainment scene in their own right after the band broke up.
The seventh, drummer Meir Fenigstein (whose nickname "Poogy" served as inspiration for the band's name abroad and for some of its material), went on to become a film festival producer.
Many songs by Kaveret became embedded in Israeli culture and are familiar also to the new generation of Israeli youth.
In 1974, Kaveret represented Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest with their song, Natati La Khayay ("נתתי לה חיי", "I Gave Her My Life"). It finished 7th. In the same year, Kaveret played one of the biggest concerts in Israel ever. While the population of Israel was only 3 million people, over 500,000 fans came to listen to the band perform. "The streets of Israel were empty", said band member Efraim Shamir after the event took place.
Here's a video of Sanderson and the band playing Natati La Khayay and Shir HaMakolet, and a Chassidic dance set to music from Fiddler on the Roof.
For Poogy fans, we're including a video of the original performance of Natati La Khayay by the band at the Eurovision contest in 1974. For a transliteration and English translation of the song, click here. Enjoy!
(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.)