Friday, April 20, 2018

Israel's 70th - The Worldwide Celebration Continues in Song and Dance with Israel Sheli (My Israel)


Israel's 70th birthday is over, but the celebrations will continue around the world all year long. A special song has been selected as the official song to commemorate the occasion, and it is catching fire worldwide in song and dance.

The song is Yisrael Sheli (My Israel) and the official video is by Israeli pop singers Yardena Arazi and Lior Narkis. It's a very catchy tune and must have been released a few weeks ago so it could be used to train groups of dancers who recorded their versions for sharing on YouTube. 

Here is the original music video, followed by a montage of dance groups in 48 cities in 16 countries performing the same dance. We should warn you that it's infectious and if you watch both videos you may be singing and humming the melody and dancing around your house and neighborhood all weekend long. 

Enjoy and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

70 Years in the Promised Land - Hora Medley to Celebrate Independence


Continuing our tribute to Israel on its 70th birthday, we're sharing another excerpt from the new show 70 Years in the Promised Land as performed by an international cast of singers assembled by Musical Director and Producer Tomer Adaddi.

This excerpt is a collection of horas with black and white films of the original dancing in the streets of Tel Aviv on the first Independence Day in May 1948.

Just below this video we're also sharing a video interview wiith musical director Tomer Adaddi in which he talks about the Spanish River concerts in South Florida and explains the origins of the show and talks about the performers who are actors and singers in Habima, the Israel National Theatre.

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.




Wednesday, April 18, 2018

12,000 Israelis Unite in Song for Israel’s 70th Independence Day


To celebrate Israel's 70th Independence Day, Koolulam invited 12,000 people who hadn't met before to sing together in a special event with the artist Shlomi Shabat, accompanied by the Jerusalem Street Orchestra, in collaboration with the Office of the President, the Ministry for Social Equality, and the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality.

As Renee Ghert-Zand wrote in The Times of Israel,
Koolulam’s popularity has soared since it kicked off in Tel Aviv in April 2017, with Israelis jumping at the opportunity to come together with thousands of strangers — to sing.

The NIS 40 ($11.50) tickets for recent Koolulam events have sold out in mere minutes. In under an hour, participants learn a three-part arrangement of a Hebrew or English song, and then perform it for a video to be shared on social media. Views of the videos reach into the hundreds of thousands, and millions in some cases.

When they conceived of the initiative, Koolulam’s three founders, Ben Yefet, Michal Shahaf Shneiderman, and Or Taicher, were aiming for that feeling of connection between strangers.

Shneiderman, 33, takes credit for the initiative’s catchy name. It’s a multiple play on the English word “cool,” the Hebrew word “kulam” (everyone), the Hebrew word “kol” (voice), and “kululu,” the ululation sound of joy some Israelis of North African and Middle Eastern descent make at happy occasions like bar mitzvahs and weddings.

“Basically, the gist of it is that we should all be happy together,” Shneiderman said.
In that spirit, let's all join in singing Al Kol Eleh to wish a very happy 70th birthday to the State of Israel.

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.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

On Israel's Memorial Day, a Prayer for the Israel Defense Forces by HaZamir


Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel's Independence Day, is always preceded by Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for its fallen soldiers. The message of linking these two days is clear: Israelis owe their independence — the very existence of the state — to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for it.

This year Yom HaZikaron begins tonight and will be observed tomorrow until nightfall when the Yom HaAtzmaut festivities begin and continue through Thursday.

To mark these two important dates in the Jewish calendar, today we're sharing a special video of the 300+ voices of the HaZamir high school choir singing David Burger's T'fila L'Tzahal - The Prayer for the Israel Defense Forces. The song is conducted by Dr. Marsha Bryan Edelman, Conductor of HaZamir Philadelphia and accompanied by Scott Stein, Conductor of HaZamir Manhattan. It was sung at the HaZamir Gala Concert in Carnegie Hall in 2016.

Tomorrow we'll celebrate Israel's 70th birthday.

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Monday, April 16, 2018

A Joke to Start the Week - "The Creation of Israel"


Yes, it's Monday again -- Monday of a very special week that includes the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel on Wednesday evening. There will be ceremonies in Israel and around the world to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut, and memorial services on Tuesday evening, Yom Hazikaron, for those who gave their lives in defense of the State of Israel. 

But all that is later in the week. Today is joke day, and here is one for Israel's birthday.

Here's the setup: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. On the third day, God was very busy creating the land. He turned to the angel Gabriel and said "Today I'm going to create a land called Israel." And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Project Seventy: Israel Off the Beaten Track - Tekoa Beer Festival


Australian  globetrotter and energetic personality Joseph Waks has created 70 short videos to celebrate Israel's 70th birthday. We posted one a few weeks ago and we'll be posting more throughout this celebratory year. 

Waks traveled the length and breadth of Israel to record vignettes of places and people that you're not likely to find on a short touristy visit.

Project 70 began out of just pure love for the adventures, the people, the land, nature, and creativity of the Israeli people. We'll share some of the more unusual sights and sounds that we found in the 70 videos. Today we're visiting a Beer Festival in progress in Tekoa, about 10 miles from Jerusalem. L'chaim!

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Welcoming Shabbat with Adon Olam and Oseh Shalom from "70 Years in the Promised Land"


Musical Director and Producer Tomer Adaddi assembled an international cast of singers to celebrate the 70th birthday of Israel. Their show, 70 Years in the Promised Land, was presented in a series of concerts last month in South Florida.

Through musical artistry, the cast bestowed heartfelt birthday wishes for peace and prosperity upon the young nation. The evening immersed the audiences in a profound experience, comprised of the sights and sounds of Israel and the far reaches of the Diaspora.

The concerts are over, but we found video clips of the performances on the Internet, and we'll be sharing them as part of our continuing celebration of Israel's 70th birthday. As we welcome Shabbat again tonight, here is the ensemble as they appeared on stage singing Adon Olam and Oseh Shalom.

Enjoy and Shabbat shalom!

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

600 Holocaust Survivors and Their Families Sing "Chai" in Jerusalem


As Israel commemorates Holocaust Remembrance Day, 600 Holocaust survivors and their families met in Jerusalem and celebrated their life through song. 

As the Arutz Sheva staff wrote on April 9,
Leading up to Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day), six hundred Holocaust survivors and their families, including second, third, and even fourth generation survivors, gathered at Jerusalem’s Beit Avi Chai to unite in recording, in Hebrew, Ofra Haza’s Chai (Hebrew for “alive”).

The song Chai was specifically chosen for this event. It was written by the late Ehud Manor and composed by Avi Toledano for the 1983 Eurovision Competition in Munich.
Manor noted that the words were written as an expression of defiance and victory of the Jews, directed at those who made every attempt to destroy the Jewish people. Indeed, the song proudly declares that the Jewish people are very much alive: “This is the song that our grandfather sang yesterday to our father, and today, I, I am able to sing it.”
As the song was being recorded, many of the survivors were overcome with emotion. Hands shaking, some with concentration camp numbers visible on their arms, yet hands planted firmly on their Israeli children and grandchildren, they described their memories of the horrors – and survival. Many family members arrived from all over the country, some from abroad, to join their grandparents and great-grandparents in this unique event.
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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Yom Hashoah Special: How Sir Nicholas Winton Saved 669 Children from the Holocaust


Tonight and tomorrow we commemorate Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. It's not a day for Jewish humor, but it can be and should be a day to recognize acts of bravery and compassion of Jews and non-Jews who saved lives in those troubled days of the 20th century.

Nicholas Winton was a British humanitarian who organized the rescue of 669 children, most of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Second World War in an operation later known as the Czech Kindertransport (German for "children's transport"). Winton found homes for the children and arranged for their safe passage to Britain.The world found out about his work over 50 years later, in 1988. The British press dubbed him the "British Schindler".

Winton's parents were German Jews named Wertheim who changed their name to Winton in an effort at integration.They also converted to Christianity, and Winton was baptized. His rescue achievements went unnoticed for half a century until in 1988 his wife found a detailed scrapbook in their attic, containing lists of the children, including their parents' names and the names and addresses of the families that took them in. 

The wider world found out about his work in February 1988 during an episode of the BBC television program That's Life! when he was invited as a member of the audience. At one point, Winton's scrapbook was shown and his achievements were explained. The host of the program asked whether anybody in the audience owed their lives to Winton, and if so, to stand. More than two dozen people surrounding Winton rose and applauded. This scene is shown at the end of the 10-minute long documentary below.


In 2003, Winton was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for "services to humanity, in saving Jewish children from Nazi Germany occupied Czechoslovakia." On 28 October 2014, he was awarded the highest honour of the Czech Republic, the Order of the White Lion (1st class), by Czech President Miloš Zeman. He died in July 2015 at the age of 106.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

9 Reasons to Learn Yiddish


Lindsay Williams lives in the UK and loves languages. She loves them so much that she's been producing YouTube videos for the last four years, giving nine reasons to learn just about every language from Arabic to Latvian to Yiddish. 

Well, the Yiddish video was posted only a few weeks ago, but we're glad that she included it in the series.

Lindsay teamed up with Moshe Sherizen, author of the book The Easy-Shmeezy Guide to Yiddish, and came up with nine reasons to speak Yiddish. And she manages to do reasonably well with pronouncing the numbers from one to nine.

Enjoy!

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Monday, April 9, 2018

A Joke to Start the Week - "The Seance"


It's the first Monday after Pesach. We hope you all had a happy, uplifting and meaningful Passover. And now it's time to go back to work and back to school. And of course it's time for another joke to start the week.

Here's the setup: For months, Marlene had been nagging her husband Sheldon to go with her to the seance parlor of Madame Zelda. "Sheldon, Madame Zelda is a real gypsy and she brings the voices of the dead from the other world so we can all talk to them." And then...

Enjoy!

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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Pitching an Israel Honeymoon to Prince Harry and Meghan


Britain's Prince Harry is set to tie the knot with US actress Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle on May 19. It's been confirmed that the wedding will take place at St. George's Chapel in an hour-long ceremony which will be beamed across the world.

While we're pretty much up to speed on the events of the day in question, there's one thing we're all still in the dark about -- the couple's honeymoon destination.

CNN and other media outlets have been speculating that the couple will honeymoon in Namibia, Botswana, Tahiti, or Las Vegas. But Yuval Haklai, an Israeli stand-up comedian, has been touting Israel as their destination of choice. 

And why not? With its view from the Ramon Crater, 300 wineries, football (soccer), lots of food, parties, and the beaches, Israel makes a wonderful location for a honeymoon.

Will the royal couple take his advice and that of President Reuven Rivlin? We'll know soon enough.

Here's Yuval Haklai's sales pitch for an Israeli honeymoon.

Enjoy!
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