The Voice – Jewish Style

August 17, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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Thirty young participants representing Jewish communities from around the world are in Israel competing in Hallelujah..a global singing competition in search of the next big Jewish star.

Representing Australia are Daniel Joshua Smorgon, Bec Lemish and Elliot Freeman.

The jury is headed by Yoram Gaon, Chairman of the ‘Association for Fostering Israeli Music Among Jews’ and Israel’s top musicians.

The final event will feature a live performance. In addition, the 3 first place winners will divide a sum of $14,000, record a new song to be heard on radio stations throughout Israel and Jewish stations abroad, and live performances in Jewish communities around the world.

Elliot Freeman, Rebecca Lemish and Daniel Smorgon.

The contest was revived last year after a 20 year break.

Hundreds of young participants, ages 18-30, who took part in the competition chose to perform in either their home language or in Hebrew in front of a camera in order to be posted on YouTube. 30 finalists, representatives of communities in Uzbekistan, Australia, Uruguay, Ukraine, Argentina, USA, Brazil, Georgia, Mexico, France, Kazakhstan, Canada, and Russia arrived on July 26th to Israel. For 4 weeks they will travel across the country, will practice for the competition with assistance from song arrangers and musicians; meet with IDF personnel in the cultural division, and with the Rimon school of music. They will then face the final event prepared to give their all before a large audience in Ramat Hasharon.


  • • $8,000 will be awarded to the first place winner. In addition, they will record a new song to be distributed as a single to radio stations in Israel and throughout Jewish stations abroad, coupled with invitations to perform in Jewish communities worldwide.


  • • $4,000 will be awarded to the second place winner and $2,000 to the third place winners.


Elliot performing in the semi-finals

The panel of judges, headed by Yoram Gaon, chairman of the ‘Association for Fostering Israeli Music Among Jews’ and top Israeli musician’s including: Judah Eder, Natan Goshen, Dudu Fisher, Tzachi Halevi, Yoram Taharlev, DJ Skazi, Yair Shragai, Amikam Kimelman, and association director Malka Shvadron and producer Eitan Gafni.


The project is supported by the Municipality of Ramat Hasharon and the World Zionist Organization in collaboration with the Liaison Bureau, Nativ, the Education and Youth Corps of the IDF, Taglit-Birthright Israel, MASA, and Jewish radio and television stations worldwide, etc.


The Mayor of Ramat Hasharon, Itzik Rochberger: “Ramat Hasharon is proud to once again host the world singing competition Hallelujah. Ramat Hasharon has been known for their connection to culture and art and it is only natural that this event in its worldwide magnitude should take place in our city.  Beyond the artistic dimension, the competition strengthens the affinity and great love between the Jews of the Diaspora and the State of Israel. Jews from all parts of the globe are exposed to the real beauty of Israel and of course our warm community here in Ramat Hasharon. I hope for great success to all the participants and am convinced that this will be an exciting and unique experience for them.”


Yoram Gaon, Chairman of the ‘Association for Fostering Israeli Music Among Jews’: “This is more than just a performance with an exhilarating singer, this is a Zionist performance of the first order, the center of for youth from around the world. For 3 weeks they will sing here and also travel throughout Israel in length and width. Some of these young adults have come to Israel as new immigrants and are actually ambassadors of goodwill throughout the world, so much that this is more than just another show.”


Mr. Jacob Haguel, head of operations in Israel and combating Anti-Semitism: “We are pleased in the acceleration of the competition that has given a name for itself in the Diaspora. The WZO finds great importance in this special competition; it is an opportunity for Jews in the Diaspora to prove their strength even in song. The competition addresses both the young and adults alike, and it is very important to us that young Jews of the Diaspora maintain their Jewishness and its characteristics. The World Zionist Organization will continue to support the unique and important competition and is extending an invitation to everyone to come and enjoy the semifinals which begin on August 9 at Migdal Haemek and the grand finale on August 18 in Ramat Hasharon.”


Adv. Tzahi Gabrieli, chairman of the world of directors of Hallelujah said: “Hallelujah is taking place for the second year in order to help with the disturbing phenomenon of the distancing of hundreds of thousands of young Jews away from Judaism and Israel. Hallelujah connects the young Jews from across the world to one conceptual base: Israel and Hebrew music. We see that by using popular tools, such as a singing competition, creates a great interest among young adults- they simply connect to their roots.”


Eitan Gafni, creator of the idea, founder and main producer of the project: “Hallelujah was founded in 1992 in order to promote the Hebrew song. And through Hebrew songs we attempt to strengthen the ties of the Jewish youth from around the world to Israel.”


Executive producer of the final competition: Daniel ben Nnika. Music producer: Yair Gafni. Content Advisor: Erie Ante-Segev. Music director: Tomer Hadadi. Director of marketing: Debroah Lacks. Vocal instructor: Esti Katz. Director of the Meitar association: Malka Shvadron. TV producer: Kobe Sitt. Legal Advisor: Lior Horev. Documentary film producer: Itamar Cohen. Website management: Ophir Kindler- Dice Marketing.

Hallelujah calls to the public both in Israel and the Diaspora to vote for their choice of candidates and influence the 2012 audience choice through Hallelujah’s Facebook page:

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