January 7, 2018

Music That’s “הכי ישראלי”

Sophie Goldman ‘19

With songs such as “Zahav,” “Tel Aviv” and “Ihiye Beseder,” Israeli pop music has captured the attention of Jewish American teens through its lively beats and entertaining lyrics.
“The music is catchy and just as good as American pop music, or better,” senior Dina Doctoroff said.
According to Rishona Adi Cohen, Israeli music is uniquely diverse, with influences from the Middle East, America and other regions of the world. “Tudo Bom,” for example, contains Portuguese phrases, including the title of the song. Other songs, such as “HaKol L’Tova,” mix Mizrachi music with rap.
Israeli music can also be used to teach about issues in Israeli society. For example, “Shirat Hasticker” is filled with references to Israeli politics and controversies through phrases seen on bumper stickers. Listeners can learn about these issues and explore the meaning behind various lyrics.
Music also gives students an instant connection to Israel, no matter where they are.
“Israeli music helps me be a part of Israeli culture, which is important to me as an American teen who loves Israel,” Doctoroff said.
“[Music] is the easiest way to get into a culture,” junior Ayala Jones agreed.
For some, such as sophomore Eva Hale, listening to Israeli music is a way to remember trips and experiences in Israel. During her visit to Israel this past summer, Hale began to listen to more Israeli music while strengthening her relationship with the country.
“I get to maintain that connection [to Israel] through music," Hale said.
In addition to providing a link to Israeli culture, Israeli music exposes listeners to Hebrew in an exciting and direct manner.
"It’s interesting to hear a language I learn in school in ways that are heard on the radio,” senior Shachar Kessler said.
Jones added that listening to music in a different language made for a more interesting experience.
Aside from the many benefits of listening to Israeli music, some, such as freshman DJ Mevorah, just enjoy the upbeat rhythm and lyrics. For Kessler, the appeal sometimes lies in the music itself, rather than the words.

Whether students are learning about a new aspect of Israeli life or simply enjoying the beats of Israeli rap, it is clear that music is an instant and exciting way to connect with Israel, even from afar.

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