Frank Sinatra and Israel

(Photo: William P. Gottlieb Collection - Library of Congress)

(Photo: William P. Gottlieb Collection – Library of Congress)

Frank Sinatra died 17 years ago today, but his timeless music still resonates with listeners around the world. Tablet’s Shalom Goldman looks at how Israel resonated with the famed crooner:

2015 is the year of the Frank Sinatra Centennial, and though the great singer’s 100th birthday won’t be marked until December, it seems only proper to remember the Chairman of the Board’s deep and abiding commitment to Israel, which he saw as an integral part of the chain of liberal causes that he supported throughout his career. His activities on behalf of the Jewish state started with smuggling money to the Haganah under the British Mandate. Starting in the 1950s, his records and films were banned in Arab counties because…

Posted in: Frank Sinatra / Israel / Music

From Under a Long Shadow, a 136-Year-Old Serbian-Jewish Choir Sings On

(Photo: facebook/Hor Braća Baruh)

(Photo: facebook/Hor Braća Baruh)

While anti-Semitism across Europe is as rampant and rabid as it has been in some time, Europe’s Jews have long faced hatred, violence, and worse. Tablet’s Amy Guttman brings us the uplifting story of a Jewish chorus from Serbia that has been singing for well over a century, surviving the Holocaust, Communism, and other threats along the way:

Nearly all of Serbia’s Jews were killed during the Holocaust, in what was one of the swiftest murder campaigns in all of Europe. The region was declared “Judenfrei” in 1942, after just 13 months of Nazi occupation. Yet the Serbian-Jewish Singing Society—one of the oldest Jewish choirs in the world, today known as the Baruch Brothers Choir—has prospered, despite having been silenced during World Wars I and II. Today, having survived genocide, Communism,…

Posted in: Amy Guttman / Baruch Brothers Choir / choir

Pop Parodies with a Passover Twist

With Passover around the corner, The Times of Israel has livened up the time of year by linking to a few parodies of pop songs that have been given a Passover twist. Enjoy!

Posted in: holidays / Music / parody

Lost Violin of Auschwitz Plays Again

(Photo: Yad Vashem/BPK)

(Photo: Yad Vashem/BPK)

On the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the death camp’s remaining survivors tell their stories. Yet The Jewish Daily Forward reports that the voice of an inanimate object – a violin – will also be heard as the Holocaust is remembered:

A violin thrown some seventy years ago from a train transporting French Jews to the Nazi Auschwitz death camp will sound in the concert hall of the Berlin Philharmonic on Tuesday night, along with other instruments once played by victims of the Holocaust.

A French railwayman caught that unknown passenger’s violin and gave it to his daughter to play.

Years later it found its way into the hands of Israeli violin-maker and restorer Amnon Weinstein, whose extraordinary collection comprises violins embodying their former owners’ tragic histories and stories of survival.

Tuesday marks…

Posted in: Alexandra Hudson / Arts / Auschwitz-Birkenau

Rock Singer: Mainstream Media Is “Setting the Stage for a New Holocaust”

(Photo: wikicommons/Kevin)

(Photo: wikicommons/Kevin)

Despite how it may seem, not all those who make their living in the media are anti-Israel. The Blaze reports that Disturbed singer David Draiman – a Jewish son of Israelis and grandson of Holocaust survivors – is quite vocal in his support of Israel, despite the mainstream media’s bias:

When he’s not involved in his musical pursuits, the lead singer of the heavy metal group Disturbed is lending his voice to defend the state of Israel, posting numerous messages on Facebook and Twitter and now offering his thoughts in a radio interview where he blasted the mainstream media for what he contends is biased coverage.

In an interview this week on the Voice of Israel radio, singer and songwriter David Draiman warned that media coverage of Israel is so…

Posted in: Anti-Israel Bias / David Draiman / Disturbed