What is the Eurovision? Here are some interesting facts about is.


The Eurovision Song Contest is the longest-running annual international TV song competition, held, primarily, among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union since 1956. It is also one of the most watched non-sporting events in the world, with audience figures having been quoted in recent years as anything between 100 million and 600 million internationally.

Eligibility to participate is not determined by geographic inclusion within the continent of Europe, despite the “Euro” in “Eurovision” – nor does it have any relation to the European Union. Several countries geographically outside the boundaries of Europe have competed: Israel and Cyprus, since 1973 and 1981 respectively; Australia in the Australian continent, since 2015 and Morocco, in North Africa, in the 1980 competition alone. In addition, several transcontinental countries with only part of their territory in Europe have competed: Turkey, since 1975; Russia, since 1994; Armenia, since 2006; Georgia, since 2007; and Azerbaijan, which made its first appearance in the 2008 edition.

Israel has won the Eurovision song competition 3 times in the past.

The first time was in 1978 with the song A-Ba-Ni-Bi by Izhar Cohen and Alphabeta:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzGnWSIuJvo

In 1979 Jerusalem was the host city for the Eurovision song contest and won again with the song Hallelujah by Gali Atari and Milk & Honey song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9ICfqiPSdk

Israel did not host the Eurovision for a second year in a row. Later in 1998 Israel has won the Eurovision song contest again with the song Diva by Dana International, who was also the first transgender to win the Eurovision (followed by Conchita Wurst from Austria in 2014).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv83u7-mNWQ

This year Israel has won 23rd place in the Eurovision song contest with this song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW2n2VmNLkw

And to sum up, here is an all-time favorite Israeli song that was written especially for the Eurovision and won 9th place!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQNNtbdZ4Zg

Hope you enjoyed these songs.

Until next time…

Israel saddest and happiest days


Growing up in Israel, you live with the knowledge of the Memorial Day for fallen IDF soldiers and the victims of terror. You know everyone is sad, but you don’t quite understand why. Parents explain to their children, but they don’t understand death.

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Everyone in Israel either knows someone who died, or know someone who was close to someone who dies. Grief strikes us all.

I was born into a grieving family; two of my family members died in the wars long before I was even born. The first one was my uncle; he died in the 1973 Yom Kippur war.

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The second was my mom’s husband; he died during the 1982 first Lebanon war.

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When I seven years old, I started going with my mom to the Military Cemetery in Be’er Sheva and stood with my family by my uncle’s tombstone side. I didn’t fully understand what I was doing there, I just knew that I needed to be there, ever since it was part of my yearly routine. Until I drafted to the army. I was so proud to go to the ceremony wearing my uniform, following their footsteps, and then I didn’t stood by my uncle’s side for the ceremony, I stood with my mom by her husband’s side.

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As I grew older, I understood two very important things:

  1. You can miss someone you don’t know. You can wonder how life would look like with them in it, and it’s ok to be sad about it.
  2. Laughter is an important part of grief. The fact that you are laughing doesn’t mean you forgot. People have had so many beautiful memories with their loved ones, so many shared laughter. Why should it be different when they aren’t here.

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One Minute separates Israel’s Saddest Day and Israel’s Happiest Day. One minute separates Israel’s Memorial Day and Israel’s Independence Day. On one stage on Mount Hertzel Israel Remembers her fallen and celebrates the life that they gave us.

The sentence that speaks to it the most, in my opinion, is:

“With their death they have commended us, Live!”

Live so that their loss is not in vain. Live so that they can live through us.

Just as there is one minute between these two days, we will now talk about Israel’s Independence Day. How do we celebrate it?

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Every year there is a big ceremony that celebrates Israel “Lighting of the torches” ceremony. there are 12 outstanding individuals that light a torch in honor of an outstanding thing they did. There also is a flag barer demonstration and live performances.

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after this ceremony people go out to the streets and enjoy live concerts and activities for the entire family.

Probably the most iconic picture of Israeli Independence Day is families having a barbecue. The day of Independence Day whole families go out to parks around the country and enjoy a family barbecue and some quality family time.

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another special thing to do is watch the Israeli Air Force aerial demonstration that goes through almost the entire state of Israel.

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Until next time…

Or

Holocaust remembrance in Israel


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While it might sound odd until the year 1961 there was no public discussion about the holocaust. Although monuments were built; remembrance days were set, museums such as Yad V’Shem were opened, Poets were writing about the holocaust, and the memory of the holocaust was set in the national memory of Israel. The private memory of the holocaust on the other hand, was mostly ignored, the survivors did not tell their stories and they were mainly asked, “Why didn’t you riot?” they were treated as guilty for their conditions.

In 1961 it all changed when Adolf Eichmann Was caught in Argentina by the Mossad where he lived under false identity and put to trial for his crimes during the holocaust in Jerusalem.

The first session of the District Court on criminal case 40/61 was held on April 11, 1961, at Jerusalem’s “Bet Ha’am.” The trial terminated on December 15, 1961 with the reading of the verdict, whereby Eichmann found guilty on most of the articles of the indictment, was sentenced to death. The commencement of the trial was preceded by long months of punctilious preparation. The Israeli police set up a special unit, “Bureau 06,” for the purpose of assembling the relevant documents; selecting witnesses and preparing them for their testimony; setting out the prosecution line; and discussing various legal issues. 1,600 documents were selected, most of them bearing Eichmann’s signature.  Likewise, a list of 108 survivor witnesses was prepared, as well as another of expert witnesses – historians and other scholars.

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In the annals of public awareness of the Holocaust period, nothing rivals the Eichmann trial as a milestone and turning point, whose impact is evident to this day. The trial introduced the Holocaust into the historical, educational, legal and cultural discourse, not merely in Israel and the Jewish world, but on the consciousness of all peoples of the world. Sixteen years after the end of the Holocaust, it focused attention upon the account of the suffering and torment of the Jewish people, as recounted to the judges. It’s powerful, and one could claim, revolutionary, consequences continue right up to the present day.

The trial set the first milestone of a years’ long process, an ongoing turnabout in shaping an awareness of the Holocaust in Israeli and world public opinion. The trial broke down the reluctance of many Israelis and Jews to approach the Holocaust, due to the powerful impression left by the personal testimonies of over a hundred witnesses who were called upon to recount their experiences during the Holocaust. Echoes of the trial finally attracted attention and awareness to the Holocaust survivors living among us, who had hesitated prior to the trial, to tell their personal stories, owing to a reluctance and an absence of openness among many native-born Israelis.

The trial brought about a significant change among Israeli youth in their attitude to the Holocaust. For them and other young Jews, the Holocaust was a remote and abstract issue. The trial was a significant step in conveying the Holocaust to Israeli and Jewish students, a process that reached fruition in the eighties and nineties, in the form of school delegations to Poland; to the sites of the former ghettoes and camps; and with youngsters writing essays about their own roots. As a result of the trial, the Holocaust is now perceived as an integral part of their identity as Israelis and as Jews.

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Today, during the Holocaust Remembrance Day Israel stands still, not only there is a 2 minutes memorial siren that sounds through the country, but also TV channels change their daily routine and show personal testimonies, movies and documentaries about the Holocaust. Schools have memorial ceremonies and talk about the Holocaust with the students of all ages. There is a new movement that became a tradition in Israel is to go to the Holocaust survivors houses and hear their stories, the tradition is called “Living room Memory”. 24 hours that are dedicated to remembering, the ones that didn’t make it, the ones that did, and the horrors of the Holocaust.

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If you want to know more about Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, email me at or.hmdetroit@gmail.com.

Until next time…

Or

Top 10 Israeli songs


Hello everyone!
The one thing we all need after Passover is a chance to relax from all the Matzoh!

What is a better way to relax other then reading a book and listening to music? so here are the top 10 Israeli song on the radio.
If you want to hear more Israeli music – go to Glgltz.co.il and listen to live Israeli radio

http://player.gl.bynetcdn.com/Players/ByPlayer/EmbedPlayer/GLZ?ClipID=glglz&type=live

10. Zahav (gold) – Static & Ben El tavori

9. Ba Eli (came to me) – Aviv Geffen and Orit Shachaf

8. Snow – Adi Olmansky

7. Hakol (everything) – Avior Melasa

6. Basof (in the end) – Idan Amadi

5. Hashemesh Tizrach (the sun will rise) – Guy & Yahel

4. 26 – Natan Goshen

3. Hakol od lefanay (everything is ahead) – Htikva 6

2. Mabit mehatzad (looking from the side) – Omer Adam

1. Yafe lach lehiot meusheret (Hapinness looks good on you) – Eyal Golan

I hope you enjoyed these top 10 Israeli songs!

Until next time…

Or

Passover in Israel


Hello everyone and Chag Sameach!

I hope you are enjoying your Matzah and gefiltafish, I hope your family dinner was fun and uneventful and that you have made it through 2 sederim without gaining over 10 pound!

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Now that we are almost half way through Passover, our houses are clean and our stomachs are full let talk a little bit about what is the difference between Passover in Israel and outside of it!

First – we only have one Seder dinner at the beginning of the holiday, and one Seder at the end, so we only have to sit through the Haggadah once. With that said, the Seder is the biggest holiday dinner of the year! Is it always the best (because people get creative with food when you can bake anything), and the entire family gets together to celebrate it (even if they do not live in the same city!)

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Second, it is super easy to keep kosher in Israel – most restaurants turn over its kitchen for Passover and wherever you go you simply cannot get away from kosher for Passover food and Matzah (I tried! You just cannot do it!), the stores only sell kosher for Passover food and you have to try hard to *not* keep kosher.

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Third, it is the longest vacation people can take off work and no one frowns upon it! Why you ask? Because the education system (kindergartens to high school) has 2 weeks off! 2! That is the longest vacation other than summer vacation! So a lot of people choose to travel during that time of the year, mostly inside the borders of Israel – it’s spring time and everything blossoms and it’s pretty amazing to watch, it’s the perfect weather to hike in the dessert and up north – so really no matter where you go hiking is amazing! Sometimes people do leave Israel during their Passover vacation (I spent several Passovers in the states!) it is one of the busiest times of the year in the one and only Ben Gurion airport, ticket prices are sky high – but it is still a good time of year to travel (Cherry blossoms anyone?)

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At the end of the week of Passover, it’s the time where every Israeli is suddenly best friends with their Moroccan of half Moroccan or any relations to Moroccan that they can find! Why? Well the answer is very simple – Mimouna! It’s the day after the second holiday (second Seder of the second holiday here in the united states), where Moroccan families open their home to family and friends and even strangers to celebrate, one of the main costumes of the holiday is leaving the door open as long as the people living in the house are there and awake, these celebrations can last the whole night! If you want to celebrate the Mimouna, contact me! I have just the celebration for you!

I hope your Passover continues to be fun and relaxing!

See you in 2 weeks after the holiday for some more Israeli fun!

Until next time…

Or

Spring cleaning!


Nothing says Passover quite like spring cleaning and getting the house ready. That is why I decided to dedicate this week to a fun and relaxing topic – spring cleaning music!

You deserve a break! so play these songs, relax or even use it as background music for your cleaning!

Join us next week to learn a little bit about Passover in Israel!

Influential Israeli Women


Every year, Forbes Israel release their most influential people in Israel in honor of Women Awareness Month.  I want to tell you a little bit about some influential women that you might not have heard of yet.

Dr. Karnit Flug

Dr. Karnit Flug is an Israeli economist. She holds the position of Governor of the Central Bank of Israel since November 2013. She is the first female Governor of the Bank of Israel. She obtained her MA in Economics at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1980, and received a Ph.D in Economics at Columbia University in New York City in 1985, with thesis titled “Government policies in a general equilibrium model of international trade and human capital”.  Flug joined the Bank of Israel in 1988 and worked for a few years in the bank’s research department. From 1994 to 1996, she worked at the Inter-American Development Bank as a research economist, and returned to the Bank of Israel in 1997. She was appointed deputy governor of the bank in 2011, and served as acting governor since July 2013, following Stanley Fischer’s resignation. In October 2013 she was appointed as the next governor of the bank, and in November 2013, she officially assumed office.

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Rona Ramon

Rona Ramon is the widow of Ilan Ramon (z”l) the first Israeli astronaut. Rona Ramon started the Ramon Fund in honor of her husband and son, Assaf Ramon, who died during his IDF service as a fighter pilot. The fund promotes education infused with their character and values of academic excellence, social leadership and innovation. The fund has three main programs: Ramon Spacelab – giving students the special opportunity to send their invention to the international space station. The Squadron Club – empowering periphery children by mentoring IAF pilots, and the Ramon award – given to excellent high school graduates that reflect in their educational and social activity the principles of the foundation.

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Prof. Rivka Carmi

Prof. Rivka Carmi is a pediatrician and geneticist who, since May 2005, has served as President of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). She was the first woman appointed president of an Israeli university. Prior to her entry into the administrative arena of the University, Professor Carmi’s research focused mainly on the delineation of the clinical manifestations and molecular basis of genetic diseases in the Negev Arab-Bedouin population. Author of over 150 publications in medical genetics, her research included the identification of 12 new genes] and the delineation of two new syndromes, one of which is known as the Carmi Syndrome. Professor Carmi was the Director of the Genetics Institute at the Soroka University Medical Center and held several important academic administrative positions in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Promoted to full professor in 1995, she is the incumbent of the Kreitman Foundation Chair in Pediatric Genetics. In 2000, she was elected Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at BGU – also the first woman to hold this position in Israel – and held this position for five years. Between the years 2002 – 2005, she was the first in the country to chair the Israeli Association of Medical Deans. Between the years 2010-2012, she chaired VERA – Association of University Heads.

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Lucy Aharish

Lucy Aharish is an Israeli news presenter, reporter, and television host on Israel’s Channel 2. She is also the prime time manager and the anchor of Israeli news channel i24news, receivable on livestream, on cable TV and via satellite around the world.  She was born in 1981 in the southern Israeli town of Dimona. Growing up, she was the only Arab Muslim student at her school. In the summer of 1987, a few months before she turned six years old, she was injured when Palestinian militants threw a Molotov cocktail at her family’s car, while driving in the Gaza Strip. Lucy is a graduate of the Hebrew University, where she studied political sciences and theater. After that, she studied journalism at the Koteret School in Tel Aviv and then interned for six months in Germany. Upon returning Lucy became the first Arab to present the news on a mainstream Israeli television channel. In April 2015, Lucy Aharish was one of twelve Israeli personalities chosen to light torches in the official ceremony kicking off Israel’s 67th Independence Day celebrations. The government committee selected her for promoting pluralism and fighting racism in the Israeli society. In October of 2015, she received the OMETZ (courage) award for her fight against racism in Israeli society. She currently hosts a morning news show on Israeli channel 2 and presents the evening edition of i24news.

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Want to hear more about influential Israeli women? Email me at or.hmdetroit@gmail.com

Until next time…

Or

Hebrew expression you will not think they mean what you think they mean!


I know we did not have “Hebrew word of the week” in a while – so I decided to take this week and do only Hebrew words!

We are going to learn Israeli slangs that you might not have heard of and you will laugh when you realize what they mean J

So let us start…

Sababa – Cool, chill, all-right etc – this one you all know, Israelis use Sababa ALL the time! It has so many different meanings, when someone asks you “How are you?” – We say “Sababa!” When someone asks us to do something – we say “Sababa”. This word has so many different meanings you cannot really sum it up in one translation!

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Gadol – Big, awesome – with the literal meaning of it being big we actually use it when something good or exciting happens.

Le’echol Sratim – The literal translation is “to eat movies” but when you say it to someone, it means they love drama, they are acting crazy, or they think there is an issue when in fact there is not.  When someone is stressing out about something, we will tell him “stop eating a movie and just see what happens”

Leerzom – Literal translation is “to flow” but in slang it means to go with the flow. “What are we doing tonight? –“Nizrom!” That is what we say when we tell someone to just go with it.

Lachfor – Literal translation is “to dig”, but in slang it means someone who talks too much.

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Chaval Al Hazman – Literally translates to “waste of time” but in slang, it means the best thing ever.

Yalla – “Let’s go” or “come on!” Derives from Arabic. It is used in daily language to express one’s desire to get people moving.

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Achi/ Achoti – My bro, my dude, my brother. The female equivalent is achoti, which means my girl or my sister.

Achla / Magniv – Both mean cool. Achla also means good – so if someone asks how you are, you can say Achla.

Al ha-panim – Literal: On the face, Slang: Really bad. “How are you feeling?” –“Al ha-panim!” “How was your exam?” – “Al Ha-panim”. We use this phrase when things are not going our way, or if we are not feeling great.

Chetzi co-ach – Literal: Half strength-half power, Slang: Not that good. When you are feeling iffy in Hebrew you will feel Chetzi-Co-ach, seen a movie and it is not that good? It is Chetzi co-ach.

 

Until next time…

Or

Israelis you just might know…


We all know that many American celebrities are famous in Israel. Israelis follow the careers of American actors, musicians and athletes and enjoy their work. But! Did you know that there are many Israelis who are just as famous in the States?!

Well Americans love Israeli celebs just as much as Israelis love American celebs! Let’s see if you recognize them!

No 1 – Miri Ben Ari

An Israeli-American violinist. She lives in New Jersey. Ben-Ari was born in Tel Aviv, Israel. She grew up playing classical music; started training at age 5 and at age 12, Isaac Stern presented her with a violin. During her mandatory Israeli military service, she was chosen to play for the Israeli Army String Quartet. During her stint in the Israeli military, she heard an album by Charlie Parker and immediately fell in love with jazz; she later said, “My soul was sold.” She released her first solo CD Sahara in 1999.

Her persistence earned her an appearance on BET’s 106 & Park; the viewer response netted her a return visit a few weeks later. Her performances caught the eye of Jay-Z, who invited her to play as one of the headliners of New York radio station Hot 97’s annual Summer Jam concert in 2001, where she netted a standing ovation. Around the same time, a mutual friend introduced Ben-Ari to Wyclef Jean, who invited her to perform with him at his Carnegie Hall show, the first by a hip-hop artist at the venue.

Miri Ben Ari won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Song in 2005 as one of the co-writers of Kanye West’s Jesus Walks.

In 2006, she co-founded Gedenk (Yiddish for “remember”), an organization dedicated to promoting education about the Holocaust in the United States. In 2007 she received the International Jewish Woman To Watch of 2007 Award and in 2008 she received the “2008 Israel Film Festival Visionary Award,” “The Jewish Federation” award and “the American Society for Yad Vashem” Award. In 2009, she released Symphony of Brotherhood, an instrumental track featuring Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech. In part due to the song, she received the first Martin Luther King, Jr. Israeli Award in January 2008 at a ceremony hosted by the President of Israel, Shimon Peres. In March 2011, Ben-Ari was invited to the White House by Michelle Obama as part of a Women’s History Month celebration, to perform and to be honored as a “Remarkable Woman”. In July 2011, she performed at the 2011 Miss Universe China pageant. In addition, in October 2011 she performed at the Martin Luther King Jr. Presidential memorial dedication in Washington, DC. In 2012, Ben-Ari was invited to perform for U.S. President Barack Obama.


No. 2 – Omri Caspi

An Israeli professional basketball player who last played for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) tall, and plays the small forward position, but he can play also at the power forward position. He was drafted 23rd overall in the 2009 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings, making him the first Israeli to be selected in the first round of an NBA draft. With his Kings debut in 2009, Casspi became the first Israeli to play in an NBA game.

On October 28, 2009, Casspi made his NBA debut for the Kings against the Oklahoma City Thunder, scoring 15 points. On December 16, 2009, Casspi made his first NBA start. Scoring 22 points against the Washington Wizards, he tied the most points scored by any Kings player in his first start since the team moved to Sacramento in 1985. On February 20, 2017, Casspi and teammate DeMarcus Cousins were traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway, and 2017 first round and second round draft picks. In his only game for the Pelicans three days later, Casspi broke his right thumb after scoring 12 points in the 129–99 loss to the Houston Rockets. The Pelicans subsequently waived him on February 25 after being ruled out for four to six weeks.

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No 3 – Bar Refaeli

An Israeli model, television host, actress and businesswoman. Considered among the most internationally successful models to come from Israel, alongside models such as Nina Brosh and Michaela Bercu. According to Forbes Israel, she was the highest paid model in Israel in 2013, ahead of the combined modeling income of other Israeli models such as Esti Ginzburg, Gal Gadot, and Shlomit Malka. She was the cover model of the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and was voted No. 1 on Maxim magazine’s Hot 100 list of 2012. Since 2013, she has been the host of The X Factor Israel.

Refaeli began modeling at the age of eight months, when she first appeared in commercials. Orthodonture at twelve interrupted her modeling until she was fifteen, when an Israeli beauty pageant awarded Refaeli “Model of the Year” (2000). She played prominently in campaigns for the fashion brands Castro and Pilpel, and she starred in a Milky Pudding commercial. Refaeli became the second Israeli model to appear in Sports Illustrated magazine (after Michaela Bercu), in her 2007 debut in its Swimsuit Issue, where she posed with the rock band, Aerosmith. Refaeli was the cover model for the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Southwest Airlines painted a bikini-clad Refaeli from that shoot on the side of its Boeing 737, which led some passengers to criticize the airline for what they regarded as prurient, and hence “offensive to families.”

In 2011, Refaeli starred in American-Israeli film Session directed by Haim Bouzaglo. The film is a psychological thriller that tells the story of a manipulative psychiatrist who becomes obsessed with a new young patient. She also served as a guest judge on cycle four of Germany’s Next Topmodel hosted by Heidi Klum. In November 2012 she started her own model casting show Million Dollar Shootingstar on German TV Channel Sat.1.

No 4 – Infected Mushroom

An Israeli musical duo formed in Haifa in 1996 by producers Erez Eisen and Amit Duvdevani. They produce and perform psytrance, electronica, and Psychedelic music. They are one of the best-selling groups in Israeli music history in terms of both domestic and international sales. They employ a variety of musical sources, including acoustic guitars and complex synthesized basses. Their compositions often contain changes of drum beat and tempo. Infected Mushroom’s live shows feature vocals and analogue instruments in performances that are set against a multimedia backdrop.

Eisen and Duvdevani first began to play together in 1996. A few of their early efforts were released under the name Shidapu & Duvdev. The duo then renamed themselves Infected Mushroom, a name they stole from a local punk band that had been disbanded. The young duo drew inspiration from The Prodigy and Metallica. In 1998 the group began work on their first album, 1999’s The Gathering, inspired by Simon Posford, X-Dream and Transwave. This album featured a dark, rhythmic sonic atmosphere exemplified by its popular track, “Psycho”, using a sample from the movie Batman & Robin. It was one of the first albums to bring Israeli psytrance to mainstream audiences, and contributed to the genre’s worldwide popularity.

Their 2000 album, Classical Mushroom, contained “Bust A Move”, one of their most lauded productions. The album is commonly referred to as one of the group’s best efforts, in which they continued their sonic evolution, and it remains one of the best-known albums in the genre.

Following their Animatronica tour, the band officially announced that their new album would be a follow up to their widely acclaimed Converting Vegetarians album of 2003, sporting the same name. Additionally, it has been announced that the vocals of Sasha Grey will be featured in the track Fields of Grey. The album was released on September 11, 2015.

On January 27, 2017, the band released their eleventh studio album, Return to the Sauce, which features their signature psy-trance sound. This is in stark contrast to Converting Vegetarians II, which is ambient and down-tempo in style. Two singles, “Liquid Smoke” and “Nutmeg”, preceded the release of Return to the Sauce.

No 5. and defiantly not the last Israeli to ever make it big in the States is no other then:

Gal Gadot!

An Israeli actress and model. Gadot is known for her role as Gisele Yashar in The Fast and the Furious film series. In 2016, Gadot began playing the role of Wonder Woman in the DC Extended Universe, starting with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and continuing as the lead in Wonder Woman (2017). She is a former Israel Defense Forces trainer and served in the Israeli army for two years.

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In past years, she has been ranked as one of the highest earning models in Israel, behind Bar Refaeli. She is the face of Gucci’s Bamboo perfume.

Gadot was born and raised in Rosh HaAyin, Israel (YES! You have heard about this city before! I am also from Rosh Ha’ayin!). In Hebrew, her first name means, “wave” and her surname means “riverbanks”. From the age of 20, Gadot served for two years as an enlisted soldier of the Israel Defense Forces. There, she excelled in a grueling three-month boot camp that prepared her to serve as a combat trainer. Gadot was criticized for being “Zionist” on Twitter, in reaction to her military service. She says of her time in the army: “You give two or three years, and it’s not about you. You give your freedom away for a while. You learn discipline and respect. The things I’ve been through as a soldier prepared me to deal with career things as well”.

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In 2007, the 21-year-old Gadot took a part in the Maxim photo shoot “Women of the Israeli Army”, and as a result, she was featured on the cover of the New York Post. In April 2012, Shalom Life ranked her Number 5 on its list of “the 50 most talented, intelligent, funny, and gorgeous Jewish women in the world”, behind model Bar Refaeli and actress Eva Green. In 2014, Gadot was one of two Israeli actresses, along with Odeya Rush, listed as an upcoming leading lady by InStyle magazine.

In 2008, Gadot starred in the Israeli drama Bubot. She appeared as Gisele in Fast & Furious, the fourth film in The Fast & the Furious franchise, having won the role over six other actresses. In 2010, she had a small role in the action-adventure Knight and Day. Earlier that year, she appeared in the film Date Night as Natanya, the girlfriend of Mark Wahlberg’s character. 2011 brought her back to The Fast & the Furious franchise, reprising her role as Gisele in Fast Five. In 2013, Gadot played Gisele again in Fast & Furious 6.

Gadot played Wonder Woman in the movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and is signed for two future sequels which include the Justice League and a solo Wonder Woman film. Gadot received swordsmanship, Kung Fu kickboxing, capoeira and Brazilian jiu-jitsu training in preparation for the role. Gadot’s performance as the superhero, which is the first time for the character on film, was hailed as one of the best parts of the film.

Want to hear about more Israelis that made it big in the States? Email me!

Until next time…

Or