Chassidic Song Festival


The Chassidic Song Festival took place in Israel from 1969 to 1992. It was a song contest with original tunes set to lyrics biblical sources, perceived as an attempt to integrate Jewish tradition to Israeli music.

This yearly festival, launched by the producer Miki Peled after the Six Days War, include many great performers among its participants, such as Shlomo Carlebach, who wrote at least one song for each festival, the Re’im Duo, Shlomo Artzi, Avi Toledano, Yaffa Yarkoni, Geula Gil, Shimi Tavori and many other.

Since the first festival in 1969, the recordings were published each year on audio cassette and on RPM discs. Our collections comprise about ten recordings on these 33 RPM discs, from the Israeli music labels Hed Arzi LTD and IsraDisc.

Although some religious communities in Israel criticized this festival because of the participation of women, and of their dress code, far from the religious rules, this festival was a great success on Israeli radio.

The first song « Ose Shalom Bimromav » by Nurit Hirsh, performed by Yigal Bashan is considered as one of the biggest successes of popular Israeli songs.

1977 was a turning point in the festival’s development, introducing significant novelties. That year, the first prize was awarded to the « Diaspora Yeshiva Band », for their song « Hu Yiftach Libenu », a band composed of secular Jewish musicians and amateurs, from Israel and the USA.
For this occasion, the band gave a unique performance, behaving on stage as real Chassidim.

The festival took place in Israel, but the entire production left for the Jewish communities abroad, in particular in the USA.

The Chassidic songs were widely spread among American and European Jews and discs were sold worldwide every year. That event contributed to the development of the Chassidic musical genre, encouraged by singers like Mordechai Ben-David and Avraham Fried.

Watch the Video :

Source :
- “Popular Music and National Culture in Israel” Motti Regev, Edwin Seroussi

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  • Yibane Hamikdash - Yaffa Yarkoni (1970)

  • Chemdat Yamim - Shovavey Zion (1971)

  • Hitna’ari - Shula Chen (1972)

  • Or Chadash - Duo Reim (1973)

  • Tefilat Haderech - Nira Gal (1974)

  • Barech Alenu - Chassidic Festival Group (1977)

  • Asher Bara - Geula Gil (1978)

  • Mi Shberach Lechayalei Zahal - Mike Burstyn (1979)

  • Ata Hu Hashem - Shimi Tavori (1981)

  • Lu ami - Avi Toledano (Best songs)

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