Peace Now meets Lady Gaga

Words from a prayer book, the melody from a Hollywood movie: As part of a salute concert to the musical world of North American Jewry, singer Bat Ella and cantor Azi Schwartz sang "Oseh Shalom" to the melody of the hit song "Shallow," made famous by the performance of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper; Watch the performance

What happens when a Lady Gaga hit meets the words "making peace on high" from the Jewish prayer? They received the answer Wednesday at the Nusach America concert (nusach is Jewish liturgical custom), a special production at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art under the auspices of the Felicia. Blumenthal Festival.
The concert was a salute to the diverse musical cultural world of North American Jewry in its various streams over the last 150 years. It presented a combination between texts from the Jewish sources and melodies of well-known American composers, including melodies of Broadway hits from the musical "Fiddler on the Roof" and of contemporary popular songs that penetrated synagogues. The performances were led by international Israeli singer Bat Ella and cantor Azi Schwartz of Park Avenue Synagogue in New York.
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הזמרת בת אלה והחזן עזי שוורץ
הזמרת בת אלה והחזן עזי שוורץ
Singer Bat Ella and Cantor Azi Schwartz
(Photo: Orit Panini)
Bat Ella and Schwartz performed the song "Oseh Shalom" to the tune of the song "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, which became famous as part of the soundtrack of the movie "A Star Is Born" and became an international hit.
"May the one who makes peace in the heavens, make peace for us and all the people Israel," reads the original prayer, which is also included in the Kaddish prayer; in the Reform and Conservative communities it is customary to add: "and for all the inhabitants of the earth." The words take on a topical meaning in the midst of the current war in Gaza.
Gilad Efrat was in charge of the evening's musical management, and it included special performances of prayers, verses from the Bible and poems. In one of the highlights, members of singer Bat Ella's family came up to sing with her the song "B'sefer Chaim" from the High Holidays prayers, to a tune of Sol Zim which they sang for years during the High Holidays at their synagogue in Cincinnati. At the end of the show, male and female rabbis, male and female cantors from the different streams of Judaism and movements took to the stage and performed the song "Amen" with Bat Ella and Schwartz.
Dr. Yizhar Hess, vice chairman of the World Zionist Organization, said at the beginning of the event: "The musical and liturgical cultural creation of the Diaspora has been ignored for years, and now is the time to correct it." He added that "this show is a historic move. I salute the initiative and vision of Bat Ella and cantor Azi Schwartz, an initiative that in my eyes is not Zionist."
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