The finalists – from the United States, Mexico, Russia, Australia, Argentina, Sweden, Turkey, Costa Rica, Uruguay and other countries – were selected out of hundreds of contestants who took part in the early auditions.
They're all young adults (aged 16-26) who posted their performances on YouTube in Hebrew on in their own language, and were carefully selected by a panel of judges.
Israel is sending its own representative, IDF soldier Mor Mahlev, all the way from the Education Corps' military band.
As part of the contest, a cultural merger between 'Israeli Idol' and the Bible Quiz, the participants will arrive in Israel on August 10 for three weeks of heritage trips combined with rehearsals for the competition.
Julia of Russia sings 'Light a Candle'
The contest is overseen by members of the IDF's culture unit and the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. The panel of judges, headed by veteran singer Yehoram Gaon, is comprised by musical producer Kobi Oshrat, composer and singer Hanan Yovel, musical producer Yehuda, DJ Skazi and others.
Advocate Tzahi Gavrieli, chairman of Hallelujah's public executive team, still remembers how candidates were selected for the contest 20 years ago, before the YouTube era.
"At the time, the competition was performed under harsh conditions, through emissaries in the Jewish communities," he says. "Today, thanks to the Internet world, we can reach tens of thousands of music lovers directly, anywhere on the globe."
Lorren of Holland performs an original song, 'My Country'
He views the contest as "a primary Zionist project".
"The competition was renewed in order to help deal with the troubling phenomenon of hundreds of thousands of young Jews in the Diaspora estranging themselves from their Judaism and from Israel. Hallelujah is aimed at connecting young Jews from all around the world to one conceptual basis: Israel and Hebrew-language music."
Vedat Behar of Turkey performs 'Feelings'
In order to deepen the influence, he says, a television series will document the young singers' visit to Israel. It will be broadcast on Channel 1.
Eitan Gafni, Hallelujah's founder and head producer, says that "Hebrew songs are the most popular Israeli art. They are also sung by Jews who do not speak Hebrew in communities, youth movements and summer camps, and during their visits to Israel."
You're invited to get a glimpse at the auditions and study the vocal abilities of some of the contestants chosen to compete in the final in Israel. Who known, you may watching the next Jewish star.
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