May 14, 2024 - World

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra debuts "hope" video with global contributions

 Heichal HaTarbut, home of the Israel Philharmonic, has a sign reading "Bring Them Home" on February 21, 2024 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Heichal HaTarbut, home of the Israel Philharmonic, displays a sign reading "Bring Them Home" on Feb. 21 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

The American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (AFIPO) on Tuesday released a music video of people around the world singing Hatikvah — the national anthem of Israel — played with the Israel Philharmonic.

Why it matters: The two-month-long Global Hatikvah initiative is meant to promote peace. It attracted thousands of submissions from 72 countries across six continents and was edited into a "virtual choir" for Israel's Independence Day.

What they're saying: "Across the generations, across the miles, Global Hatikvah has united friends of Israel around the world in song," AFIPO CEO Jennifer Hughes said in a statement. "When we sing together, we heal together."

How it works: AFIPO asked people to record themselves singing Hatikvah and submit the footage through their website.

  • Individuals and community groups, including Lizzy Savetsky, Temple Israel in New York City, the Israeli Voice to Voice choir, Six13 A Cappella group, Jewish day schools, retirement communities, synagogues, and families submitted recordings.
  • Composer Maxwell Karmazyn helped create the video production, which included an accompaniment track synchronized with the performance for virtual participants to sing along.
  • Karmazyn tells Axios he was not trying to make a political statement by helping put together the final video but believes music can heal during a crisis.

The big picture: The effort comes as Israel remains at war against Hamas in Gaza and as public opinion in the U.S. has turned against the war.

Flashback: The opening of the Israel Philharmonic's 87th season was delayed last year due to the war in Gaza.

  • The orchestra pivoted by performing in trios and quartets for evacuated families from Gaza border communities and northern towns, and for those who were injured and hospitalized, per the Times of Israel.
  • Shortly after the Oct. 7 attack, the orchestra performed a live broadcast concert where photos of the hostages' faces were placed on the seats in the front row.
Go deeper