International Klezmer Festival

May 25th 2011

Klezmer Music, ahhh…… breathe it in. In Tsfat, at the International Klezmer Festival, August 15-17. Three full days of Klezmeritis.

Klezmer is the Jewish music that take us back to those past shtetl days, when vacationing in Israel was just a fantasy nestled in the minds and hearts of European Jewry.

What happened to the popularity of klezmer since the 1900’s?  With all of the “greenhorn” Eastern European immigrants coming in to America between 1880 and 1920, playing their klezmer music, it quickly got associated with the “old time ghetto mentality” in a not-so-impressive way, and became a more ostracized form of musical expression amongst the majority of American Jews who wanted to be modern and with it.

Luckily, what goes around comes around, and klezmer began its revival in the 1970s thanks to the “folk music revival” in general.And now, international klezmer festivals! The American Jews of yesteryear would be in shock.

Klezmer” is a Yiddish word, coming from putting together  the Yiddish words “klay” meaning instrument, and “zemer” meaning music. Apparently, it was meant to imitate the voice/music of the cantor in synagogue, basing it on chanted Hebrew melodies in religious Jewish services.

So what does this have to do with your Israel vacation? Everything!

While traveling in Israel, get your heart pumping to fantastic and eclectic klezmer music at the International Klezmer Festival, being held in the Upper Galilee, in the fantastically holy city of Tsfat August 15- 17. There, even your Israel tour guide won’t be able to stop his feet from tapping to the infectious klezmer beats coming from the hands and mouths of 45 different artists on eight separate stages, in the ancient alleyways of this holy city.  This will be a huge bonding moment for your private Israel group tour; nothing seals friendships more profoundly than the power of klezmer.
If you’re familiar at all with the who’s who of Jewish music, included in the repertoire will be Sinai Torah, Simply Tsfat, Aaaron Razel, and Vilna Klezmer. For those of you looking for more family-friendly activities in addition, or if you are on an Israel bar mitzvah tour or Israel bat mitzvah tour with kids of all ages, there is also going to be HUGE arts and crafts sales, tours, and children’s events.

Start your feet a-tapping, the International Klezmer Festival is only a few months away!