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Merage Jewish Community Center Presents David Broza in Concert

May 19, 2024
Merage Jewish Community Center
3:00 pm

About This Event

David Broza is an internationally renowned Israeli singer-songwriter, recognized for his dynamic guitar performances and humanitarian efforts. His signature sound brings together songs in Hebrew, Spanish and English, with the influence of Spanish flamenco, American folk, rock and roll, and poetry. Social justice and peace advocacy are embedded in Broza’s work, as his 1977 hit song Yihye Tov (It will be OK) remains an Israeli peace anthem. He has over 40 albums released, many of which are multi-platinum.|    Broza’s charismatic, vibrant, and passionate energy is far-reaching and carries global impact. He is an extraordinary entertainer, an industry innovator, and an inspired humanitarian. He is the founder of non-profit One Million Guitars, which provides underprivileged school children around the world with a hand-crafted guitar and the foundation of a musical education.    After the terrible events of October 7, many Israeli musicians traveled to the frontlines to lift the spirits of grieving and displaced Israelis, young soldiers and reservists called to action. Since October 7, David Broza has performed over 120 free concerts and events throughout Israel, going wherever he is needed to provide some respite from the pain and PTSD experienced by people all over the country.    I had the pleasure of speaking to Broza and interviewing him for JLife. I asked what those performances meant to him and he answered that he is completely devoted to music and its healing power. “I come with no political messaging, it’s just art for art’s sake,” he said. Broza performed for evacuees from Kibbutz Be’eri, in shelters and hospitals – but it was one visit to an army base in Ofakim near the Gaza border where a chance encounter turned out to be a fortuitous meeting.    Broza explained that there were two guards at the gate, Rachel, a lone soldier from New York, and Osher, an Israeli of Ethiopian descent. He entered the base to give a concert to the platoon and promised them he would come back and play for them after his show. And he kept his promise and did just that. The two soldiers had no idea that they were being serenaded by Israeli rock royalty. Broza asked if either of them played any music, and Osher admitted that she sang and played the piano. He asked her to sing a song for him and she chose the Carole King classic “You’ve Got a Friend.” Broza said that he began playing the song on his guitar and singing, and then magically, Osher started singing with a beautiful and powerful voice. Rachel filmed the duet, and a stunned Broza shared the video not only on his social media which instantly went viral, but also with the director of the Rimon School of Music, who awarded Osher with a full scholarship to attend the school after her release from the army.    A commitment to peace and humanitarian causes is in Broza’s blood. His grandfather, Wellesley Aron was a founder of Neve Shalom, an Israeli village where Jews and Muslims lived together and ran a school for peace. He said: ”My grandfather seeded within me the idea of always looking for solutions in life, rather than committing to the misery of helplessness. He taught me to connect with those I have least in common with, rather than run from those who are ‘other’.”    In 2013, Broza convinced Israeli and Palestinian musicians to spend eight days together in East Jerusalem recording the album East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem. The making of the album is the subject of an inspiring documentary film by the same name, available on Netflix. The film sheds a little light on the endless power of music to bring people together and help build the bridges needed in order to begin understanding one another.    I asked him if the events of October 7th have caused him to lose hope in the possibility of  peace. He answered that while this is a terrible time and we are all hurting, now more than ever, it is critical to pass the message of peace to the next generation.    David Broza will continue singing his song Yihye Tov as he has since he wrote it with the late poet Yehonatan Geffen about the 1977 visit of Egypt’s Anwar Sadat to Israel. He will keep singing it for the soldiers and the spouses they left behind, for the families of the hostages and the survivors of the Nova music festival, for all Israelis and those of us in the diaspora who hope and pray and really want to believe that “It will be OK.”