Canadian Evan Malach overcame a few technical difficulties at the beginning of his performance to walk away with the first prize at the final of the global Jewish singing competition “Hallelujah” on Saturday evening.
The live final, held in Ramat Hasharon, was the culmination of a song contest that saw 29 Jews aged 18 to 30 from around the world come to Israel to connect to their Jewish roots though Hebrew songs.
Malach, 27, was overcome with emotion upon receiving the news that he had won the contest with his rendition of Ehud Banai’s “K’nani Blues.” He walked away with an $8,000 cash prize.
The charismatic Canadian was also awarded the opportunity to record a duet with Dudu Fisher, which will be released as a single in Israel and on global Jewish radio stations. As if that wasn’t enough, Malach will travel to Jewish communities around the world to perform.
The team of judges, headed by veteran singer Yehoram Gaon, said it was a difficult decision to make but agreed that Malach deserved to win. Courtney Simmons from the US came in second place.
The 23-year-old, whose family cheered her on from the crowd wearing matching T-shirts, won a cash prize of $4,000. Russia’s Polina Zizak, 18, came in at third place and walked away with $2,000.
Some 1,000 people attended the impressive live show in Ramat Hasharon’s Ussishkin Square, with Sport and Culture Minister Limor Livnat and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz in attendance. During a half-time break in performances, Steinitz took to the stage and joked about budget issues, but highlighted the importance of the singing competition and vowed to make sure that money would be available for similar events in the future.
Steinitz showed his support for the competition by saying “Hallelujah is Zionism and pure pleasure.”
“Hebrew song is the most beautiful, powerful and essential part of renewed Jewish culture. There is nothing more important than an evening like this that connects the Diaspora to Israel,” the finance minister told the crowd.
Livnat also addressed the crowd: “The State of Israel was established as kibbutz galuyot – [the in-gathering of the exiles].
Hallelujah represents the kibbutz galuyot of young singers. This is Zionism itself.”
The 14 finalists all gave emotional performances of personally selected Hebrew songs. Last year’s winner Mexican singer Adam Kleinberg, who recently made aliya, wrapped up the proceedings with a cover of Meir Banai’s classic “Geshem.”
Shalom! My name is Evan Malach from Toronto Canada. I am an emerging singer/songwriter with a great love of Israel, the Hebrew language and the Jewish people. In fact, my musical alias is Stone/Angel because in Hebrew, “Evan” means “Stone” and “Malach” means “Angel” Since 2010, I have recorded and released two albums that are doing quite well in Canada. My goal is to record a third album of original spiritual music in Israel with the most talented musicians there. I also hope to one day stage my original rock musical “sInagogue- The Shul of Rock” in Israel.
Boris Gelfand, watch out: Four sixth grade students from Ma’aleh Adumim won gold medals over the weekend in a thinking games tournament, held in Romania.
The tournament, which was part of the strategy and logic games Olympics, saw 30 teams from all over the world compete in logic games and brain twisters such as Checkers, Abalone, Octi and Corridor.
The four Israeli delegates Yehuda Klein, Aviad Luvravum, Uri Lifschitz and Avraham Klein, who study at Ma’ale Torah elementary school, managed to defeat the other teams in the two categories of the competition –personal and group games.
“It’s a great joy to win the world championship, and we are very excited,” said Yehuda Klein who competed in the Checkers category. “The preparation for the Olympics included training of at least two hours a day and of course checkers games during recess at school. We worked very hard and I am happy we succeeded in our mission,” he added.
According to Klein, the biggest challenge is to think a few steps ahead of the rival and cause him to make the wrong move: “In one of the games I managed to mislead my rival, and after he ate one of my checkers, I ate six of his in one move.”
The thinking games Olympics is being held seven years in a row, and the Israeli teams are organized by Eshcolot Hashiva group, which operates regional and national competitions on behalf of the of the Education Ministry.
Ma’ale Torah principle Rabbi Yehiel Gutvirt said that these types of games do not rely on the element of luck. “The added value of the thinking games is to teach students that in order to succeed in life you need to work hard and thing before every action,” he said.
“The students’ achievement is a great pride to the school, but what is important for us it the learning process that the students went through during the competition. The trophy is only the bonus,” he added.
As part of the 14th International Student Film Festival in Tel-Aviv, we are enabling all students taking part to send us their 30 seconds of Tel-Aviv. It can be anything you think about, th…
A team from the Savionim middle school in Yahud-Monosson on Sunday won first place in the First Lego League International Robotics Competition which was held in Orlando Florida.
The Israeli team which calls itself “The Pink Eagles” and includes three boys and two girls, came out victorious against 64 teams from around the world. The theme of this year’s competition was food safety and the Israeli students managed to develop a sophisticated robot that gave an optimal solution to food quality problems.
This is the second achievement in a row for the team after they won the second and third places in the competition last year when they developed a product that enabled people with disabilities to play computer games.
Guy Ostfeld, a member of the team said: “We have a lot of fun playing around, building and creating in the field of robotics, and we are very proud to have won this prestigious and important award for the State of Israel.”
Dr. Ofer Rimon, the Director of the Science and Technology Administration at the Education Ministry said that this was an impressive achievement: “We hope that thanks to these knids of achievements we will be able to push forward the field of robotics in middle schools.
“Working with robotics fascinates children and through (robotics) we can open a gate to the world of science and technology…as through robotics children learn to work as a team and study mechanics, electronics and computers at a very high level.”
Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar said: “This is a qualitative team of talented children who have demonstrated advanced abilities of initiative, thought and creativity as well as interpersonal skills.
“These students are the face of the future of Israeli science, research and development – the impressive achievements and the highly developed capabilities of these students ensure that Israel will continue to lead among the world’s countries.”
A new alert system developed by Israel’s MultiLock and Starcom Systems aims to tattletale on thieves – literally.
The WatchLock – a lock enforced with special GPS and cellular chips – allows owners to track its location anywhere in the world, and send them a text message should anyone try to pry it open.
The system is the first of its kind in the world and is one of the leading candidates for the IFSEC 2012 innovation awards.
Held in the UK in mid May, IFSEC is the largest annual security event in Britain and one of the most prestigious in the world.
WatchLock looks like a slightly oversized version of a standard lock, but its unique system sends out its location at any given time.
The system keeps a log of every time the lock is opened and should anything but its key be used, it alerts the owner by SMS or email immediately.
The locator system is not power-dependent, making it ideal for securing remote locations or moving objects, such as trucks or containers.
Israeli sharpshooter Sergey Richter won the silver medal in the 2012 Shooting World Cup held in London Saturday.
Richter won 701.1 points and was a mere half a point from winning the gold.
The win also represents a personal record for the 23-year-old from Raanana.
Richter scored 597 points out of a possible 600 in the early 10-meter air rifle standing competition. But after scoring a perfect 100 points in his first two final sets, he missed a shot and scored 99 points in the third.
His fourth set was perfect, but his fifth left him at a disadvantage. Still, once in the finales Richter was able to add 104.1 points to his score and win the silver medal.
Frenchman Edmond Piasecki won the gold medal.
Two other Israelis competed on Saturday as well: Lior Madlal, who scored 588 points and was ranked 57th; and Amy Ben-Heffer, who scored 577 points and was ranked 82nd.