Kathleen Reiter First Winner of Israel’s “The Voice”

Kathleen Reiter was named the winner of the premier season of “The Voice” in Israel on Saturday, March 31, 2012. The 23-year-old Ms. Reiter was born in Quebec, Canada, and made aliyah on a visit to Israel last summer.

The four judges/coaches on the singing competition were Sarit Hadad, Rami Kleinstein, Aviv Geffen and Shlomi Shabat. Ms. Reiter chose to work with Ms. Hadad as her coach.

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Il Volo Signed to Interscope Records

Two years ago, almost to the day, Art2u first wrote about these three young Italian tenors: Piereo Barone, 17, Ignazio Boschetto, 16, and Gianluca Ginoble, 16. Their debut cd was release in Italy in November 2010, and it went platinum.

Released in the United States on May 17, 2011, on the Interscope label (a division of Geffen Records), Il Volo (the Flight) soared to #10 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart.

Other entertainers under contract to Interscope include Lady Gaga, 50 cent, Mary J. Blige, Eminem and the Black Eyed Peas.

Andrea Bocelli & Gianluca Ginoble (June 20, 2009)
The New Italian Trio, Leaving Us a Song (June 19, 2009)
See Also: Il Volo blog

Thousand Hand Bodhisattva (Guan Yin) (千手观音)

A friend from France sent me this fascinating and inspiring video. She has never given me a bum steer, so I took a look before attempting to translate the forwarded message from French into English. It said [and I don’t vouch for the spelling or grammar], in part :

Il y a en Chine une danse extraordinaire qui s’appelle “Guan Yin aux Mille Mains.” Etant donne le degré de coordination requis, l’exécuter parfaitement serait extraordinaire, même si ces danseuses n’étaient pas sourdes.

Oui, vous lisez correctement, les 21 danseuses sont complètement sourdes et muettes.”

The choreographer, Zhang Jigang, holds the rank of Lieutenant General in the Peoples Liberation Army of China.

This dance was performed in 2004 at the closing ceremonies for the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, Greece. That’s right. The Paralympics.

As the email said, all 21 members of the dance troupe are sourd … deaf.

A Joyous Sound: Hava Nagila, Texas Style

A Canadian friend, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, married to a New Zealander, who now lives in the United States, sent me this video. She describes it as “a hoot, hootenanny style.” The email she forwarded to me with the link included this anonymous comment:

WE CAN CELEBRATE EACH OTHER’S CULTURE, EACH OTHER’S ACHIEVEMENT, NO MATTER IF WE AGREE WITH THE PERSON’S POLITICS OR NOT. WHERE ELSE YOU CAN HAVE AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRESIDENT, A LATINA SUPREME COURT JUSTICE, AN AUSTRIAN IMMIGRANT BODY BUILDER FOR GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA, OR A TEXAS CHRISTIAN CHURCH SINGING “HAVA NAGILA” WHILE DISPLAYING BOTH THE AMERICAN AND ISRAELI FLAGS? GOD BLESS THE USA.”

Here is the rendition of Hava Nagila by the CUFI Cornerstone Singers, performed at the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas.

Cornerstone Church was founded in 1975 by Pastor John Hagee. Under his leadership, the congregation has grown from 1,000 members to over 19,000. Pastor Hagee is also the founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI).

The statement on the CUFI web site reads, in part:

During the Holocaust, too many Christians were silent, and we were left to mourn the slaughter of 6 million Jews. Today, Bible-believing Christians must speak up and stand up for Israel. We must act to do whatever we can to protect Israel’s 6 million Jews from the second Holocaust. We must get it right this time. Our faith demands it. The times require it. Silence is not an option.”

A Hope Worth Remembering

I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful.” — Bob Hope

Born Leslie Townes Hope in Eltham, England on May 29, 1903, Bob Hope emigrated to the United States with his family when he was four years old. He died July 27, 2003, in Los Angeles, California, at age 100.

Mr. Hope’s entertainment career spanned vaudeville, radio, film, television and live performances. A comedian, actor, singer and dancer, Mr. Hope was also a humanitarian. For 50 years, he went on the road to entertain American troops, wherever they were stationed. In 1997, he became the only person in history to be designated an “honorary veteran,” for his dedication to the U.S. Armed Forces.

The video clip below is an episode of a Dean Martin Celebrity Roast of Bob Hope, featuring Don Rickles. It was broadcast on October 31, 1974. Among the guests seated at the dias were Bob Hope, Jack Benny, John Wayne, James Stewart, Ginger Rogers, Howard Cosell, Phyllis Diller, Flip Wilson, Rich Little, Milton Berle, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Governor Ronald Reagan, Reverend Billy Graham, General Omar Bradley, Astronaut Neil Armstrong, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, President Gerald Ford, and Mr. Hope’s wife Dolores.