Kaveret and Arik Einstein: Two Revolutionary Israeli artists and Their Importance to Israeli History

May 6, 2024
Billie Lieber

Bethesda, Maryland, United States

Class of 2025

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One of the most exciting activities during my trip to Israel was visiting the ANU (Museum of the Jewish People). One of my favorite parts of the museum was the section dedicated to music. I have been listening to Israeli artists as far back as Arik Einstein and Kaveret, but I never knew the cultural significance of both artists until I went to the museum. So, here’s the significance of these two artists. 

Arik Einstein was a first-generation Israeli born into an Ashkenazi family. He is a well-known and respected artist. Arik, a notably versatile artist, embodied several different styles and musical genres throughout his extensive career. My favorite song of Arik’s is Erev Shel Shoshanim which came out in 1968. Being someone with a deep interest and fascination with cultures, this song fueled my interest in looking into the history of Israeli music. Delving into his extensive discography and lyrics, it’s clear that his words are particularly relevant today. From the lyrics of “Chocolate Soldier” written by an outspoken critic of the Israeli government, to “Prague” detailing ghettos and death, what stands out to me about Arik Einstein is his controversial, but creative protestations. Would he be around today, I’m sure these songs would be sung happily by protestors of the Israeli government.

Another notable Israeli group is Kaveret, a rock band comprised of Danny Sanderson, Gidi Gov, Alon Oleartchik, Efraim Shamir, Meir Fenigstein, Yitzhak Klepter, and Yoni Rechter. To me, this group is the Israeli Beatles, maybe even the Rolling Stones or AC/DC. I once saw a documentary about them from Kan (Israeli broadcaster), who said that they were the soundtrack to the Yom Kippur War. Not knowing much about this, I consulted several sources and learned that they started as members of the Nahal Band, the IDF’s entertainment troupe. Following the end of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, they went on to represent Israel in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest. 

Before, I used to listen to these two artists for fun and to get more familiar with my cultural background. But, as I learned more about the influence of music on Israeli society, my subsequent connection to these two powerful musical powerhouses has strengthened my cultural connections to the land of Israel. The artists that were the soundtrack to an older Israeli generation have found themselves relevant, as well as popular among not just a younger Israeli demographic but among Jews around the world.

Billie Lieber is a BBG from Beyla BBG in DC Council and loves KPOP.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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