By Yehudit Jessica Singer
August 13, 2009
I did not make aliyah to be cool.
I did not make aliyah for fun nightly cultural events.
I definitely did not make aliyah to close my eyes and marinate in
mind-blowing guitar solos of Jimi Hendrix. But man, with abundant
options for enjoyable cultural evenings under the beautiful skies of
Jerusalem, I am one happy camper.
With all the excitement I get from listening to [Mizrahi favorites]
Sarit Hadad, Eyal Golan, and Moshe Peretz, they do not hold water to
the deliciously infectious music that hit the stages in the summer of '69.
Move over Sarit, Eyal and Moshe, Woodstock 69 has come to Jerusalem.
Thanks to the supporters of the American Football in Israel
organization, hundreds of former hippies, children of hippies,
wannabe-hippies, music lovers and Maariv-davening-tie-dyed-T-shirt
wearing rabbis crowded Kraft Stadium last week to show the world just
how much we all love rockin' in the free world.
The benefit concert took place last week to raise funds for the
non-profit organization American Football in Israel (AFI). The
organization hosts both men's and women's national football teams who
play at Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem. In fact, the national
women's team recently took first place at the Big Bowl tournament in
Germany, and will send both teams to Belfast in September for the
A few blocks away, the annual International Arts and Crafts Fair
filled the Sultan's Pool (right outside the Old City) and welcomed a
full lineup of nightly live concerts by top Israeli musicians. The
day after Woodstock hit Jerusalem, a group of more Israeli-spiced
hippies of the younger generation (note: both sets of hippies wear
tie-dye and have matching beards, but one has payot and wears Teva
sandalim), rocked the stages in the middle of the forests near Gush
Etzion's Bat Ayin with the "Aharit HaYamim" Festival (or "End of
Back in the summer of 1969, free love reigned, filled with wildness
and things that you probably don't want to admit you know about. Now
that modern-day Israel has turned Tu B'Av ("Chag HaAhavah") into a
Jewish version of Valentine's Day, love and unity pour into the
streets and onto stages nationwide.
Jerusalem's Woodstock meant leaving your ideology at the door, and
swaying to music that makes the heart of every soulful music lover
pulsate. If American rock classics can achieve such achdut amongst
the masses, then let the guitars keep jamming!
Evidently, you can take the Jew out of Woodstock, but you can never
take Woodstock out of the Jew. I have never seen a motlier crew of
people enjoy themselves so much.
Special thanks to those who brought 'groovy' to Jerusalem.