A musical hug: Exploring wartime Israeli society through music

Israeli music radio personality Josh Shron will be in Calgary on April 1.

By Michele Doctoroff

(Calgary) – Temple B’nai Tikvah, Beth Tzedec Synagogue and CJSU are excited to announce an upcoming event in Calgary that promises to be a moving and enlightening experience. Israeli music expert and radio personality Josh Shron will be presenting “A Musical Hug from Israel” on Monday, April 1, at 7 pm.

Shron, longtime host of an Israeli music radio show and podcast called “Israel Hour Radio,” will be in Calgary and Vancouver as part of his North American tour presenting the most meaningful songs of the war.

For Shron, Israeli music has always meant much more than just nice tunes in Hebrew. It’s been a window into Israeli society, providing a meaningful glimpse into the heart and soul of the Jewish State. “I’ve long believed that Israeli music has the power to connect us to our homeland unlike anything else,” Shron said. “The songs are great, but the stories behind them often teach us a great deal about the amazing spirit of Israel.”

It’s that amazing spirit that has enabled Israelis to cope with the horrific events of October 7.   Music has been a tremendous part of the healing process. “The music that’s emerged from this tragedy has been nothing short of inspirational. It makes us cry, makes us sigh, and makes us proud to be supporters of Israel – sometimes all in the same song.”

The presentation will feature a selection of inspiring Israeli songs – seen on video with English subtitles, released in the aftermath of the October 7 attacks, offering a powerful and poignant glimpse into the mood of the country. The repertoire will include songs that touch on themes of sadness and death, reflecting the profound impact of recent events. Other songs will shed light on the plight of hostages in Gaza, serving as a reminder of the desperation felt around the world to bring them all home.

Moreover, Shron’s presentation will also highlight the unity, optimism, and determination that have characterized the Israeli people throughout this challenging period. These uplifting musical pieces will showcase the resilience and strength that unite Israelis in the face of adversity.

Several Calgarians have previewed this presentation, and all agree that it is a powerful and unique way for our community to come together to understand the rollercoaster of emotions that Israelis and Jews around the world have been experiencing.

A former resident of New Jersey, Shron recently fulfilled a lifelong dream by making Aliyah with his wife and four of his five children, moving to Modiin in August 2023. He credits Israeli music as a strong factor in his decision to move.

“I’ve immersed myself in Israeli music for more than 25 years,” he said, “and the more I listened, the more I felt like I belonged there. We put it off for years, but with our kids getting older, we realized it’s now or never – and we weren’t prepared to say never.

“Obviously, we wish the circumstances were different, but during this challenging time, it just feels right to be there. It’s only been a few months, but we can’t imagine living anywhere else.”

For more information email musicalhugcalgary@gmail.com. Due to generous sponsor support, there is no charge for this event, but please register in advance at https://bit.ly/calgary-hug.

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