Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yehoram Gaon in Toronto

Getting a chance to see one of Israel's iconic showbiz personalities is a treat. And two nights ago, I was able to do just that when I took in the larger-than-life personality that is Yehoram Gaon performing at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.

He was brought in by the Canadian Friends of Hebrew University. (CFHU) who are also helping give exposure to one of the university's major initiatives: the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada (IMRIC), which is on the forefront of "unlocking the mysteries of the genes and proteins that control fundamental processes in living cells." A truly amazing project.

Now, I'm not Israeli nor am I very fluent in Hebrew (to my shame), so a lot of Gaon's banter with the audience in between songs would have been lost on me had it not been for my wife's ongoing translating, bless her. And while he's a very charismatic story-teller, his greatest talent is his singing voice.

Above, from left: CFHU National President Nathan Lindenberg, Yehoram Gaon and CFHU National Director, Rami Kleinmann pose post-event in Toronto this week.
The man who starred in Casablan and made the song "Kol HaKavod" an integral part of Israeli culture was in fine form on Tuesday night. The mostly Israeli crowd sang with him, clapped along and kibbitzed with the star as he belted out tunes as the 71 year old entertainer enthralled his audience over the course of two hours.

And while I wasn't able to sing along, the feeling of being part of Israel for a night was worth every moment. Thanks to CFHU for their hospitality and their efforts to bring this giant of Israeli entertainment to Toronto for a night of magic.

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