British chief rabbi’s song gets million hits on YouTube

LONDON – A video recording of “Oseh Shalom” by Britain’s Chief Rabbi, recorded to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel, has just passed 1 million hits on YouTube.


The recording features Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks with soloist chazzans Jonny Turgel, Shimon Craimer and Rabbi Lionel Rosenfeld along with the Shabbaton Choir and children from the Moriah Jewish Day School in London.

The recording was made in the same London studio as the famous 1984 Band Aid video, which raised money for famine relief in Ethiopia, and was produced by leading producer Trevor Horn. The song was part of the Home of Hope music CD released by Sacks to mark the state’s 60th anniversary two years ago.

Posted on YouTube in May 2008, the video has been seen as far away as Asia and Africa.

A third of hits have come from the US.

“The 1 million hits is testament to the love of Jews across the world for the State of Israel,” Sacks said. “The words of ‘Oseh Shalom’ reverberate with us all and lift our hearts to a miracle of a land rebuilt.”

Shabbaton choir director Stephen Levey, who composed the new version of the song, paid homage to the chief rabbi.

“I’m absolutely amazed at the response it has had. To reach 1 million hits is beyond all expectation. I cannot thank enough all those who made it possible and to the chief rabbi whose belief in the project inspired us all,” Levey said.

October 29, 2010 | 2 Comments »

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  1. I wholeheartedly agree. The synogogue I attend has an in house band that has regular coffee houses with a mix of music. Lots of guitar.

  2. Music is not just the international language. It appeals to all regardless of political or ideological leanings.

    This emotionally stirring beautiful rendition of Oseh Shalom, with the Israeli flag seen in the background simply and effectively connects the beauty of the music, singer and choir to Israel.

    As I have over the years continued to advise many Jewish organizations that pro-Israel advocacy, not just to the world, but to the Jewish community could make very effective use of Jewish/Israel themed music, especially music and song that would greatly appeal to Jewish youth.

    Several or so years ago, I attended a good friend’s Christmas concert. A Christian themed rock band played, belting out Christmas carols and other Christian songs. The congregation really got into it and I could see that in their faces. On TV I have watched some of the Christian music, gospel and more in keeping with a rock genre and it too was toe tapping and inspirationally presented.

    I had spoken with some Jewish leaders who listened but changed the subject 1st chance they got. My letters to Jewish organizations encouraging them to consider making use of music and song as part of their Hasbara and pro-Israel advocacy to Jews, especially Jewish youth and to the world, were ignored.

    Listening to this rendition of Oseh Shalom, again stirs my enthusiasm to promote the idea that Jewish should be taking a page out of Christian advocacy and use music to instill Jewish spirit in Jews.