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Celebrate Sigd: Israeli Folk Music With an African-Caribbean Groove

Tamar Radah fuses her two cultural worlds in this driving musical celebration

By Jewish Arts Collaborative

Published Nov 30, 2022


Tamar Radah is a singer-songwriter who immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia as a child. She produces music that combines her two cultural worlds: Israeli folk music and African-Caribbean groove.

This combination reflects the essence of Radah’s contemporary Israeliness — a combination of exiles deeply rooted in the land, Hebrew texts that connect to the melodies of the countries of origin, and family and personal stories that preserve heritage and assemble the beauty and diversity of Israel.

We originally produced this video for Sigd — the Ethiopian Jewish festival that marks the renewal of the covenant between God and the Jewish people.

Years ago, in Ethiopia, Jews would climb a mountain 50 days after Yom Kippur to fast and pray for their return to Jerusalem. For thousands, that dream was actualized in the mid-20th century with rescue airlifts from Ethiopia to Israel.

Today, many observe Sigd in Israel by abstaining from food and drink, reciting psalms, and praying for the ancient Temple to be rebuilt. The fast ends mid-day, marked by a ritual meal and dancing.

Tamar’s groove embodies the fusion of Ethiopian and Israeli cultures: the vibrant energy of African-Caribbean music and the timeless, nostalgic melodies of Israeli folk music.


JArts’ mission is to curate, celebrate, and build community around the diverse world of Jewish arts, culture, and creative expression. Our vision is of a more connected, engaged, and tolerant world inspired by Jewish arts and culture.


Joy and light

At the beginning of the video, Tamar desrcibes the song as being about "renewal", "happiness", and "let's dance! that's it!" How does this relate to the celebration of Hanukkah?

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