Mass Singing Initiative Works to Change Fractured Israeli Society’s Tune

March 29, 2018

Source: Times of Israel 


Koolulam’s popularity has soared since it kicked off in Tel Aviv in April 2017, with Israelis jumping at the opportunity to come together with thousands of strangers — to sing.

The NIS 40 ($11.50) tickets for recent Koolulam events have sold out in mere minutes. In under an hour, participants learn a three-part arrangement of a Hebrew or English song, and then perform it for a video to be shared on social media. Views of the videos reach into the hundreds of thousands, and millions in some cases.
This March 13 event, however, was the first time Koolulam’s organizers pulled off simultaneous gatherings in five different cities in Israel: Jerusalem, Dimona, Ashkelon, Rishon Lezion, and Kiryat Motzkin. A total of 7,500 people sang veteran Israeli rocker Shalom Hanoch’s “Bagilgul Hazeh” (This Time Around) to cap off Good Deeds Day, an initiative of the Ruach Tova (Good Spirit) NGO promoting voluntarism in Israel and other countries.

Incredibly, this feat will soon be outdone as Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin announced he will host a Koolulam event on April 9 celebrating Israel’s upcoming 70th birthday. It’s set for the Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv, an indoor stadium that seats 10,300. Tickets for the event go on sale the morning of March 29 and will surely be snatched up quickly.

The team has big plans for Koolulam, which they believe can make a significant impact on Israeli society and beyond. They already partner with municipalities and NGOs, and they hope to soon launch a KoolSchool product to teach schools how to produce their own Koolulam-style events (including video production). There’s also talk of expanding into therapeutic and rehabilitation settings such as hospitals and prisons, and even of taking Koolulam to other countries.

Koolulam’s breakout success has been attributed to a public desire to counter society’s increasing emphasis on individualism and competition. Increasingly, people want to put away their smartphone, forget the state of the world, and feel part of an inclusive group or community — even if only for a couple of hours.

Read more at The Times of Israel

Updated: Apr. 11, 2018