TORONTO — Making her Toronto debut, Israeli singer Einat Sarouf drew more than 200 to Kachol-Lavan’s fifth annual fundraiser last week, entertaining the audience with renditions of classic Israeli songs and modern hits in Hebrew, English and Arabic.
Einat Sarouf wowed her audience. [Sheri Shefa photo]
Following a light kosher dinner, a silent auction, a few welcome speeches and a video about Kachol Lavan, Sarouf took to the stage, and within minutes, nearly the entire crowd was on their feet, singing along, clapping to the beat and dancing in their seats.
At one point, a group gathered in front of the stage and broke into a hora, while another group led a conga line between the tables in the hall.
Sarouf’s playlist included hits including Ufaratzta, Adon Olam, Balbeli Oto, Frecha, Que Sera Sera, Let’s Twist Again and Ach Yarab Yarab.
The energy in the hall was palpable – and when Sarouf walked between the tables to pull the last few seated audience members out of their seats to join the dance party at the foot of the stage, no one could refuse.
Sarouf herself gave into the frenzy, and at one point, climbed onto a chair in the middle of the room to dance and sing.
The event, held at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind in Toronto, raised money for Kachol Lavan’s Sunday school, which offers Hebrew and Israeli studies to public school students. Now established as a solid part of Toronto’s Israeli community, Kachol Lavan has begun registering students for a third campus in Thornhill Woods next September.
The event was attended by Israeli consul general to Toronto Amir Gissin and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto president and CEO Ted Sokolsky, both of whom said a few words before the concert began.
Gissin said that “Kachol Lavan is the most important project in the lives of the Israeli community in this city.”
He said Israel needs to remain a place that second-generation Israelis can feel connected to and understand culturally.
“This project, after five years of struggle and effort has now become something to be very proud of and I think we all share this pride.”
Sokolsky said Canadians have a special bond with Israel and he thanked Kachol Lavan for strengthening the bond between the Israeli community and the general Jewish community in Toronto.
“Your particular knowledge, your particular connection, your understanding of Israel is helping the Toronto Jewish community grow and prosper and mature as a community,”Sokolsky said.