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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Israeli star rocks UA

    From left, Keisey Kendelman, sophomore, Gil Wasserman, senior and Rachel Fox, sophomore attend the Israel Week event out on the UA Mall Wednesday. Wasserman wears an Israel Defense Force uniform and in August he will be enlisting in the Israeli military service.
    From left, Keisey Kendelman, sophomore, Gil Wasserman, senior and Rachel Fox, sophomore attend the Israel Week event out on the UA Mall Wednesday. Wasserman wears an Israel Defense Force uniform and in August he will be enlisting in the Israeli military service.

    Celebrations for Israel Week on campus are culminating on a musical note with a pop-rock performance by Israeli native Zohar Porshyan.

    “”(The music) is a good opportunity for me to bring something right up from myself to the students, to the American population,”” he said. “”If it’s Jewish student or non-Jewish student, it’s satisfying.””

    The concert will start at 7:30 p.m. upstairs of the Espresso Art Cafe, 942 E. University Blvd.

    Porshyan volunteered to come to the United States as an emissary from Israel last September through a Hillel branch based in San Jose, and will stay until the end of June.

    During his time in the United States, Porshyan said he hopes that he will be able to bring the culture of his country with him through his music, which he has performed for American students in both the United States and Israel.

    Israel Week, which has included everything from belly dancers shaking their hips on the UA Mall, to a Jewish film festival at Gallagher Theater, is an event aimed at bringing the culture of Israel to the University of Arizona.

    The event is sponsored by Hillel, an organization that focuses on providing opportunities for, and enriching the lives of, Jewish students at more than 500 colleges and universities.

    Liraz Arkin, who is in charge of supervising the 15 to 20 UA students involved in organizing the event, said there is more to the country than many people know.

    “”(Hillel) wants to engage more students about Israel, explain to students … about Israel and to try to bring different aspects to the campus,”” she said. “”People can then see another side of Israel, other aspects than what they see in the news.””

    Porshyan said he wants to get the audience involved in his concert and to teach them at least one Hebrew song, the history and culture of Israel, and a few Hebrew words.

    “”Usually I choose between two or three or five important words in Hebrew so (the audience) can learn them. Afterwards, we start working on the songs, from the simplest way to the hardest way as one group,”” he said. “”It’s usually a fun experience.””

    Depending on how the performance is going, Porshyan said he also wants to perform a small session of body drumming, a style of percussion music that an Israeli group, Mayumana, is famous for.

    Body drumming involves a troupe of percussionists banging on anything from garbage cans to their body to the floor.

    As rewarding as his experiences have been in the United States, Porshyan said the cultural differences between Israel and America have provided some challenges for him during his performances.

    “”(It’s a) challenge to understand exactly what kind of audience I have in front of me, to learn them right away,”” he said. “”I need to read my audience in less than two minutes to understand how their minds are working, to match myself with the session to the audience.””

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