Singer tours Israel to lift spirits of soldiers and evacuees

Jason Feddy is performing 12 concerts in two weeks


Musician Jason Feddy is performing 12 concerts in two weeks

A Leeds-born singer-songwriter has embarked on a marathon tour of Israel to entertain and raise the spirits of soldiers and evacuees.

Jason Feddy, who is on his second self-funded musical trip round Israel in three months, is playing 12 concerts in two weeks. He is performing at hotels and venues in Netanya, Haifa, Tel Aviv, as well as at an army base.

On 8 October, the day after the Hamas attack, Feddy — who has opened for Neil Young at Glastonbury Festival, supported The Cranberries and Tears for Fears, and performed at the Royal Albert Hall — told his wife, Ava, that with all their family members based in Israel, he wanted to go there to support them. The pair married in 2010 at Tuval; members of Feddy’s family had founded the kibbutz. The couple are now planning on making aliyah.

Feddy’s sister suggested booking some gigs, and he arrived in December for a short tour. It was so successful and appreciated that he returned for a second tour, which started on 27 February and is continuing until 10 March.

“I’m not good at harvesting avocadoes or anything like that, but I can make people laugh, and I can sing songs that they know,” Feddy says. “It’s a singalong."

During the first show at a Netanya Hotel, the audience called out for Eagles’ classic Hotel California, and the musician duly obliged.

“It’s fun. I make silly jokes and try and tell jokes in Hebrew. It seems trivial, but it's part of the makeup of how we're going to get through this. This is what I call my tribute to my fellow human being.”

Some of those Feddy has met have wanted to show him videos they captured from their apartments of the atrocities on October 7. “Really incredibly traumatic stuff — cars being shot through the window, crashing — and yet these people want to sing. I believe that music has some power, but you can’t prove it until something like that happens.”

A particularly memorable gig was when Feddy played to soldiers at an army base on a day that coincided with a soldier’s birthday. “It was raining and it was cold. It was miserable. I started to sing, and these soldiers then started to sing, and it was just a beautiful moment for these guys, who are all tooled up and ready to go and protect the people. Moments like that make me proud to be a human being.”

Feddy says that every gig he performs is different and he doesn’t know the situation until he arrives; he is used to quickly reading the room. “It could be very traumatised people. It could be people who don’t know English. My simple message is that we care and that we're on our phones all day long, and we’re reading The Jewish Chronicle, and we can't sleep because we know what's going on in Israel. We're doing whatever we can and if we can afford to donate, we do.”

Feddy, who is now based in California, works with a Jewish organisation, the Jewish Collaborative of Orange County, which has set up a webpage to enable people to donate to various Israeli charities.

“I perform because I love Israel and I want to see my family, but [through this organisation] people can donate to various Israeli charities because it validates what I'm doing.”

Click here to donate through the Jewish Collaborative of Orange County.

Click here for details of Jason Feddy’s shows.

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