New ‘The Blessing Israel’ Music Video Delivers Powerful Interfaith Message Against Antisemitism
November 11, 2021
A new music video sending a moving interfaith message against antisemitism has racked up nearly one million hits on YouTube since its release three weeks ago.
The clip — an initiative of Passages, which brings U.S. Christian college students on organized group trips to Israel — features a diverse collection of well-known Jewish and Christian singers from the U.S., Israel, and Africa coming together to perform the “Birkat Kohanim,” or “Priestly Blessing.”
Watch “The Blessing Israel” music video here:
The opening message says, “In a world stricken by a deadly, global pandemic, the malevolent virus of antisemitism has surged. Today, Jews and Christians from around the world have united to extend a Blessing of healing.”
The video — which took a year and a half to complete, with 149 different tracks being pieced together — was directed and produced by Erez Dan, and Daniel Berkove served as the executive producer.
“At a time when antisemitism is rising, both in the United States and globally, we have to do what we can to raise awareness and stop antisemitism,” Passages Executive Director Scott Phillips told the Combat Antisemitism Movement.
Phillips pointed out that one of the goals of Passages was to build “bridges of friendship” between Jews and Christians.
“There are so many shared values,” Phillips said. “We absolutely do have differences as well, but for Christians, Christianity came out of the Jewish faith, out of the Hebrew Bible, so there is a natural connection, and there is so much of a shared story here, and so much that we have in common that we really can focus on going forward.”
Berkove said the response to the video had been tremendous.
“People are very moved by it, they are brought to tears,” he noted. “And it still reaches me at an emotional level, even after working on it for a year and a half.”
“I couldn’t stop tearing up,” Phillips added. “It’s quite historic, and I think, from my perspective, HaShem, God, is smiling down on us pretty big.”
Asked about the role for Christians in the collective fight against Jew-hatred, Phillips commented, “I think, from basic human place, antisemitism is repulsive and everyone should be playing a role in fighting it. There’s been a lot of Christian antisemitism in the past 2,000 years. It is time for that to change, and I think it has been changing over the past years considerably, but we can’t take the risk of it happening again. We can’t take anything for granted, because this is a story as old as time, it seems.”
He continued, “We have to make it that a new generation of young Christian leaders, across the Christian denominational spectrum, understand that this is a real issue that has not gone away, and that they have a very unique role to play.”