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Nehama Hendel

(1936–1998)

Nehama Hendel was an Israeli folk singer. Born in Jerusalem, Hendel started her career as a singer in Lehakat ha-Naḥal, the military entertainment troupe. After her army service, she went to Paris for singing and acting studies.

In 1957, she returned to Israel and was a member of the Batzal Yarok (Green Onion) entertainment troupe. A year later she participated as an actor in the American movie Amud ha-Esh and formed one of the first Israeli folk-style duos with Ran Eliran ("Ran and Nama"). She was known especially as a performer of old folk songs (Israeli and others in several languages), the first Israeli singer to evolve a soprano folk-style intonation, breaking a convention established by the "Yemenite altos" such as Bracha Zefirah and Shoshana Damari.

In 1969, she left Israel for Germany with her husband and, from 1984, she lived in Australia until her return to Israel in 1994.

Among her recordings are songs of Outside the Storm (1997). A collection of most of her recordings was published in two CDs in 1998.


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.