Sisterhood Blog

Babs Plays the Holy Land

By Jo-Ann Mort

  • Print
  • Share Share

It was Barbra Streisand’s 100th performance in 50 years and the first time she performed in Israel—and most likely her last—when she took to the stage inside Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield stadium last Saturday night. The 71- year-old doesn’t like performing, she revealed, while explaining the presence of a giant teleprompter which broadcasted both lyrics and stage cues for all to see. “I performed in Central Park in 1967 and forgot the words to three songs, so I didn’t sing again for 30 years until I realized that a teleprompter would work, but hopefully you will look at me,” she explained with grace and humor to 14,000 very-accepting fans. I don’t think any of us had any trouble looking at her.

Wikipedia Commons
Vintage Babs

As she opened the show, the second of two in Tel Aviv, the seminal performer looked to her left and to her right and said, “there are people on both sides—had I known, I would have gotten my nose done…” But, we love her because she never did get a nose job, parading her Jewish beauty in all of its glory for generations of us. She makes us proud—of ourselves.

Between songs representing her repertoire from “Memories” to “People,” she chatted, drank tea from a flowered ceramic teacup and munched on a cookie because, as she explained, she hadn’t eaten all day.

Donna Karan, seated a few seats away from me in the VIP section, ran out as Barbra Streisand finished the last lines of “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” presumably to help her friend with a costume change. Barbra is a Donna Karan muse and her flowing costumes on stage were Donna-designed. There was something particularly transforming about these two iconic Jewish women strutting their stuff in the Jewish state.

After several encores, her final song was “Happy Days Are Here Again,” the one song that didn’t quite translate to the Israeli audience. An anthem for Democrats from FDR onward, Barba added her commentary: “You had a woman Prime Minister-Gold Meir…I love Obama, but lets put a woman in the White House in 2016,” a clear reference to Hillary Clinton. With a “shalom, peace and goodnight,” she signed off.

I saw Streisand perform in Brooklyn this past fall in Barclay Stadium, and when I met her after the Tel Aviv concert she asked me to compare the two concerts. Perhaps it was the open air, the simpler production or my better seating, but her Tel Aviv concert seemed much more intimate.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Barbra Streisand

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.