October 17, 2018

The Return of Poogy

The fabled Poogy, Israel’s most celebrated rock band, is reuniting in the United States next month for a three-city tour, billed as their “final reunion.” It’s worth watching the reviews to see how they’re received. The results will offer data on the state of Jewish identity and Israel-Diaspora relations. Israel’s soul will be on display. Will American Jews come listen?

The last time they toured here was 1976, shortly before they broke up.

“We played 20 cities, and every concert was sold out,” says the band’s drummer, Meir “Poogy” Fenigstein, now a Los Angeles-based impresario. “Every place we performed, from Winnipeg to Phoenix, audiences knew the words and sang along. And it wasn’t Israelis. It was American Jews.”

“I don’t know how they learned it. Maybe because we came out at the time of the Yom Kippur War, when American Jews were closer to Israel. A lot of American kibbutz volunteers probably heard Poogy on the radio, and brought back the memories. I think we became a sort of bond between them and Israel.”