December 17, 2018

Everyone, all together now, sing!

Forget about “The Voice.” Call these “The Voices” — 150 to 200 of them coming together every month to belt out classic Israeli tunes during a rousing singalong.

The lyrics are projected on a big screen, but no one really needs them. Everyone knows the words to the oldies by heart — they grew up listening to and singing those songs. 

This group of Israelis, most of whom immigrated to the United States years ago, is keeping a tradition alive. It’s called shira betzibur, or, in English, public singing.

“We miss Israel and miss the songs,” said Shaul Barkan, 67, a senior vice president of a high-tech company in Northridge. “We enjoy seeing how much fun people are having during these evenings. It’s a great joy.”

Barkan and his wife, Nitzan, 65, started the singing club 23 years ago.