After October 7, many Israeli musicians have gone to the frontlines to bring up the spirits of displaced, injured and grieving Israelis and young soldiers called to action. That includes David Broza, an Israeli musician well-loved by Jews around the world, who spent the days following the Hamas attack performing for evacuees from Kibbutz Be’eri, in shelters and hospitals — he even played at a bris in Kfar Aza, for a baby whose uncle was still missing.
But one visit to an army base in Ofakim by the Gaza border made for an incredibly fortuitous meeting.
“At the gate were two guards,” Broza wrote on his Instagram — Rachel, a “lone soldier from Long Island” and Osher Beniso, an Israeli native. As he entered the base, he promised to “come back [and] play for them after my show to the platoon,” which is exactly what he did, sitting there with his guitar, as the creaky gates opened and closed for vehicles, singing. When he was done with his performance, he asked if Rachel or Osher played any music, and Osher admitted that she sings and also plays piano.
So, he played a song for her to sing — the ever-so-comforting Carole King classic “You’ve Got a Friend.” Beniso later told Ynet that she chose the song because she loves it so much, and it’s one that, four years prior, she sang with her local choir.
What happened next was magic, as Osher started singing with a powerful, gorgeous voice.
Rachel filmed the duet, and Broza, stunned and in awe, didn’t just share it on his social media, but also with the director of the Rimon School of Music, who gave her a full scholarship to attend the school after her release from the army.
When Beniso found out about the scholarship, she said, “I couldn’t stop crying because it’s a dream I always had, to study in Rimon.”
“It’s like a Cinderella story, I never expected it to happen to me.”
This isn’t the first time Broza has toured the country during war and conflict, but in an interview with Calcalist, he admitted that it was very different this time around.
He finds the fortitude to do it all through his utter devotion to music and its healing power. “I come with no political messaging, it’s just art for art’s sake,” he said.
Broza does have political opinions, though. He believes that the way for things to get better is by having the right people in leadership. “Professionals,” he told Calcalist, “people whose interest it is to lead and not to win the next elections… I believe in humanity, in spirit and soul. This country wasn’t founded from a business interest but from passion, from a lack of choice, from ideology. We are inventing that ideology anew now and it will come.”