El-Al Kicks Off New Logan Route with June 29 Concert

By Matt Robinson

Published June 24, 2015, issue of June 25, 2015.

Having started with one C-54 military transport aircraft that was used to bring President Chaim Weizmann home to Israel from Geneva in 1948, El-Al Airlines has grown to carry over 4,000,000 passengers to and from Israel each year. On June 28, the flag airline of eternal Jewish homeland will open a direct route to the Hub with thrice-weekly flights to Logan International Airport.

“A 30-year wait by all of New England will finally come to an end,” said Consul General of Israel to New England, Yehuda Yaakov. “What has long been a dream of New Englanders all over is finally becoming reality!”
To celebrate this “dream” come true, El-Al is hosting a concert by Israeli superstar Shlomi Shabat on Monday, June 29, at 8 p.m., at the Back Bay Events Center at John Hancock Hall.

With more than 200 Israel-founded companies operating in the Bay State (accounting for about 3% of the Commonwealth’s GDP), Consul Yaakov noted that N.H. and R.I. have also been increasing their involvement with Israel and applauded Massport and Governor Baker for moving this long-awaited plan forward.

“This new route promises to enhance the already flourishing ties that exist in a range of fields,” Consul Yaakov said. “From innovation to academic, New Englanders and Israelis are partnering to better our own and other countries the world over.”

In addition to “open[ing] the gates” for expansion of existing ties, Consul Yaakov also suggested that the new travel route will support tourism on both sides and allow New England and Israeli residents and business owners to enjoy all that the other region has to offer.

Speaking of the best that Israel has to offer, Shlomi Shabat has long been known as the “soul of Israel music,” and a pioneer of the popular musical fusion of Mediterranean, Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish, Turkish, Ladino and American rock n’ roll. His fame has been boosted further in recent years by his appearance as a mentor on Israel’s version of “The Voice.”

Born to Turkish parents, Shabat actually discovered his love for Middle Eastern music while on a trip to New York after serving in the medical unit of the IDF. Releasing his first album, “I’ve Returned From The Darkness,” in 1986, Shabat truly hit it big with his 1989 single, “Because Of The Wind,” which was composed by his sister Leah. Appearances on the Eurovision competition and other international stages brought him to the attention of millions worldwide. His 2000 duet “Everyone Has” (based on the lyrics of Uzi Hitman and performed with singer Lior Narkis) was awarded “Song Of The Year” in Israel.

When asked why Shabat was selected to headline this special performance in Boston, long-time tour manager Genie Benson (who also directs Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble) said, “He was chosen because he is a phenomenal performer and he has not been to Boston in a very long time.” 

“The show should be great,” Yaakov assures, “and the best is yet to come!” For more infomation and tickets, go to teev.simpletix.com/Show/23148/Shlomi-Shabat-Boston-MA.

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