A new group singing video project by Koolulam, produced in collaboration with many of the families of the hostages taken by Hamas on October 7 and Tel Aviv's Chamber Theater, aims to raise global awareness about their dire situation, and the urgent need for their release.
The video features a cover version of Madonna's iconic song "Like a Prayer," with the performance featuring families of the hostages in Israel and clips of groups of supporters singing in over 100 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Canada and the United States.
The song choice holds a poignant significance as it was selected by Tamar Porti, who tragically lost her brother Nir and his wife Shai Ragav during the Nova festival massacre on October 7.
Koolulam, a portmanteau of the Hebrew words kolulu (ululation) and kulam (everyone), describes itself as "a social musical initiative aimed at empowering communities and strengthening the fabric of society."
On October 7, at least 239 people were kidnapped by the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas and are still being held hostage inside the Gaza Strip. As the news has spread, more and more people have started to show their support for the families of hostages.
The video begins in Tel Aviv, with the group of singers standing behind empty chairs draped with the posters of the kidnapped hostages. Clips of them before they were kidnapped are shown throughout the video, which ends with a photo collage of all of the hostages with the hashtag #BringThemHomeNow written on top.
In a joint statement, the project's initiators expressed their solidarity with the families, saying, "We stand with the families of the kidnapped, and together with them, we want to do what we do best—sing together and create a human harmony that calls on the world to stand under a clear message: Bring back the civilians, the children, and the elderly—who have not sinned—to the empty beds in their homes."
Opera singers and Broadway stars sing 'Bring Him Home'
An earlier music video of two singers from the Israel Opera singing the Les Misérables classic "Bring Him Home" also serves as a heartfelt call for the hostages' release, whose supporters have taken the similar "Bring Them Home" as their rallying cry.
A video was also released one month after the war started of Broadway community members joining together and singing a rendition of the song, praying for the safety and quick return of all hostages.
"Bring Him Home" is sung in the first act by Jean Valjean, the protagonist of the musical, which is based on a novel of the same name, as he begs God to save and return Marius to Cosette, even if he has to sacrifice his own life for Marius's safety.
Broadway stars, including Debra Messing and Jeremy Jordan, gathered together in a recording booth and recorded both the voice and the film.