Yoav Alon

Shalva: Tranquility that Stirs the Heart

In 2019, millions of Israelis fell in love on the same night: The night of the Israeli finals for the Eurovision Song Contest. And millions of Israelis can’t be wrong: before long, the whole world was enchanted by a very special group of Israeli musicians.

The Shalva (“Tranquility”) Band is a project of The Shalva Center, one of Israel’s leading nonprofits for the support of disabled children and their families. Through its band, made up of eight professional musicians with disabilities, Shalva works to promote awareness of people with disabilities and to facilitate their integration into society.

Over the years, The Shalva Band has performed on numerous stages in Israel and around the world, inspiring audiences wherever it goes; it was even the official band of the President of the State of Israel. Unsurprisingly, at the Israeli finals for the Eurovision Contest, its undeniable musical talent on the one hand, and its example of the resilience of the human spirit on the other, made for a winning melody.

On account of the Sabbath observance of some of its members, The Shalva Band eventually decided, in a show of unity and mutual respect, to withdraw itself from the Eurovision contest. Nonetheless, in recognition of their success, they were invited to perform in the second Eurovision semi-finals with a song about a million dreams. When they were done, the cheers could be heard around the world: It was the sound of millions of dreams coming true.