Samuel Green bigs up English reading in Israel – Jewish Chronicle

http://www.thejc.com/news/people/45644/samuel-green-bigs-english-reading-israel

By Candice Krieger

The British self-styled Zionist rapper Samuel Green is doing his bit to promote English literacy among Israeli school children.

Last week, Mr Green, aka Antithesis, kicked off a one-month readathon with a performance at the Ma’ale Adumim Mall.

The initiative is being organised by A.H.A.V.A, a non-profit educational institute that provides extra-curricula English classes for Israeli pupils. The former Mazkir of FZY, Mr Green tells People: “”The world is more competitive than ever so it’s important Israeli kids have the opportunity to get off to a good start, and English is a big part of that.

“”I loved reading growing up. It broadens the mind and the imagination. It’s an honour to support A.H.A.V.A and this event.”” At the launch, Mr Green performed some of his rap music and read a short story.

The readathon is now in its sixth year.

For one month, children are sponsored to read as many short-story English books as they can. The person who reads the most will receive a prize, donated by basketball club, Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem.

Mr Green, who grew up in south London, has released two albums to date.

Student newspaper Varsity named him one of the Top 100 Most Talented Cambridge Students, and the JC included him in its ‘Power 100’ list of those with the most influence over the British Jewish community.

ShalomLife: Zionist rapper Antithesis launches read-a-thon in Israel

By: ASHLEY BAYLEN

http://www.shalomlife.com/eng/14674/article

Antithesis, a rap artist best known for the Jewish and Zionist themes in his music, plans to launch a one-month English literacy event at Maaleh Adumin Mall in Israel this afternoon.

The rapper kicks off the event by performing live in the Maaleh Adumim Mall at 5pm. Additionally, he will read a short story to the kids attending. The goal of his initiative is to raise funds for A.H.A.V.A, a non-profit educational institute that provides extra-curricular English language classes for Israeli children.

Antithesis, aka Samuel Green, was born in Kingston, London in the UK. He has released two successful albums, and performs his original music around the world. Antithesis was named one of the top 100 influential Jews in the UK due to his thought provoking lyrics.

Antithesis believed it essential to attach his name to A.H.A.V.A. Less than half of all eligible 12th grade students in Israel attempt the English matriculation exam, with a surprising 45% that can’t matriculate at all.

“The world is more competitive than ever so it’s important Israeli kids have the opportunity to get off to a good start and English is a big part of that. I loved reading growing up, it broadens the mind and the imagination. It’s an honor to support A.H.A.V.A. and this event.”, Anithesis says.

The A.H.A.V.A read-a-thon is in its 6th year, and hopes to attract hundreds of local school children and families. Children are sponsored to read as many English books as possible over the course of the month. On April 4th, the event will officially come to a close with a community party and Award Ceremony.

A.H.A.V.A was founded in 2000 by Galia Cohen Morrison, an English teacher and mother of five, who was determined to provide an affordable extra-curricular English tuition to Israel’s children.

“We are delighted Antithesis has agreed to launch this year’s annual read-a-thon, it is very exciting for local children. Last year saw hundreds of children take part. We are expecting this year’s event to attract even more families.” Morrison explains.

The read-a-thon is being sponsored this year by Bank Yahav, Aroma, Steimatsky, Reemax, Maaleh Adumim Municipality, Janis Design, Nof HaYarden Hall, Kanyon Adumim and Kol Gina Pnina.

Ynet: UK rapper launches read-a-thon in Israel

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4027119,00.html

Antithesis, rap artist renowned for Zionist and Jewish themes of his music, to kick-off one-month English literacy event at Maaleh Adumim Mall

Antithesis, a rap artist renowned for the Zionist and Jewish themes of his music, will be performing live in the Maaleh Adumim Mall on Thursday, February 17, at 5 pm, to kick-off a one-month read-a-thon for A.H.A.V.A., a non-profit educational institute that provides extra-curricular English-language classes for Israeli children.

A.H.A.V.A. is a non-profit organization in Israel dedicated to promoting English literacy for children.

Antithesis, also known as Samuel Green, hails from Kingston, London in the UK. He has released two albums to date which have sold in their thousands, and continues to perform all over the world. Because of his celebrity and thought provoking music, Antithesis has also been named as one of the top 100 most influential people in the UK Jewish community.

At the event, Antithesis will perform some of his rap music and officially launch the Read-a-thon by reading a short story to all the children present.

Antithesis said: “The world is more competitive than ever so it’s important Israeli kids have the opportunity to get off to a good start and English is a big part of that. I loved reading growing up, it broadens the mind and the imagination. It’s an honor to support A.H.A.V.A. and this event.”

Less than half of all eligible 12th graders in Israel even attempt the English matriculation exam and just over 45% matriculate at all.

‘Very exciting for local children’

The A.H.A.V.A. read-a-thon is now in its sixth year and is hoping to attract hundreds of local school children and families to take part. Children are sponsored to read as many English books as they can over the course of a month, culminating with a community party and Award Ceremony to be held this year on April 4.

This year, Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem Basketball Club will be donating one of a number of prizes for children who manage to read the most books.

A.H.A.V.A. was founded in 2000 by Gaila Cohen Morrison, an experienced English teacher and mother of five, who was determined to provide affordable extra-curricula English tuition to Israeli children. All of the seminars and curricula are based on Cohen Morrison’s nearly 30 years of experience in the field, having taught over 2,000 students and dozens of educators.

A.H.A.V.A. Director Gaila Cohen Morrison said, “We are delighted Antithesis has agreed to launch this year’s annual read-a-thon, it is very exciting for local children. Last year saw hundreds of children take part. We are expecting this year’s event to attract even more families.”

The read-a-thon is being sponsored this year by Bank Yahav, Aroma, Steimatsky, Reemax, Maaaleh Adumim Municipality, Janis Design, Reemax, Nof HaYarden Hall, Kanyon Adumim and Kol Gina Pnina.

Haaretz: ANTITHESIS’ THESIS

From Rank and File by Raphael Aren

http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/anglo-file/rank-and-file-1.324259

Samuel Green – a London-born rapper better know as Antithesis – is scheduled to perform in Ma’ale Adumim Mall next Thursday to kick-off a one-month read-a-thon benefiting A.H.A.V.A., a nonprofit providing extra-curricular English classes for Israeli children.

“”The world is more competitive than ever so it’s important that Israeli kids have the opportunity to get off to a good start, and English is a big part of that,”” said Antithesis, who moved to Tel Aviv last year and whose lyrics mostly deal with Zionist topics.

Now in its sixth year, the A.H.A.V.A. read-a-thon annually attracts hundreds of local school children. Students are sponsored to read as many English books as they can over the course of a month, culminating with a community party and award ceremony to be held on April 4. “”Kids who read just 20 minutes a day are in the top 10 percent of language students. English literacy is so important for our children and so we hope that the read-a-thon inspires them to get reading on a permanent basis,”” said A.H.A.V.A. director Gaila Cohen Morrison, a mother of five who founded the organization 11 years ago.

Israel National News: Rapping English to Israeli Kids – For a Better Future

by David Lev
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/news.aspx/142287

An innovative program in Ma’aleh Adumim aims to help Israeli teens master English – for a more successful future.

 

About half of Israel’s high school students fail English, says Ma’aleh Adumim teacher Galia Cohen – despite starting to learn ithe language in the third grade in Israeli schools — and that has tremendously damaging implications for their future.

 

“Every university, college, and even certificate program requires a high level of English, and any professional who wants to become a part of their international professional community and keep track of developments does so in English. So many people in Israel are held back because of a lack of English.”

 

To alleviate the problem, Cohen started an afterschool English skills enhancement program in Ma’aleh Adumim and surrounding towns. For the past 10 years, A.H.A.V.A has been running programs that have ensured that many youngsters who were in danger of falling behind were able to keep up with their English studies, and even thrive.

 

One feature of A.H.A.V.A’s program has been an annual Read-a-thon – a month-long campaign that has kids reading ten or even more books, in order to raise funds for the program. This year’s Read-a-thon kicks off this coming Thursday – and newly-arrived in Israel British rapper “Antithesis” will be performing to help get kids interested in the Read-a-thon and in A.H.A.V.A’s program.

 

Antithesis, who now lives in Tel Aviv, calls himself the “Zionist Rapper,” and has written songs on Israel’s survival, kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, missing airman Ron Arad, and other Jewish and Israeli subjects. He has sold thousands of recordings, and has performed in many venues in the UK, as well as in as well as in Israel, Argentina and the US. He also hosted Britain’s first Israeli music radio program, Kol Cambridge, which was nominated for a BBC Student Radio Award. The name, his website says, was given to him by a friend, who termed him the antithesis of a stereotypical rapper.

 

“Ostensibly, the Read-a-thon is supposed to raise money, but its real purpose is to get kids to read more,” says Cohen. “The contest aspect of the Read-a-thon – with kids racing to read more and raise more money – does wonders for their reading level. Studies show that when kids read at least 10 books in a short period, such as a month, their reading level goes up by a year. I can see from the books they read at the beginning of the Read-a-thon, as compared to the books they are reading at the end, just how much progess they have made.”

 

Antithesis agrees with Cohen on the importance of developing English skills, and was happy to lend his talents to promoting the after school program and the Read-a-thon, says Cohen, adding “maybe I can get him to write a rap on the importance of reading.”

 

Antithesis Interview on Tel Aviv Local News

In September, I was interviewed for the Tel Aviv and Gush Dan regional news bulletin. It was my first live interview in Hebrew so I was a little nervous but I managed to get through it ok without too many horrendous errors. For those who don’t speak Hebrew (or who can’t understand my accent), there are English subtitles which give a rough idea of the conversation. What you can’t hear is the entire crew roaring with laughter when I answered the final question!

Big thanks to the IBA TV journalist for securing the footage!

 

Why ‘geek’ Samuel Put His Pride on Show in First Video – Jewish Telegraph

ZIONIST rapper Antithesis is just that: the antithesis of the rapper stereotype.

Antithesis AKA Samuel Green read Oriental studies at Trinity College, Cambridge. He currently works for an acclaimed marketing company in Switzerland by day and has, on occasion, led services at Kingston, Surbiton & District Synagogue.

So in recent years he has grown accustomed to surprised reactions when he tells people about his musical endeavours.

“Anyone who knows me, knows that I don’t come across as a typical rapper but that is where my name comes from,” explained Samuel, who has just released his first music video.

The 27-year-old added: “People tend to be shocked, particularly with the genre of music that I am involved in.

“But I enjoy having two very different aspects to my life – it makes it more interesting.”

Samuel, whose grandfather is from Broughton Park, Salford, released his debut music video which features the title track from his third EP, Proud to be a Zionist.

And the MC explained that he wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of his loyal fans.

He said: “I’ve always wanted to shoot a video, but it was only ever a dream. But when I participated in the ROI Global Summit for Young Jewish Innovators in Tel Aviv last summer, I met someone who was involved in the film industry in Israel who said they would help me make one.”

Samuel then decided to email all his followers, asking them to pledge five or 10 pounds each to help fund the video.

The ‘Zionist rapper’ said that the video was only made possible through these donations.

“It was touch and go, but we made it and I’d love to make more in the future,” he added.

The video’s release has been timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the birth of Theodor Herzl – the founder of modern Zionism – and the single was released on Yom Haatzmaut itself.

Samuel revealed that the ideas for his lyrics evolve over a period of time and that there is a particular message in his latest song.

“Broadly speaking, I want people to feel that being Zionist and having a strong connection to Israel is something we can celebrate,” he said.

“From my experiences in the UK I think that we’re afraid to say in a public forum that we’re Zionists or Jewish and that’s unfortunate.”

The video for Proud to be a Zionist was shot in Jerusalem utilising venues as symbols.

Ancient Israel is represented by the Old City, the beginnings of Zionist immigration is symbolised by Yemin Moshe – which was built during the first aliya – and the modern state can be seen through the Knesset.

Samuel has had interest for upcoming tours in Canada, South Africa and Australia and spoke of the enjoyment he gets from gigging.

“I performed in front of 40,000 people in 2008 at the Salute to Israel concert in Trafalgar Square,” he said.

“That was amazing – when I got on to stage I felt on top of the world.”

But Samuel, who was an active member of the youth organisation FZY, is still extremely proud of his humble roots.

“My friend commented on the video this week and said they loved it. But they also said I would always be a Cambridge geek – they’re probably right,” he joked.

All profits from Antithesis’s CD sales go to the Antithesis Charitable Fund. You can order Proud to be a Zionist from www.antithesismc.com and also watch the video there.

Jewish Chronicle: Samuel Green posts a hip-hop tribute to the Holyland on YouTube

http://www.thejc.com/news/people/31067/samuel-green-posts-a-hip-hop-tribute-holyland-youtube

By Candice Krieger

Self-styled Zionist rapper Samuel Green is becoming a YouTube sensation.

Mr Green, who performs under the alter-ego Antithesis, has created his debut music video. Released in honour of last week’s Yom Ha’atzmaut, the video, called Proud to be a Zionist, has received more than 5,000 hits on YouTube and the track is gathering momentum. It is in the top 50 best-rated videos for April in the ‘Music – Israel’ category.

The former Mazkir of FZY, Mr Green, 27, tells People: “The video is aimed at the people in the community. I feel that a lot of us are embarrassed to say we are a Zionist as, in the current climate, it can be viewed as a negative word. But we should be proud of it. Being a Zionist does not mean you are an extremist.”

Mr Green, who works for a multi-national marketing firm in Switzerland, recorded Ima Mechaka Babayit in 2001, which Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks described as a “very novel prayer”. He has since produced EPs The Israel Question and United Kingdom of Racism. Varsity named him one of the Top 100 Most Talented Cambridge Students, and the JC included him in its ‘Power 100’ list of those with the most influence over the British Jewish community.