Naomi Shemer

This Israeli songwriter is famous for lyrics of such songs as "Jerusalem of Gold" and "Lu Yehi"

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In 1994 the Hebrew University of Jerusalem awarded Shemer an honorary doctorate and in 2001 she received one from Tel Aviv University. In 2000 she became a member of the Hebrew Language Academy.

Naomi Shemer's songs are sung by everyone--in kindergartens, schools, youth movements and army units, at events both of rejoicing and of mourning.

Her final piece, Ilan, composed just three weeks before her death, was a tribute to Israeli astronaut Colonel Ilan Ramon (1954–2003), who died in the explosion of the space shuttle Columbia on February 1, 2003.

Naomi Shemer died on June 26, 2004 at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv from consequences of her long bout with cancer. She was buried at her birthplace, Kibbutz Kinneret, overlooking the lake of which she had so often sung. In fulfillment of her request, the mourners at her funeral--broadcast on national television--gave no eulogies; three of her songs were sung instead.

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Nathan Shahar first achieved fame as a composer, choir conductor and musical director of various radio and television broadcasts. The main area of his musicological research is the musical and social-musical aspects of Hebrew song: a topic on which he has published a series of articles in Israel and abroad. Shahar has taught for many years both at Bet Berl College and also at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.