The Israeli-American Council 2019 Summit was not all about politics, it was also a shine-a-light moment for the Shalva band—Israel’s beloved band is made up of young adults with varying disabilities.
President Trump introduced the band on stage, saying it would be a “very special performance.”
In front of thousands of attendees, the band performed the song “God Bless America,” which visibly moved the crowd, including President Trump, who stood on stage during the entire music piece.
When the song was over, one member of the band ran to President Trump for a hug. The president accepted and greeted the rest of the members, one of which could be seen saying, “I love you so much.”
The band originally began as part of a musical therapy class at Shalva, the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities.
This past May, they competed and made it to the finals in The Rising Star competition, which was to determine Israel’s entry in the Eurovision contest but decided to step down from the competition because performing at Eurovision would have required rehearsals on Shabbat. The members, who are religious, refused to perform and lost to Israeli singer, Kobi Marimi.
President Trump used his talk at the IAC, his first speech for a nonpolitical Jewish organization.