Will US-born Hassidic rapper represent Israel at Eurovision?

Watch: From Seattle to Jerusalem to the Eurovision? Rapper 'Nissim' competes for chance to represent Israel at Eurovision song contest.

David Rosenberg,

Nissim Baruch Black competes
Nissim Baruch Black competes
Channel 12, Tedy Productions

Will an American-born, Hassidic rapper and convert to Judaism represent Israel at the 2018 Eurovision song contest?

Nissim Baruch Black, the 30-year-old Hassidic recording artist behind the albums Nissim and Lemala, competed Sunday night for the chance to represent Israel at next year’s Eurovision contest.

Performing his song “Fly Away” on Channel 12’s HaKokhav HaBa (The Next Star), Black advanced past the preliminary round – but only after judges discovered that he had used pre-recorded vocal parts for part of his performance. When the judges found that the vocals were his own – and the song his own original composition – they agreed to advance him to the next round, on the condition that no pre-recorded parts be used.

Born as Damian Jamohl Black to a Muslim family in Seattle, Black began his spiritual journey as a teenager, converting to Christianity when he was 14, before drifting towards Messianic Judaism.

By 2010, however, Black had left Christianity for Orthodox Judaism, later converting along with his wife.

The couple immigrated to Israel in 2016, where he continues his music career under the moniker, “Nissim”.