Israel’s #1 pop singer in breathtaking musical performance with Special in Uniform Band

Eden Ben Zaken, Israel’s favorite pop star, X Factor winner and three-time titleholder of Israel’s Woman of the Year, sings hit song accompanied by soldiers with disabilities.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Eden Ben Zaken with the Special in Uniform band
Eden Ben Zaken with the Special in Uniform band
Special in Uniform

Popular Israeli singer Eden Ben Zaken joined the remarkable young adults in Special in Uniform Band to produce a spectacular musical performance. In the few days since it went viral, their song has already awed and inspired millions around the world.

In a stirring musical presentation, Ben Zaken and Special in Uniform sang “A Letter to My Brother” by Elai Botner, a piece chosen by Special in Uniform (SIU) to express the journey that young adults with disabilities take to achieve independence.

Music stimulates areas of the brain that are weak or damaged in many individuals with disabilities, and also builds and strengthens auditory, visual/spatial, and motor cortices of the brain, which are connected to speech and language abilities, social skills, and reading skills and comprehension.

Studies indicate that playing a musical instrument vastly improves the concentration and attention span, impulse control, social functioning, self-esteem, self-expression, motivation and memory of people with disabilities. Music is also the means by which people with special needs can channel their intense emotions and energy. It facilitates focusing and connecting to the world and serves as a tool that shares the musician’s feelings while inspiring those of the listener.

SIU has recently inaugurated a unique military band with the objective of promoting the smooth integration of its soldiers into military bases and beyond. Through the medium of music, these special soldiers improve their social and life skills and acquire confidence in their ability to succeed.

SIU music program coordinator Ido Dekel shared that, “We are just in the beginning of the program, but the plan is to identify and recruit candidates with special needs - singers, keyboardists, drummers, guitarists, and bassists; build a recording studio and rehearsal room; purchase professional instruments; establish a resource pool of professional and talented amateur musicians, teachers, and music therapists; and collaborate with existing military bands.”

In an interview with JNF Communications Manager in Israel Yael Levontin, pop singer Eden Ben Zaken, who partnered with the SIU Band to produce their brand-new hit single A Letter to My Brother by Elai Botner, expressed: “It was such fun doing the song with these amazing soldiers and a real privilege to be a part of it. I deeply admire Special in Uniform soldiers, and I know that we’re going to be hearing phenomenal thing about the Special in Uniform Band. They’re making a difference, an amazing difference, for people with special needs.”

“But more than that. We also see how happy they are, and it makes a person stop and think, hey, who are we to be unhappy with who we are? That’s what’s most incredible in my eyes. I also want to say thank you to the people at JNF-USA for supporting us. We love you from Israel.”

Eden Ben Zaken with the Special in Uniform band
Special in Uniform

Special in Uniform (SIU), a project of JNF-USA and the IDF, integrates young people with physical and mental disabilities into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and in turn, Israeli society. To date, Special in Uniform has incorporated five hundred youths with special needs into multiple IDF bases and proven successful at breaking down societal barriers.