Mexican singer Adam Kleinberg, a distant cousin of David Ben-Gurion, became the Jewish world’s newest star.
Kleinberg, 21, whose great-grandmother was Ben-Gurion’s first cousin, beat out 30 finalists from around the world to win the Hallelujah music contest. He sang the song “Zeh Lo Kal,” or “It’s Not Easy” by Israeli band HaYehudim.
The finals were held on Aug. 25 in front of a live audience in Hod Hasharon.
The 30 finalists spent three weeks in Israel touring and performing.
Some 260 Jewish young people ages 16-26 from around the world submitted video auditions for the contest, resurrected after nearly 20 years.
Kleinberg won the top prize of $8,000 and will record a duet with a popular Israeli singer; the song will be distributed to Jewish radio stations throughout the world. He will also go on tour, singing in Jewish venues around the world.
Oliver Ghnassia, 20, from Brussels, was the first runner-up, and David Kobiashvili of Russia came in third place. They were awarded $4,000 and $2,000 respectively.