Naomi Shemer

browse music by Naomi Shemer published by IMI

Naomi Shemer was born in 1930 in Kvutzat Kinneret in the Jordan Valley to Her parents, Rivka and Meir, who immigrated from Vilna and were among the founders of the kibbutz. She graduated from the Jordan Valley High School and in 1951 graduated from the Jerusalem Academy of Music, then returned to the kibbutz as a music teacher. That same year she composed 8 songs for children which were needed for her work, all on the theme of kibbutz life ("The Post Has Come" & others), which were later published as "Songs from Kinneret". In 1956, Naomi Shemer moved to Tel Aviv and since then she writes songs for solo singers, groups, radio and television. Many of her songs became folk songs, hymns and dance tunes. In 1967, Shemer was asked to compose a song for the Israel Song Festival. Though not itself part of the competition, "Yerushalayim shel Zahav" ("Jerusalem of Gold") became instantly popular. Particularly because the Festival occurred just before the Six Day War and the reunification of Jerusalem, the song acquired a national significance that spoke to the country's longing for Jerusalem. Broadcast frequently on the radio and sung by many, it functioned as a second national anthem. On the entire body of her works Ms. Shemer was awarded the Israel Prize for Israeli Song, in 1983. Naomi Shemer's collected works are published in 4 volumes, innumerable records and on a video cassette for children "Inside Our Piano". On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the State of Israel, a 4 CDs collection was produced with 100 of her songs. Naomi Shemer died on June 26, 2004.