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Yosef Hadar
Birth Date
Birth Place
Tel Aviv, Israel
Death Date
Death Place
Even Yehuda, Israel

Yosef Hadar  Biography

Yosef Hadar was born in Tel Aviv in 1926 to a musical family. His mother Yafa and his father Yehiel were both members of the Israeli Opera under Golinkin, and of the Tel Aviv Choir under Joel Engel. Hadar absorbed both classical/operatic repertoire and contemporary Israeli repertoire from his parents.

At the age of seven, Hadar’s family moved to the Borochov neighborhood in Givatayim. There he began vocal training under Daniel Samburski, in addition to studying the violin. At the age of fourteen, while attending Ohel Shem High School, Hadar founded a string orchestra which consisted of violins, mandolins and a solo harmonica played by Shabtay Portugaly, a famous piano tuner of the day. After graduating from high school, Hadar volunteered for the ‘Notrim’ police unit. During the War of Independence he participated in the Battle of Latrun and in Operation Hiram, as well as serving as a culture officer and as a singing instructor.

His acquaintance with composer Emanuel Amiran-Pugatchov brought Hadar to the College for Music Educators (Midrasha Lemichanchim Lemusica), which was then run by Prof. Leo Kestenberg and Emanuel Amiran. There he studied from 1949 to 1953 and was among the first graduating class. Among his teachers at the school were Kata Ya’akov, Moshe Dafna and Prof. Shlomo Hoffman. Apart from his studies at school, Hadar took private lessons with Mordechai Seter, Paul Ben-Haim and Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra violin player Shlomo Bor. Hadar returned to Ohel Shem High School to teach, and he also taught at the Yahalom School. After the retirement of Yitzhak Graziani, Hadar was appointed conductor and manager of the Children’s Choir of Ramat-Gan. In the sixties he established the city’s men’s choir.

In 1974, Hadar moved to Arad where he lived for five years. While in Arad, he established children’s and men’s choirs, as well as an orchestra. In addition, he organized practice and performance venues for his groups, while all the while teaching in several schools.

In 1990, Hadar won the ACUM ‘Golden Feather’ award for Lifetime Achievment. In 1998, he won the title, ‘Yakir Hair’ (treasured citizen) in Ramat Gan. In 2006, at the fourth “Mi Ani Shir Yisraeli” convention, he won an achievement award for his contribution to Israeli folk song as a composer and as a musical educator. The award was granted to him by the Center for Israeli Folk Music at Bar Ilan University division of culture, by music of Army Radio, and by ‘Omanut Laam’.

Yosef Hadar was musically active until 2002 and died at his home in Even Yehuda in the summer of 2006.


Most of the well known children songs of the sixties were recorded by Hadar with the help of the Hed-Arzi record company. These recordings included singers Miriam Avigal, Dalya Amihud, Miryam Props, and Tova Ben-Zvi, as well as four to six musicians, and the Yahalom children’s choir.

Yosef Hadar is known as the “duo composer.” He composed for many duo’s that became popular in the fifties and sixties. Among the duo’s that sang his songs were: Hadudaim; Tzemed Hagitarot (The Guitar Duo); Ha’Amaranim; Tzemed Duron; Tzemed Ha’almogim (The Corals Duo); Tzlilei Zabar (Zabar Sounds); and Ilka and Aviva. In addition to composing, Hadar established a number of choirs, to name a few: Ramat-Gan Choir; Kiryat Ono Choir; Holon Choir; Teachers Union Choir; Arad Choir; Children of Tel Aviv-Yafo Choir; and Kefar Shemaryahu Choir.

Following the War of Independence, Hadar wrote his first song, “El Ha’ayin,” in cooperation with Uriel Ofek, his friend from the Borochov neighborhood. He would go on to compose another 240 songs. Among these are songs sung all over the world by well-known folk singers such as: the Cuban singers; The Weavers; Pitt Seager; Harry Belafonte; Miriam Makeba; Amalia Rodriguez; Nana Mouskouri; Paco Ibanez; and Los Paraquayos. Among his most famous songs: Erev Shel ShoshanimShir HanokdimTapuach HinaniLevav EnoshBelev HaleilBrach HamelechShnei HayalimShuva ElayBehar GilboaKeshoshana ben Hahohim.

His song ‘Erev Shel Shoshanim’ has earned widespread acclaim. It has been sung in many languages and has even entered the repertoire of liturgical prayer melodies. Many synagogues use the melody to sing the piyut, “Lecha Dodi” during the ‘Kabalat Shabbat’ prayer on Friday night, and the tune is widely used at weddings when the bride enters the canopy. The song is used in the Christian prayer as Hymn No. 15 in the Lutheranian Church in northern Europe.

Some of Hadar’s compositions have become established folk songs and constitute the core of the popular Israeli music genre.

Source: Jewish Music Research Center

3 thoughts on “Four Divine States of Mind”

  1. I am reaching out to you on behalf of Saiph Stars, a non-profit organization developed for children battling illnesses, providing them with resources such as videos, songs, games, magazines, etc. to entertain and inspire them while undergoing treatments during their long hospitalizations.
    BH, we have a wide range of performers, singers, storytellers such as Yakov Shwekey, Mordechai Shapiro, Ari Goldwag, Baruch Levine, YBC, Uri Davidi, Rabbi Ashear, Rabbi Lish, Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation, Rabbi Erps, Rebbee Hill, Rabbi Pesach Krohn, and many more who have joined our project by allowing us to use their material. In addition, subscriptions such as Mishpacha, Binah, The Circle, Spotlight, JWOW have all joined our project as well BH. All the material will be uploaded to locked iPads and is streamed thru the Saiph Stars App designated to be used by these children.
    We would love to include your material as it would mean a lot to the children.
    Please check out our website for more info at http://www.saiphstars.com.
    It should be a tremendous zechus for you! Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

  2. Felice Glazer says:

    I was just sitting at my piano looking over a very old book of songs called the songs we sing by Harry Cooper Smith. I got this book when I went to Anshe emet Sunday school in Chicago. That was in the late forties and fifties. This book is falling apart but I love it and will never part with it until I pass away. Something today just made me decide to look up the name of Harry Coopersmith and that’s how I found this site.

  3. Philip Joseph Brody says:

    Joseph Brody was my great grandfather. Murray Brody was my grandfather and Joseph Brody was my father. I am Philip Joseph Brody born in Queens N.Y. My halfbrother Brian is a saxophone player. Unfortunately I think musical talent skipped me. My great grandfather died before my father was born. Unfortunately my father died around 59 years old. I’m about to be 52 so hopefully I won’t pass before my time.

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