top of page

Singing for Change: Koolulam Releases New Song

Mikaela Garber

Managing Editor

Koolulam, founded in 2017, is a social initiative with the goal of bringing people together through music. Their mission is to inspire participants and viewers alike to recognize their personal ability to change reality and the importance of a community to help strengthen an individual’s voice. Participants come from all over the world and from varying backgrounds, having never met before. These large groups of people are brought together for a few hours to create a musical performance like never before. Often, participants learn their parts in less than an hour, complete with harmonization. Notably, participants need no previous background or talent in singing to participate; as an emphasis to their mission, Koolulam strives to welcome people of all kinds, finding harmony and strength in diversity. Each event promotes a different social message, whether that be advocating for change or bringing awareness to an issue. The message is emphasized not only in the song choice, but also in the performance and teaching of parts. 

Since its opening, Koolulam has facilitated more than 250 events, with over 350,000 participants in all. Following their involvement with Koolulam, participants cite feeling a greater sense of community and togetherness. Additionally, they have peace in the knowledge that they are seen and heard, and having created something that no one person could do alone . Koolulam has over 140 million views on social media, including recognition by global leaders and celebrities. Furthermore, Koolulam has been recognized by organizations worldwide for its impact on the world.

Following the attacks on October 7, Koolulam brainstormed ways to share the pain and hopes of Jewish people all over the world. The organization reached out to the families of hostages, ultimately deciding to send out the message in the way they know best - song. They ultimately chose to use the Madonna song, “Like a Prayer,” to convey their wish to bring their loved ones home. For many reasons, this song was a symbolic choice. Although Madonna is not Jewish, she has historically supported Israel. The singer owns a home in Tel Aviv, and calls Israel “the energy center of the world.” In fact, Madonna even celebrates some Jewish festivals and does not hold concerts during Shabbat. However, Koolulam’s song choice goes beyond the singer. The word choice is powerful. Repeatedly, the song asserts that their prayers are heard and that they want nothing more than to “take you there.” This, coupled with a new arrangement of the song to change the theme from rock to something much more subdued, makes for a powerful and moving piece.

Koolulam quickly rallied conductors from communities all over the world, including China, America, Israel, Canada, and the Netherlands, among others. At an unprecedented pace, conductors learned the new arrangement of the song and taught it to their local Jewish and non-Jewish communities. The end result was an inspiring and heartwarming song of support from people everywhere.

The finalized music video opens with chilling videos of the hostages and tunnels. While communities from many different parts of the world are featured in the video, the clips always return to the central stage, Tel Aviv. The Tel Aviv stage incorporates a beautiful choir. Even more striking, the front few rows show empty seats, one for each hostage abducted into Gaza, with their poster shown. The participants hold posters as they sing, many of them holding a picture of their loved one, still gone. In various points in the song, video clips of the hostages before October 7th and during their abduction are flashed onto the screen. These videos, combined with the haunting music, humanize the hostages, reminding viewers of the innocence that was taken away from them - innocence that can never be given back. 

In just two months, the video had been viewed approximately 455,000 times. However, the video must continue to be shown and shared, until every hostage is back in Israel. #BringThemHomeNOW


Recent Posts

See All

Israeli Conflict at Home

By Ryan Fink, Israel Editor As war is slowly raging in Gaza between Israel and the remaining regiments of Hamas militant forces, the fight abroad coincides with a battle at home. College campuses have


bottom of page