October 8, 1989
Singer Hagit Yaso, a winner of “Kohav Nolad (A Star is Born),” Israel’s version of “American Idol,” is born in Sderot to parents who escaped poor conditions in an Ethiopian village by walking four months through the desert to reach Sudan and fly to Israel. She begins singing at a young age and is a member of the singing group Sderot Youth in elementary school, then singing in a military band during her army service. She wins a spot on “Kochav Nolad” in 2011. She sings throughout the season in Hebrew, English, Amharic and Moroccan Arabic, all of which she continues to incorporate into her music. Yaso reaches the three-person finals in Haifa and wins with 60% of the votes, earning a scholarship and a record deal with producer Ivri Lider. She has toured internationally, including performing in the United States under Jewish National Fund sponsorship in 2013. Yaso is one of the artists featured in the 2014 documentary “Rock in the Red Zone,” about the bands and musicians emerging from Sderot after its years of rocket attacks from the nearby Gaza Strip.