Musician Ariel Zilber Is Born
Photo: Avraham Bank

September 22, 1943

Singer-songwriter Ariel Zilber is born in Tel Aviv to Bracha Zefira, a singer, and Ben Ami Zilber, a violinist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

He attends a nonreligious boarding school on Kibbutz Gan Shmuel until age 15, when he is asked to leave because of mischievous behavior. He begins seriously playing the trumpet in Tel Aviv, then spends time in England and France to work on his musical career before returning to Tel Aviv. In the 1970s and 1980s, Zilber establishes an eclectic sound and leads multiple rock bands, then has a successful solo career beginning in the 1980s. He is best known for amusing, somewhat bizarre lyrics. His music spans genres including rock, pop and hip-hop.

His political views gain as much attention as his music when he embraces Lubavitch Hasidism and, without endorsing a particular political party, moves toward the Orthodox right in the early 2000s. He moves to a Gaza settlement in 2004 and actively, publicly fights the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza the next year.

He is nominated for a lifetime achievement award from the Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers in Israel (ACUM) in 2014, but controversy flares in response because of his political views. The award is downgraded to a musical achievement award because of his pro-settlement political views.

Zilber remains an active recording artist and continues to speak out on his ideological, religious and political beliefs.