Hearing-impaired Eurovision fans around the world can now “listen” in sign language to Israel’s entry to the international song contest that is being hosted in Tel Aviv this week.
Over the past few weeks, the Jewish Agency for Israel had its emissaries gather hearing-impaired people in community centers, campuses and youth movements around the world and together with members of the local Jewish communities filmed them singing lines from Kobi Marimi’s song “Home” while signing the words.
The clips then became a YouTube video showing the different groups in South Africa, Uruguay, Brazil and Greece signing along with people signing from across North America.
For those not proficient in American Sign Language, there are also English captions of the lyrics.
The video was made “as part of the mission to strengthen the connection between Israel and the Diaspora,” the agency said on its Facebook page.
Marimi, 27, was chosen to represent Israel after winning the Rising Star reality singing competition in February.
“From the first time I heard the song, it moved me very much and I immediately connected with it,” Marimi said in February.
However, “Home” has also been criticized as “a slow, plodding number” that “doesn’t quite set heartstrings aflutter or raise hopes for a repeat Israeli victory.”
The Eurovision final will take place Saturday evening, May 18, with some 200 million viewers around the world expected to tune in, and many of them participating in voting for the winner.
The final will also highlight a guest appearance by American pop icon Madonna, who rejected pressure from anti-Israel activists for her to boycott the event.