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Family affair

Israeli singer shares Shabbat food, tunes with Mary J. Blige and LL Cool J

At a New York Friday night dinner, Mizrachi vocalist Itay Levi sings kiddush, Shalom Aleichem and after-dinner tunes with the R&B singer and rapper

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Israeli singer Itay Levi in New York for a series of performances, where he also had Friday night dinner with Mary J. Blige and LL Cool J (Courtesy Itay Levi Instagram)
Israeli singer Itay Levi in New York for a series of performances, where he also had Friday night dinner with Mary J. Blige and LL Cool J (Courtesy Itay Levi Instagram)

R&B singer Mary J. Blige may be gearing up for the 2022 Superbowl halftime show in Los Angeles, but first, she had to sing Shalom Aleichem.

Blige, along with rapper LL Cool J — who just recovered from COVID — and Israeli singer Itay Levi, who recently performed in Los Angeles, Miami and New York, dined together for Friday night Shabbat dinner at the home of mutual friends in New York.

When the hosts Ronny and Tali Seliktar led a rousing rendition of “Shalom Aleichem,” which traditionally signals the opening of weekly Sabbath, their guests all clapped along, including Blige and LL Cool J.

Blige, wearing an aqua-colored top and her signature head of blonde hair, offered a rousing “amen,” while LL Cool J, sitting to the left of host Ronny Seliktar, hugged him and said, “You invite ’em in, right?”

The Seliktars, who own a company called Select Jewelry, are friendly with both Levi as well as Blige and LL Cool J, and wanted the singers to meet one another, according to a source present at the meal.

The 50-year-old Blige is a rhythm and blues singer who has won eight Grammy awards. Rapper LL Cool J, short for Ladies Love Cool James, 53, is a record producer and actor as well as a two-time Grammy Award winner.

Levi, 33, is a popular pop singer in Israel, known for melding his Yemenite background with a more modern sound. He is a judge on the music reality show HaKochav Haba.

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