Hendel, Neḥama

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HENDEL, NEḤAMA (Helena; 1936–1998), Israeli folk singer. Born in Jerusalem, Neḥama Hendel started her career as a singer in Lehakat ha-Naḥal, the military entertainment troupe. After her army service, she went to Paris for singing and acting studies. In 1957 she returned to Israel and was a member of the Batzal Yarok (Green Onion) entertainment troupe. A year later she participated as an actor in the American movie Amud ha-Esh and formed one of the first Israeli folk-style duos with Ran Eliran ("Ran and Nama"). She was known especially as a performer of old folk songs (Israeli and others in several languages), the first Israeli singer to evolve a soprano folk-style intonation, breaking a convention established by the "Yemenite altos" such as Bracha *Zefirah and Shoshana *Damari. In 1969 she left Israel for Germany with her husband and from 1984 she lived in Australia until her return to Israel in 1994. Among her recordings are songs of Ḥ.N. *Bialik, Outside the Storm (1997). A collection of most of her recordings was published in two cds in 1998.

[Israela Stein (2nd ed.)]