Tofa'ah, the world's foremost Jewish band of women, was founded by Yona
Yakobovitz as a vehicle to inspire women to raise their voice in praise.
Way back when, as young seminary students, Yona and her friend Esther, a talented singer, devoted their spare time to performing for the elderly in nursing homes, in hospitals, women's prisons and schools. The joy and love they gave - and received in return from their audiences - inspired them to reach further and spread their message wider.
They recruited other Jewish musicians whose passion would also be to share their music or voices with love, and to spread joy, hope and faith. Tofaah was born: Jewish music by women, for women.
The band plays all styles of Jewish music, from original Jewish rock-and-roll, blues and jazz band to traditional Klezmer, Ashkenazi and Sefardi favorites.
From the first, nothing like it had ever been seen - or heard - and it took the Jewish world by storm. Today, the band is stronger than ever.
Tofaah has performed at major national and international music festivals, toured the U.S., packed Binyanei Ha'uma (Jerusalem's International Conference Center), and plays regularly at Israel's NCSY Center, colleges, schools of all kinds, benefit concerts and other venues.
It is the subject of several award-winning documentaries and the only women's band to consistently be hired by Israeli municipalities several times a year, playing to thousands of women at each event. Tofaah's work and music are featured in the archives at Hebrew University and the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem.
Tofa'ah is a Jewish band in the truest sense of the word: It is all about giving - giving hope, friendship, sisterhood, love and giving thanks for the gifts in our lives.
Band members all volunteer their time and musicianship to spread the Light.
Musicians who also perform or record with us at times, and who are important members of our band family:
Samara Hendrickson - vocals, percussion
Esti Shwartzbaum - keyboards
Yonah Russ - piano
Chani Landau Philipps - bass
Nancy Ziskin - keyboards
Judy Amsel - violin
Dvora Belenki - flute
Rachel Kantrovitz - violin
Sunita Staneslow - harp