Sunday, August 23, 2009

Jimmy Barnes goes kosher

Jimmy & Jane Barnes (copyright :the Shuttle)

It was an odd get-together at the Central Synagogue in Sydney. Working Class Man hero , Scot's born rocker and practising Buddhist Jimmy Barnes had news for the assembled audience who had turned up to see Barnsie sing Hava Nagila after being approached out of the blue by Rabbi Mendel Kastel who had the brilliant idea of Jimmy giving a benefit performance.

Barnes recalled his mother had given him a Star of David as a youth and many years later asked her why. "So you remember your family roots" was the reply as Jimmy recalled his grandmother's name was Esther as he confirmed what he had only recently discovered-he was Jewish.

"Except for a certain snip" quipped Barnes to a delighted audience.

Rabbi Katsel runs Jewish House, a centre for the homeless and people with alcohol and drug addiction and the performance deal followed a chance encounter in a Bondi restaurant where Barnes and party were seated at a nearby table to Rabbi Katsel who was dining with the chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv when both tables struck up a conversation.

Barnes and his crooner son David Campbell who has wowed New York audiences will also perform at a benefit for the centre at the Sofitel Wentworth Hotel on December 1st. Meanwhile, at the Synagogue Barnies gave a unique rendition of My Yiddish Mother followed by What a Wonderful World.