Shon Tamar on how his lifelong dream encouraged a whole community to come together and share song, language, and connection.
Arriving in Australia a decade ago, missing the comfort of the Hebrew language, Shon Tamar felt a need to gather his community as he navigated his new home. Starting with a successful community Facebook group, Shon’s lifelong dream of working on radio took him from written word to spoken, landing him a role as a host and committee member for the Radio 4EB’s Hebrew show: Hebrew Brisbane.
Launching on 1 November 2021 and considering Tamar’s journey to the microphone, the program’s slogan “Ve’shuv Itchem”, or “With You Again”, seems poetic.
“Our slogan,” explains Shon, “is from a famous Hebrew song that says: We are again with you [the public] and we belong to you [but] all the songs belong to us.” A perfect sentiment for community radio.
At first, the move into radio was scary. “I was lucky to have Zahava as my co-host and Dina, who volunteered to be our panel technician.” Silvia, Alex and Dina, Shon says “welcomed us with open arms”. The program now has a small but dedicated and hardworking team comprising Libby (Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies), Hadas State Zionist Council of Queensland), as well as Haim, Zahava, and himself.
“The aim,” Shon says, “is to be as community oriented as possible by presenting news, events, and profiles of organisations and individuals. To celebrate the diversity of Israeli music and culture. Over generations, people immigrated to Israel from all over the world and from this cultural melting pot emerged, in my opinion, the best music in the world – with elements from all corners of the world. In fact, Michael from the Greek Show came into our studio when he heard Greek tunes in our music!”
While Shon settled into his role – “it is bringing our Hebrew speakers together and allowing me to fulfill my passion for radio” – his mind was always on his community. The next says Shon, is “to enlist some more broadcasters so we can bring a variety of voices to the program.”
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Catch up on our dedicated International Women’s Day broadcast from 7 March, and tune in next week to honour Purim – a Jewish holiday that will take place on 16 March.