Presented by Beth Sholom Congregation’s Daniel Pearl Youth Center, the show drew approximately 300 people and was a sold-out success.
Yoni and Nina Tokayer, also known as “Yonina,” are an Israeli musical duo acclaimed for the weekly homemade music videos they post on social media, which have reached millions of viewers around the globe. The two have released a debut original album, “Emet Pshuta” (“Simple Truth”), and have been performing for the past two years throughout Israel and abroad. Known for their positive music and soft harmonies, Yonina create a blend between Jewish, Israeli, and international music.
I personally have been following the couple on Facebook for years, so when I saw they were in Maryland and would be performing Feb. 16 at Beth Sholom Congregation in Potomac, I jumped on the opportunity to hear them live. My drive was an hour long, true, but my friend Fruma came in from Kingston, Pennsylvania!
As we entered the synagogue, we noticed the most unassuming Israeli couple. It was Yoni, standing there with his guitar, alongside Nina, wearing a beautiful head wrap.
We grabbed our seats and were mesmerized from the first moment. Yoni is a great storyteller, and sprinkled humor throughout the evening. The couple shared how they have been singing together since they met. They have been married for three years and have two sweet children who make guest appearances in their videos.
Yonina played a mix of well-known Israeli songs and a few originals like "Modeh Ani" and "Al Kol Eileh" thrown in. Their covers (“Let It Be” by The Beatles, “One Day” by Matisyahu) were fantastic. Audience participation was invited, and we all felt united in our love for the music of Israel and for Yonina. The crowd sang, swayed, and clapped in time with the beautiful music of the accompanying band.
As I’m not a fan of loud or heavy music, this gentle group was just what I needed on a Saturday night to fill up my soul and bask in the beauty of perfectly blended voices. The love and feeling between husband and wife was absolutely palpable.
The couple can be followed on facebook on https://www.facebook.com/yoninamusic/, and their album is available for purchase on Amazon and Apple Music
By Devorah Baron
Devorah Baron is a business owner, blogger, and the mom of three active boys.