Mexican cousin of Ben-Gurion is new Jewish star

Mexican singer Adam Kleinberg, a distant cousin of David Ben-Gurion, was the winner of a prestigious Jewish singing competition, besting 30 finalists from around the world.

Kleinberg, 21, whose great-grandmother was Ben-Gurion’s first cousin, won the Hallelujah music contest by singing “Zeh Lo Kal,” or “It’s Not Easy,” by the Israeli band HaYehudim.

The 30 finalists spent three weeks in Israel touring and performing. The finals were held Aug. 25 in front of an audience.

Some 260 Jewish young people ages 16 to 26 from around the world submitted video auditions for the contest, which was resurrected after nearly 20 years.

Kleinberg won the top prize of $8,000 and will record a duet with a popular Israeli singer; the song will be distributed to Jewish radio stations throughout the world. He also will go on tour.

Oliver Ghnassia, 20, from Brussels, was the first runner-up, and David Kobiashvili of Russia came in third place. They were awarded $4,000 and $2,000, respectively. — jta