Benny Hendel

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Benny Hendel
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Born (1946-08-06) 6 August 1946 (age 76)
Brașov, Romania
  • Radio presenter
  • Editor
  • Interviewer
  • Translator
  • Artistic narrator
Alma materHebrew University in Jerusalem
Genreradio cultural programs of interviews and world music
translations from English, German
Years active1969 - present

Benny Hendel (born 6 August 1946) is an Israeli radio broadcaster, presenter, artistic narrator, editor, and translator.


Born in Brașov, Transylvania, Romania, Benny Hendel emigrated to Israel with his parents in 1959 from the town of Sibiu. His parents were Jews from Bucovina, survivors of the Holocaust camps and ghettos of Transnistria. The family and the region where he was brought up in Romania were multicultural and multilingual. In Israel he became a graduate of the Hebrew University Secondary School and then, of the Departments of Linguistics and English Language and Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.[1]

He began his artistic career in 1969 as a singer and actor in the Jerusalem Khan Theatre production of Everyman (play), a medieval musical morality-play directed by Aryeh Sachs, where he played the role of God.[1]

In 1970 he became an actor in children's radio plays at Kol Yisrael|Kol Israel, Israel's public radio service,[1] In 1974, he was appointed editor, announcer, and presenter at Kol Yisrael. In 1979, he participated in the dubbing (filmmaking)|dubbing of the animated series Once Upon a Time... Man on the Israeli Educational Television

From 1980 to 1982, he served as an envoy (Shaliah) of the Jewish Agency[1] to the Jewish Federation of Morris County, New Jersey|Morris County and Sussex County, New Jersey|Sussex County in New Jersey.

Upon his return to Kol Israel, he edited and presented "personal tone" cultural programs:Shavshevet (Weather Vane): folk songs; Tyutot (Drafts): words meet sounds; Hugá (Woodlark) (1985-1997): conversations with a wide range of travelers and specialists combined with world music - appreciated as a "natural reserve of culture and spiritual health" and a "flagship of Alef channel"[2][3] and Academia Be'alef (Academy on Channel A) (1997-2005):Interviews with scientists and university lecturers. [4][5][6]

Hendel's broadcasts and interviews had a devoted audience, and upon his early retirement, in 2005, listeners conducted a campaign to allow his programs to continue in an independent framework.[7][8]

Hendel is a translator of prose and poetry into the Hebrew language. Among the poets he has translated are William Wordsworth, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, W. H. Auden, Edmund Burke, Heinrich Heine, Bertolt Brecht, Itzik Manger, Leonard Cohen, and Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, and A. A. Milne.[9].[10] Poems by Tennyson (The Lady of Shalott)[11], Wordsworth (We are seven), Milne etc translated by Benny Hendel served inspiration to chamber music pieces of the Israeli composer Moshe Zorman[12] which were played at the Music Festival of the Upper Galilee in Kfar Blum and at the "Maestro Eyn Hod" Festival. Hendel appears as a facilitator and discussion moderator at conferences, ceremonies, and music and literature evenings in Israel and abroad, at universities and cultural institutes, including Yad Vashem,Yad Ben Zvi, Beit Shalom Aleichem, Beit Ariela, Mishkenot Sha'ananim, and more.

He acts also as a presenter and narrator in concerts with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra, the Israel Camerata Jerusalem and more. In addition, he writes the concert programs for the Israel Camerata Jerusalem and the Israel Chamber Orchestra.

Private life

Hendel is married to Nira, and they have two sons.[13]

In October 2020, as part of a protest against Benjamin Netanyahu, Hendel translated the Catalans|Catalan protest song "L'Estaca" by Lluis Llach and performed it with his family and friends. The clip,[14] produced by Hendel and Yoni Haimovich and directed by Michael (Muki) Hadar, was uploaded to YouTube.

Selected translations

  • Red File for Callen, by James Mitchell (writer)|James Mitchell, Tel Aviv: Am Oved 1981
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends, children's poetry collection by Shel Silverstein, Adam Publishing, Tel Aviv, 1985[15] in Hebrew [16]
  • We are Seven by William Wordsworth, in the Proza Journal, July 1987
  • Poems by AA Milne, in the Proza Journal, June 1988
  • Light in the Attic, children's poetry collection by Shel Silverstein, with his son Shachar Hendel, Tel Aviv: Light in the Attic Publishing House, 1993
  • Falling Up (book)|Falling Up, children's poetry collection by Shel Silverstein, with his son Ori Hendel, Tel Aviv Modan Publishing House, 1997
  • My Many Colored Days, children's book by Dr. Seuss, Tel Aviv: Modan Publishing House, 1997


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 ″Let the World Be a World of Hearing″,Benny Hendel, guest of the journal Israel Hayom 3 May 2017 in Hebrew
  2. Yehuda Atlas "The Poor Man's Sheep” in Yediot Achronot, supplement 7 Yamim, 2.09.1994, p.88 in Hebrew
  3. Nili Friedländer "Where vanished the Huga program?" in Maariv (newspaper)|Maariv 23.02.1989 in Hebrew
  4. ( Ruth Kartun-Blum în Yediot Aharonot 27.5.2005 What happened to Channel Alef?
  5. Carmit Guy in the magazine HaAyin HaShevi'it 1.05.2005 "It's their problem" זב"שים mentions the protests of many radio listeners about the suspension of Benny Hendel's program "Akademia bealef"
  6. "Science on radio" Prof Arieh Issar about the suspension of Benny Hendel's program, letter, Haaretz
  7. Message of Prof Omri Lernau To all the friends of Benny Hendel - Yes, we can help - and protest letter to the minister of industry, trade and communication Ehud Olmert, March 2005, Hadshot Ben Ezer, in Hebrew
  8. complaints of radio listeners against the closing of Hendel's cultural program Academia bealef, letters, Haaretz
  9. see review of Dahlia Ravikovich about the translations from A. A. Milne in Maariv, 10 March 1980 p. 21 "A Field of Excellence" in Hebrew
  10. Adi Kessler "The Translating Family" article about Benny Hendel and his sons - in the Books supplement of the journal Kol Hayir, Jerusalem 2 April 1993, pp. 28–29
  11. translation to Hebrew published in the journal Haaretz 9.10.2009
  12. Moshe Zorman "We are seven" on verses of William Wordsworth, translated and declaimed in Hebrew by Benny Hendel on youtube channel, april 2020
  13. site Avot meyassdim
  14. video clip – L'Estaca via YouTube
  15. review, Simaniya
  16. see review of David Grossman in Yediot Ahronot, p. 21, 27 December 1985

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