Yosef Karduner

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Yosef Karduner
יוסף קרדונר באומן 01.JPG
Karduner performing at a kumzits (Jewish evening gathering) in Uman, Ukraine, 2013
Background information
Native name יוסף קרדונר
Birth name Gilad Kardunos
Born 1969 (age 48–49)
Petah Tikva, Israel
Genres Contemporary Jewish religious music
Instruments Guitar
Years active 2000–present

Yosef Karduner (Hebrew: יוסף קרדונר‎, born 1969) is an Israeli Hasidic singer, songwriter, and composer. His biggest hit,[1] Shir LaMaalot (Psalm 121), appeared on his debut album, Road Marks (2000).


Born Gilad Kardunos, he was raised in a traditionalist Jewish family[2] in Petah Tikva, Israel. As a youth, he excelled in swimming and football. He placed second in a national competition in the 50-meter breaststroke, and competed with the Po'el Petah Tikva football team until he suffered a sprain to his ankle.[1][2][3]

In his early teens, he studied music and in particular the bass guitar.[1][2] In 1987, at the age of 18, he was conscripted into the Israel Defense Forces, where he played in a military musical troupe run by the Northern Command.[3]

Following his army service, Karduner formed his own rock band and was the backup guitarist for the Israeli singer Uzi Hitman.[3] Influenced by discussions with Hitman and his father, the scion of an Orthodox Jewish, Hasidic Lubavitcher family, Karduner put his career on hold and began studying in a yeshiva run by the Breslov Hasidic group for Jews who had turned to embrace Orthodox Judaism ("baalei teshuva").[2][3] In the mid-1990s, during his religious conversion, he changed his name from Gilad Kardunos to Yosef Karduner.[4]

During one session of secluded prayer ("hitbodedut"), the tune for Shir LaMaalot ("Song to the Ascents"—Psalm 121) popped into Karduner's head and one of his teachers urged him to resume his music career, this time in a vein related to Judaism.[3] Shir LaMaalot became a hit in the Israeli religious world, inspiring other religious songwriters such as Aharon Razel to begin composing songs with lyrics from the Hebrew Bible.[4] Shir LaMaalot has been covered by numerous Israeli artists, including Sheva,[5] and is a staple among synagogue youth groups in Israel and Canada.[3]

Although he has released 11 albums, Karduner's work has not reached a wide audience due to his aversion to public relations and advertising.[6] He rarely gives interviews.[3] His albums are distributed in the US and he has conducted several live concert tours in New York and Chicago,[7][8] including annual appearances in Crown Heights, Brooklyn from 2011 to 2015.[9]

Karduner has received inspiration from the teachings of Rabbi Shalom Arush and Rabbi Lazer Brody. In 2008 he and Brody staged several Orthodox Jewish outreach sessions together, combining music and dancing with talks on Judaism and faith.[3] Outside of his music career, Karduner spends his time with his family, Torah study and collective and solitary prayer.[1][3] He and his wife, Vered,[3] have seven children[2] and reside in Beit Shemesh, Israel.[1]

Musical style[edit]

Karduner's early albums were described as a "refreshing breeze on the Hasidic music scene".[4] His melodies are simple and repetitive.[4] His music also reflects soft rock, rock 'n' roll, jazz, and Latin music.[4]

A member of the Breslov Hasidic group, Karduner often sets the words of Rebbe Nachman's teachings to music, as well as composing songs based on biblical and liturgical passages.[4] Karduner's clear voice has earned him the sobriquet "The Nightingale of Breslov".[4][10]


Karduner has released the following albums:[11]

  • Mesugal L'Teshuva (Capable of Repentance) (2016)
  • Menorah HaZahav (The Golden Menorah) (2013)
  • Dibur Pashut (Simple Talk) (2012)
  • Kisufim L'Shabbat (Yearning for Shabbat) (2010)
  • Kumzits: Live in New York (2010)
  • Mikdash Melech (Sanctuary of the King) (2008)
  • Breslever Melave Malka (2006)
  • Bakesh Avdecha (Your Servant Asked) (2005)
  • Osef L'yedidi (2003)
  • Bechirah (Choice) (2003)
  • Achat Sha'alti (I Asked One Thing) (2003)
  • Mekor Chachmah (Source of Wisdom) (2002)
  • Simanim Baderech (Road Marks) and Kol HaOlam (The Whole World) (2000, double album)


  1. ^ a b c d e Eller, Sandy (19 October 2007). "New York – VIN Exclusive Video Interview With Israeli Breslov Hit Singer Yosef Karduner". Vosizneias. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e Cohen, Dudu (17 January 2013). "יוסף קרדונר – מוסיף ועולה" [Yosef Karduner – Adding Up]. Arutz Sheva (in Hebrew). Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Rotem, Tal (28 July 2008). "Breslev's Sweet Singer". breslev.co.il. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Peled, Yair; Almog, Oz (2 March 2009). "פרק 25: מוסיקת נשמה יהודית ניאו-חסידית בחברה הדתית-לאומית" [Chapter 25: New Jewish Soul Music by National-Religious Groups] (in Hebrew). Shmuel Naaman Institute. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  5. ^ "קרדונר מעדיף שיר מורכב – ודיבור פשוט" [Karduner Prefers a Complex Song – Simple Talk]. Ynetnews (in Hebrew). 30 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  6. ^ Lax, Ofra (12 May 2011). "יוסף קרדונר, יוצר מלחין וזמר בעקבות דיסק חדש 'קומזיץ'" [Yosef Karduner, Composer and Singer, On His New Disc, 'Kumzitz']. Arutz Sheva (in Hebrew). Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Yosef Karduner US Tour Dates!". The Jewish Insights. 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Yosef Karduner US Tour Dates". The Jewish Insights. 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Karduner Back For Performance". collive.com. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  10. ^ "יוסף קרדונר" [Yosef Karduner] (in Hebrew). BeChadrei Charedim. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  11. ^ "Yosef Karduner". Israel Music. 2015.

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