Have Guitar (And Family), Will Travel


Among the recent arrivals to Israel is Harvey Brooks, 65, a well-known bass guitar player who once played alongside such musical legends as Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors and B.B. King. He says he caught the Zionist bug from his wife of 21 years, who for years took her daughters to Israel on backpacking trips and whose eldest daughter now lives here.

Through repeated visits, he became comfortable in Israel, and last summer he and his wife made aliyah from Tuscon, Ariz.

“I’m very relaxed here. I’m with my people,” Brooks said. Although he is not religious, Brooks said he feels spiritually connected to Judaism after long years where he felt music was his only religion. He’s been checking in with the local Israeli music scene, meeting musicians, and he soon expects to be performing at a well-known clubs.

His wife, Bonnie, who continues to work in film production and had contemplated aliyah earlier in life, said they embraced the idea together of making such a big change.

“When it comes to deciding how to spend your last 25 years, what do you have to lose?” she said.