The Early Days
Kol Cambridge launched in 2005 on CUR1350 (now Cam FM), Cambridge student radio, and was the UK’s first and only radio show dedicated to Israeli and Jewish music. It quickly became by far the most popular programme on the station and its success was recognised through its nomination in the ‘Best Specialist Music Programming’ category of the BBC Student Radio Awards.
We were blown away by the listening figures and the fact that people were tuning in live via the internet from around the world. Avid fans connected from Brazil (including Manaus in the Amazon jungle!), Singapore, the USA, Australia and of course Israel itself, to name but a few of the locations. It was amazing to interact with all these listeners on a weekly basis.
The show was put together by renowned rapper Antithesis, a student in Cambridge at the time. Kol Cambridge provided listeners with the latest in contemporary Israeli music as well as paying homage to the classics and concluding with a selection of Jewish melodies. Our fans liked its somewhat irreverent style although we always made sure we also provided a great range and quality of music.
The show also provided listeners with the latest in music news from Israel and had various other exciting features and competitions, famously giving away a home entertainment system. It was well known for the high calibre of guests that were interviewed; often their only interviews in English, giving extra insight into the people behind the records.
Looking for a Home
On graduation, Antithesis left Cambridge and the show was without a home. Disaster! It was vital to find a new base for the programme. Following guest spots on MIT radio (Kol Cambridge, MA) and on the short-lived Shalom FM in London, Antithesis moved to Switzerland and Israel, always with the view to relaunching.
Revival in Israel
It took some time, but we were thrilled to return to the airwaves with a new partner: TLV1, a newly launched English language radio station, based in Tel Aviv, in 2013.
Evolving to a Podcast
From the very first stages of the show's launch, episodes were recorded and made available as MP3s on our website, podcasting before podcasts were even really known as such. Kol Cambridge was the first Israeli music podcast to list on iTunes, and for the past few years has been functioning fully as a podcast and not a live broadcast as we have seen our listeners transition to mostly listen on-demand vs live.
Since early 2020 the show has become crowdfunded, with huge gratitude to our patrons. Click here to join them!
You can hear more about the story of the show on our 15th birthday celebration episode.
A word from the DJ
I was born in London, and was always interested both in music and in Israel; around the age of 16 I began making Zionist rap music which I performed in my youth movement, FZY. Things developed and I even have managed to release two EPs! I was also thrilled to be invited onto BBC radio to discuss Israeli hip hop.
I studied Oriental Studies at the University of Cambridge, focusing on Japan and Israel. A somewhat unusual combination! I’d always fancied having a go at the radio so signed up for the student station and founded Kol Cambridge, as I think Israeli music is great and deserves more exposure. The station management were a bit bemused by the idea but to their credit they agreed to put me on air and were always extremely supportive. The show became a huge global success, although without the framework of the university radio station it was difficult to continue after I finished my studies and left Cambridge.
After graduating I worked for a year as mazkir of FZY and then moved to Geneva, Switzerland, to see what it was like to work in marketing in a large multinational company. They kindly agreed to move me to Israel 2010, when I made aliyah. Hurrah!
In 2012 I left the company to follow a dream – I’d always wanted to study to be a licensed tour guide. You can read my blog about the course here. It’s an amazing programme.
But….I never gave up the dream of relaunching Kol Cambridge and am absolutely thrilled to be working with Radio TLV1 to bring the best of Israeli music to fans around the world once more.
There have been many highlights over the years - meeting so many talented musicians, hearing the stories of our listeners, but probably the most special was the live recording that I did on my wedding day. We were still doing live shows back then and I never missed my slot! Check it out here.