Israeli pop star Omer Adam turns down Eurovision gig over Shabbat

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli pop star Omer Adam turned down an offer to perform at the Eurovision song contest in Tel Aviv since he would have to work on Shabbat.
Adam was invited by Israel’s KAN public broadcaster to perform the opening act at the 2019 Eurovision but declined because the rehearsals would be on Shabbat, ahead of the Saturday night finale.
The finale of the Eurovision 2019 is scheduled for Tel Aviv on Saturday, May 18.
A statement from Adam’s publicist to the Jerusalem Post said: “Omer Adam received an offer to appear in a performance at the 2019 Eurovision. After a meeting between the sides, because rehearsals for the finale would be held on Shabbat, Omer decided – despite the great honor – not to take part in the event. He thanks them from the bottom of his heart for approaching him.”
Adam, 25, is not religiously observant, but makes it a point of not working on Shabbat.
Israel won the right to host the 2019 Eurovision after singer Netta Barzilai won the competition in May. Israel, which has won the contest four times, will host for a third time, having previously staged Eurovision in Jerusalem in 1979 and 1999. Israel has participated in Eurovision 42 times since its first appearance in 1973.