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Actress, singer and songwriter -to say that Sofi Sarah Tsedaka's talents and accomplishments are multiple and diverse would truly be an understatement. And while pursuing this array of interests would seem daunting to most, for Sofi it is a natural response to the insatiable curiosity she inherited from her late father, Baruch.

Sofi began her career as an actress in Israel while still in her late teens, performing leading roles on both stage and television. She continued to hone her craft, studying at the prestigious Yoram Levinstein School for Drama, and later in master classes at the Open University in Tel Aviv, where she completed a program in script writing and film directing. And as a leading member of the ensemble on Israel's highly popular Kids Channel (Arutz HaYeladim) for nearly six years, Sofi recorded and released several DVD's of children's songs, which cemented her passion not just for acting, but for music and singing as well.

As is often the case, at the heart of Sofi Tsedaka's artistic journey is her remarkable personal story. Born into Israel's ancient Samaritan community--a sect which, while now centered mostly in Holon or the environs of Tel Aviv, has maintained its spiritual heart and home on Mount Gerezim in the West Bank for more than 125 generations. Sofi was raised speaking both Hebrew and Arabic, and her family home was filled not only with the chants of ancient Samaritan-Hebrew prayers, but also popular music from the nightclubs and cafes of Cairo, Beirut, and more. Sofi converted to Judaism at age 18 and left her family's home, performed her national service, and became for all appearances, a "modern Israeli girl". And yet her Samaritan roots have continued to nurture and guide her work as an artist and performer.

In 2003, together with Israeli director and producer Barak Heymann, she began work on "The Lone Samaritan", a documentary film chronicling the challenges and estrangement Sofi, her parents, and her family faced as her sisters and she all left the sect and converted to Judaism. This powerful and moving film, released in 2009, has since been featured in festivals throughout the world and received numerous awards, including the Creative Documentary Award at the Paris Human Right Film Festival in 2011.

While working on "The Lone Samaritan", Tsedaka became aquainted with a musicologist who had done extensive research on the traditions and origins of Samaritan sacred music. His studies led him to believe that the prayers and chants still being sung within the contemporary Samaritan community were identical to those prayed by the people of Israel in the ancient Temple. Fascinated with this idea, and entranced by the songs themselves, Sofi began to explore additional ways of performing the music and bringing it to new and wider audiences. Her first project transformed Samaritan prayers into meditative "chill-out" versions, which she released on her album "Genesis" in 2007. She also began to appear frequently as a guest vocalist with Israeli ethnic music ensembles, performing songs based upon Samaritan prayers, while expanding her repertoire to include classical Arabic vocal music from composers such as her beloved Farid al Atrash, whose work she had known all her life. As her reputation grew, she became part of the Andalusian Orchestra in Jerusalem, with which performs regularly.

More recently, Tsedaka formed the ensemble Sofi and the Baladis, which focuses on the performance of those musical traditions which she carries deep in her soul: the sacred songs of the ancient Samaritan community, and the compelling vocal work of mid-20th century Arabic composers. The group's multi-lingual concerts blur the boundaries of Israeli culture, and the commentary she provides tells the story of the Samaritan Tsedaka family, a story of the family's--and Sofi's--search for balance, understanding, faith, and belonging as they navigate the pathway between their Jewish and Arab identities.

Sofi and the Baladis perform frequently throughout Israel. In addition, the group has been invited to tour for ten weeks in the U.S. during the 2017 and 2018 Seasons. They are also planning additional tours in Europe. She and the band are currently working on a new album from their concert program, and together with Israeli producer and composer Ran Shem-Tov, Sofi is also recording a series of new works for which she is both vocalist and lyricist.