Naomi Shemer was a leading Israeli songwriter, known as the "first lady of Israeli song and poetry". She was born on Kvutzat Kinneret, a kibbutz her parents had helped to found, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Shemer did her own songwriting and composing, set famous poems to music, such as those of the Israeli poet, Rachel. In 1983, Shemer received the Israel Prize for Hebrew song, and in 2005 she was voted the 6th-greatest Israeli of all time.
In December 2015, Limmud FSU Israel was opened with a performance in song and dance devoted to Naomi Shemer. The event was held appropriately at Kvutzat Kinneret, where Shemer, whose Russian-speaking parents had come from Vilna in the 1920s, was born (and is buried in the nearby Kinneret cemetery on the shore of the lake).
The musical tribute was given by second year students of the Beit Zvi School of the Performing Arts in Ramat Gan, who delivered a rousing and professional medley of the songster’s top hits which had the audience rocking in their seats and enthusiastically joining in – and finishing with the iconic “Jerusalem of Gold.” The event was attended by members of Shemer's family, Limmud FSU leadership and more.