Esther Ofarim

Esther Zaied, better known by her married name Esther Ofarim (Hebrew: אסתר עופרים; born June 13, 1941), is an Israeli singer. She came second in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963 with the song "T'en va pas", representing Switzerland. After marrying Abi Ofarim (born Avraham Reichstadt) in 1958 and for a full decade in the 1960s, she was half of the singing husband and wife duo, Esther & Abi Ofarim. After the couple divorced, the duo broke up and she undertook a successful solo career.

Esther Ofarim
Esther Ofarim, 1966
Background information
Native name
אסתר עופרים
Birth nameEsther Zaied
Born (1941-06-13) June 13, 1941
Safed, British Palestine
Years active1959–present
Associated actsAbi Ofarim


Esther Zaied was born in Safed to a Syrian Jewish family. She began performing as a child, singing Hebrew and international folk songs. In 1958, she met Abi Ofarim, a guitarist and dancer, whom she later married (11 Dec 1958)[1]. Esther landed a small role in the film Exodus (1960). In 1961 she won the Song Festival in Tel Aviv, where she sang "Saëni Imchá Bemachol" (Take Me with You When You Dance) and "Naamah".

Eurovision 1963

Two years later, she took part in the 1963 Eurovision Song Contest representing Switzerland with the song "T'en va pas". In a very close and controversial competition with the Danish duo Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann, her song placed second. Initially it appeared Switzerland had won the contest with 42 points to Denmark's 40, but after an apparent change to the Norwegian scores, Ofarim ended up with 40 points, as opposed to 42 points for "Dansevise", a reversal of the initial result.

Esther & Abi Ofarim

Esther and Abi Ofarim
Esther & Abi Ofarim (1963)
Background information
Years active1960–69
LabelsDue Belier
Past members

From then on, her duo with Abi Ofarim took off. In 1966, they had their first hit in Germany with "Noch einen Tanz", an English version of which, "One More Dance", was a hit in the UK two years later, peaking at no. 13.[2] Their greatest success in Germany was in 1967 with "Morning of My Life", which was written by the Bee Gees. In 1968 "Cinderella Rockefella" hit the top of the charts in a number of countries including the UK.[3] They played many live concerts in New York City and London, and in 1969 they toured around the world. The couple divorced in Germany in 1970.[4]

Solo career

Esther began her solo career with several albums and concerts. On 25 February 1970, Ofarim co-starred in her own BBC Television 'Special' The Young Generation Meet Esther Ofarim broadcast on BBC1.[5] In 1984, she played in Joshua Sobol's play Ghetto, produced by Peter Zadek in Berlin. There she sang songs including "Frühling" and "Unter deinen weissen Sternen". Ofarim's songs were featured in the 2004 Israeli film, Walk on Water.

Personal life

Esther married Abi Ofarim in 1958, they separated in 1969 and their divorce was finalized in 1970.[1][6]

Esther later married assistant television director Philip Von Sell, who is 18 years her junior. They have a son David Von Sell, born in New York in 1983. Esther and Phillip divorced when David was nine. David is a musician, he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston.[7]



  • 1963: "Melodie einer Nacht"
  • 1963: "Morgen ist alles vorüber"

Esther and Abraham

"Abraham" being the anglicisation of Abi Ofarim's given name "Avraham".

  • 1963: "One More Dance" (credited as Esther Ofarim with Abraham Reichstadt)

Esther and Abi Ofarim

  • 1964: "Schönes Mädchen"
  • 1965: "Drunten im Tale"
  • 1965: "Bye Biddy - Bye Bye Jack"
  • 1965: "Noch einen Tanz"
  • 1966: "Donna – Donna"
  • 1966: "Sing Hallelujah"
  • 1966: "Die Wahrheit (die Fahrt ins Heu)"
  • 1967: "Morning of My Life" (Bee Gees composition for the duo)
  • 1967: "Garden of My Home" (Bee Gees composition for the duo)
  • 1968: "Cinderella Rockefella"

See also


  1. Achterfeld, Wilfried (February 16, 1966). "Die Ofarims" [The Ofarims]. Stern magazine 16 Feb 1966 (in German).
  2. "One More Dance". Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  3. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records. p. 404. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. "BILD 9.5.1969 - Esther and Abi Ofarim split - Esther trennt sich von Abi:sie singt nur noch allein". (in German). Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  5. "The Young Generation meet Esther Ofarim - BBC One London - 25 February 1970 - BBC Genome". Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  6. "Abi Ofarim obituary". The Times. May 18, 2018. ISSN 0140-0460.
  7. "Cinderella Corner Rockefeller: David Von Sal, Esther Ofarim's son, cries at her performance".
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Jean Philippe
with "Le retour"
Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Anita Traversi
with "I miei pensieri"
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