The "Better Times" Project

Janis Ian & Friends

Fran Avni & Friends (Hebrew)

Better Times Will Come by Janis Ian Performed by Fran Avni & Friends
  1. Better Times Will Come (Hebrew) Fran Avni and Friends 3:36


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Play this on the jukebox and listen to a lot of other versions too.
You can also download all the different musical versions, in the order they went up.

Check Fran’s website and Robin Anne Joseph’s website for more info.

Fran Avni Vocals, arrangement, Hebrew translation
Ilana Axel Creative team, Hebrew translation
Anita Hochman Creative team, coordinator
Robin Joseph Audio & Video Engineer

From Janis: I met Cantor Anita Hochman when she was about to retire, and I was invited to perform at the celebration of her 36 years serving Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ. At the start of this project, I asked if she knew anyone who could do a translation into Hebrew; she reached out to several friends, but all the cantors were working 12-14 hour days trying to help their congregations get through the early days of the pandemic. So Anita, Fran, Ilana, and Robin began meeting via Zoom every Monday evening, trying to find ways to celebrate the joy of anticipation, confident in the belief that better times would, indeed, come again. 

Translator Fran Avni is an Israeli-Canadian and part-time Californian who worked out of Montreal. Known for her early literacy music workshops, interactive Intergenerational choruses, and the wonderfully-named “Music for Monotones”, she believes in harmony in all things, including this piece.

Co-translator Ilana Axel is an American-Israeli musician who lived on and made music in two Israeli kibbutzim. Now serving as cantor for Beth Tikvah Reform Jewish Congregation in the Chicago area, she’s also an independent rabbi, serving unaffiliated people everywhere possible.

Audio & video engineer Robin Anne Joseph is the sort of Jill-Of-All-Trades we see a lot in my profession; someone who can do anything and everything well enough to earn a living, while remaining true to their creative spirit. For more than 50 years she’s been a singer, songwriter, musician, actor, director, playwright – and now, with lockdown, audio and video engineer! She’s also celebrating her 40th year as cantor at Temple Beth Shalom of Hastings-on-Hudson. 

Last but far from least, Cantor Emerita Anita Hochman of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ, recently retired from her full time position, but remains involved in projects that involve the “gathering of voices” to express love, hope, justice, equality, and empowerment. At Anita’s “retirement party”, I was privileged to share the stage with a dozen cantors who’d come in for the occasion, and sang a gorgeous version of “Over the Rainbow” with me. A stellar moment, to be sure.

Hebrew translation by Fran Avni and Ilana Axel

עוד יבוא זמן טוב יותר
עוד יבוא זמן טוב יותר
כשהעולם ילמד לחיות כאחד
יבוא יום זמן יותר

:בית 1
אם בלי פחד כל שחר מברכים
ונדע שאהובינו מתקרבים
יבוא יום כשרוחות מלחמה לא נושבות
יבוא זמן טוב יותר

:בית 2
אף נחיה כל יום כאחרון
כן יודעים שבקרוב זה יעבור
אז נרקוד ונשיר
.שאביב אין סוף יאיר
יבוא זמן טוב יותר

Better times, better times will come.
Better times, better times will come.
When this world learns to live as one,
Oh, better times will come

Od yavo z’man tov yoter
Od yavo z’man tov yoter
K’sheha’olam yilmad lich’yot ke’echad.
Yavo z’man tov yoter.

When we greet each dawn without fear
knowing loved ones soon will be near
When the winds of war
cannot blow any more
Oh, better times will come

Im b’li pachad kol shachar m’varchim
V’neida she’ahuveinu mitkarvim.
Yavo yom k’sheruchot
Milchamah lo noshvot.
Yavo z’man tov yoter

Though we live each day as our last
we know someday soon it will pass
We will dance, we will sing
in that never-ending spring
Oh, better times will come

Af nichyeh kol yom ke’acharon
Ken yod’im she’b’karov zeh ya’avor.
Az nirkod v’nashir
She’aviv ein sof ya’ir
Yavo z’man tov yoter