Arts Resources

The Israeli popular arts offer us a perfect tool and vehicle for Israel engagement. Celebrating complexity, embracing multi-vocality, touching both head and heart, the potential is huge. 

We are constantly adding to this page – keep checking back!

Book Guides

Do you run a book club in your organisation? Why not suggest studying books by Israeli writers?

Here we offer book guides to novels written by Israeli novelists, that are available in English translations. Just click on an image to reach the downloadable guide.

Feel free to suggest additional books to write guides for, and let us know how and where you are using these guides.

 

Artists Focus

The Sounds of Israel - Makom music blogs

Israeli pop music is full of hints, comments, and colors of modern-day Israel. This ever-growing collection of blogs and articles draw on Israeli (and sometimes non-Israeli) songs to explore the deep rhythms of Israeli culture.

Kobi Oz - Psalms for the Perplexed

We are in the process of integrating this material into our new site. In the meantime, you can access all the material here.

Booking Israeli Bands

Welcome to your guide to booking Israeli bands for your community.

This guide has been mainly written by Jeremy Hulsh of Oleh! Records, with additions from the Makom team. The mission of Oleh! Records- Israel’s Music Export is to develop and export the Israeli musician community abroad, creating organic connections and exposure for Israel through its musicians and their authentic message within the Diaspora community and beyond.

We have deliberately published the online version instead of creating a print-out version. This is because we would love to continue to incorporate your comments! Please look through this site, and let us know what is lacking, what is inaccurate, and what can be added. This way we may turn this into a truly useful and powerful tool for us all.

Please note that as soon as the Makom Interactive section of our site is up and functioning, you will be able to use it to build ‘coalitions’ for bringing artists in collaboration with other communities.

Many thanks!

Film Guides

Here you will find the various film guides we have developed for Israeli films and TV programs that are available on DVD and/or netflix, with English subtitles. 

Culture Vulture

 

Culture Vulture is a regular update on Israeli culture, written by educator, activist, and artist Neil Harris. If you are spending some extended time in Israel – Culture Vulture is for you! Up until now it had been sent out to a list of a few hundred people, and we at Makom are delighted to have received permission to syndicate!  

18 reasons to be excited in London

I’m very excited about London, these days.

Starting on 27th April there’s going to be a massive Israel festival leading up to Yom Ha’atzmaut on the night of May 5th.

It’s the JW3 inaugural Chag Ha’atzmaut, that we at Makom consulted on.

I think it’s just a fantastic program, and I’m going to spend the next few days explaining why.

As its title suggests, the festival deals with the Party and the Political – fun stuff and serious stuff, panels and lectures, performances and screenings. The festival has everything – live music and live parody; Brits discussing Israel and Israelis discussing Israel; films and art and theatre; amazing dance workshops and kids’ events.

What gets me most buzzed is that JW3 has made such a bold statement: That Israel is important to them – important enough to relate to Israel’s dynamic complexity as an honest adventure that has room for celebration and for deep questioning.

Spread the word to anyone you know in London…

Old Songs Renewed

We often feel how the soul of Israel was conjured for us through its music. Who can imagine connecting to Israel without Yerushalayim Shel Zahav, for example? Yet  often we find ourselves torn. On the one hand, we know that Israel is no longer the land of clean emotional simplicity that those old songs conveyed. But at the same time we feel loath to present Israel only in the light of its difficulties and complexities, without any of its pure ‘soul’.

This program presents five songs that feature in the ‘canon’ of classic Israeli song, but that have been remade and adapted anew by contemporary Israeli artists in the last few years. It is the combination of the old beloved songs, with their modern interpretations, that will give us a fascinating window into the developing soul of Israel.

This unit

For each interpretation of each song we provide:

  1. Internet links for songs and information.
  2. Hebrew lyrics and translations
  3. Background information about the songs
  4. Suggestions for educational activities emerging from the songs

You may well find that the songs are enough to spark your imagination for educational activities. Without doubt the juxtapositions are so rich, one could take them in many different directions. Feel free to develop your own activities. For our part, we have added some broad guidelines for educational activities that leave enough room for you to make the appropriate adaptations for the populations you are working with. They are for you to use, or ignore! Please write to us with your own ideas and comments, and we can add them to the unit. makom@jafi.org

Materials

This unit includes background information about the songs, translations of the lyrics, and many youtube links! On youtube one can now find many short films, video clips, and Israeli songs with subtitled translations. Because of their immediacy and quality, we would highly recommend making use of these youtube videos. For this you will need a good LCD computer projector, and good sound system that plugs into your computer.

[We are told there are ways to save and play youtube videos offline. We suggest you consult with someone under 20 about the technicalities and legalities of doing so! Otherwise, you'll also need a wide-band connection to the internet for these sessions.]

A note about the music

The unit is built around music. Clearly an important element of the songs is their lyrics. But an equally important element is the music itself. The vocals, the rhythms, the harmonies, the instruments. Make sure that you do not lose this aspect when you present the songs to your participants. (Imagine studying Van Gogh in black-and-white, or enjoying a ballet with your eyes shut.) This means that an important part of your preparations for this unit will involve prioritising equipment. The speakers of a computer or of an LCD are not enough to fill a room. Make sure you get hold of good speakers.

Of course when we say that lyrics are essential to the experience of a song, we need to take care of the translation, as well! Hearing a song while understanding the lyrics is a very different experience from listening to a foreign song and then looking at the translation on a piece of paper. The synchrony between words and music are what suggest for us the emotional meaning. Bearing this in mind, we have taken efforts to refer you to as many simultaneous translation films as possible. Make sure you get hold of a good high-lumens LCD projector (at least 2000 lumens), so that the picture is clear, and you won’t need to dim the lights.

 

Makom articles about the arts

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