Arts Programmers

Welcome Educators!

We believe you may be interested in the following materials:

Arts Resources 

From book guides to film guides to in-depth artist explorations – feel free to browse and use.

Chag Ha’atzmaut 

How can your unique arts and culture perspective benefit the community’s Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations? Some materials to help you think through some of the issues.

Hugging and Wrestling 

The original article, that draws direct connections between the current needs of Israel Engagement, and the arts.

Below you can also find all the materials posted that have been earmarked for your interest.


Remembering Debbie Friedman

January 10, 2011 by

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I opened the newspapers and couldn’t find it.

I knew it was an outside chance, but it made me sad nevertheless.

Last night Debbie Friedman died. It was all over my facebook and, I’m assuming, all over the facebook of thousands of English-speaking Jews. But so far nothing in Israel.

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When Shalom only means goodbye

October 23, 2010 by

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This year I had a tough Rabin Day.

So many replays of that night, so many archived appearances of Rabin on chat shows, and the speeches he made.

What struck me most was the number of times Rabin talked about Peace. These days it is so rare to hear someone talking about peace.

We hear much talk about “reaching an agreement”, we hear a great deal about recognition and borders and security arrangements and settlements, but I don’t hear anyone talking about peace any more. We talk about methods techniques and procedures to solve the problem, to find an end to the conflict, to divide or not divide the land, but it feels like we’ve forgotten to even dream about what that might look like beyond lines on a map.

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Shma Yisrael

April 18, 2010 by

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I was watching recently a live performance of Sarit Hadad on TV.

One of the climaxes of her show is the song When the Heart Weeps. Built upon the millenia-old prayer of every Jew, the Shma, Sarit Hadad moves her audience to tears with her oriental trills:

When the heart weeps only God hears

The pain rises from the soul

A man falls (in battle) and before he sinks

Cuts the silence with a tiny prayer

Hear O Israel you are all-powerful

You gave me my life, you gave me everything…

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Arabs in the Galilee – pain that comes and goes

July 28, 2009 by

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“Pain that comes and goes
A song of pain that always returns…”
(Meir Ariel)

My daughter came home with eyes sparkling this morning after an all-night activity on the kibbutz. She had spent the evening in a classic Zionist youth movement activity – in England we’d call it a ‘wide game’, in Israel an Ash Layla – in effect a gentle kind of war game. Exchanging passwords, avoiding ‘ambushes’ and ‘kidnappings’, her group had ‘conquered’ the basketball court, and in so doing had won the War of Independence. “It’s thanks to us,” she declared proudly with a smile, “that the State of Israel was established!”

Who were they fighting against, I asked? Who was the enemy?

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The price of yellow ribbons

July 19, 2009 by

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I’d never really made the connection between that great Tony Orlando song, “Tie a Yellow Ribbon”, and soldiers. As a kid I just remember a nice tune, enjoying that lovely chugging train-like rhythm of ‘stay-on-the-bus, forget-about-us…’ and a very suspicious-looking moustache. It wasn’t until the campaign to free Gilad Shalit got moving in our area of the Galilee that I realized that yellow ribbons were supposed to signify waiting for returning soldiers.

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Jazz in Israel – the nightingale sings

May 17, 2009 by

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I normally say that the only thing I miss about England is the soccer. But that is only a half-truth. After 13 years in Israel I also miss the jazz.

Being a Brit, as well as growing up on a rich diet of what we call football, I had also spent 7 years in London supping on top quality international jazz. My brother and I would pay for membership to Ronnie Scott’s club every year, a membership that allowed you to sit at tables in the smokey atmosphere (yes, smoke in a public place!), enjoy the same old jokes from Ronnie Scott himself, and glide on high to the sounds of the best jazzers in the world. Though I enjoyed the space less (ceilings too high), the Jazz Café in Camden was also a regular for me.

But Israeli jazz just didn’t do it for me. Something like the soccer here, it felt full of well-meaning replicas. People playing jazz how they imagined it should be played, rather than giving voice to the surprising uplift of talent and soul. Admittedly I’d been spoiled over the years. Just as growing up at Manchester United’s Theatre of Dreams can lead one to sniff at my local Bnei Sakhnin, so spending one’s birthday at the table closest to the stage while Hugh Masekela keens Stimela, or Andy Sheppard blows circular, tends to raise expectations unnaturally.

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About Israelis’ love affair with overseas

October 12, 2008 by

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Just got back from a week in Australia – an English-speaking land where I heard only Hebrew. It felt like the whole Jewish professional world there was made of ex-Israelis (except when they were ex-South Africans). The foreword of a leading book on the Ozzie Jewish community, New Under the Sun, marvels at the fact that there are more Israelis in Australia than there are Australians in Israel. Come to think of it, I bet that’s the case in the UK and in the States as well. Ex-pat Israelis are the secret influx to Jewish communities around the world.

On pondering this, I was reminded of the time I once found myself in an Israeli business meeting. I knew it was an Israeli business meeting, because at some point we both of us – complete strangers up until that point – had pulled out photos of our kids. He said to me: “Why do you think Israeli children are so beautiful? Because they’re only produced for export…” It was one of those painful jokes that only Israelis can tell to each other. We know, it’s a tough place to choose to continue to live.

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