07 February 2013

Shira B'Shishi: Also Like Our Own

And how to start loving again is like the dilemma
of architects in an old city:  how to build
where houses once stood, so it will look like
that time, yet also like our own.

ולאהב מחדש הוא כמו בעיה
של אדריכלים בעיר ישנה: לבנות
שוב במקומות שכבר היו
שיראו כמאז, ובכל זאת של עכשו

--Yehuda Amichai, "This is the End of the Landscape"


Jerusalem sits at the edge of the Judean Hills.  Tel Aviv churns at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea.  Brooklyn heaves and breathes at edge of the mighty Atlantic.

One landscape makes piles out of history like rocks;  another won't look back; and here in Brooklyn we're watching it get reclaimed, yet again.

So it goes with our incredible Israelis in Brooklyn program at CBE:  Keshet, Keshet-Tot and Shira B'Shishi, our Friday night "Israeli-style" Shabbat sing-a-long, that goes down again next Friday night February 15th at 6 pm.  As secular Israelis in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and around the country have begun in the last decade to re-claim their connection to Jewish ritual and observance as distinct from many traditional Jewish trappings, Brooklyn has become a unique proving ground for music, tradition, and innovation to come together in order that the Hebrew language and Israeli identity--far from home--can find new meaning and expression.

Sundays our synagogue is filled with hundreds of Israelis living abroad who sing, play and learn with their kids in the Hebrew language, reinvented and modernized a little more than a mere century ago--in Europe and Tel Aviv but which today is not the religious but the contemporary and decidedly secular language of exile.  Several days a week, alongside American kids learning in our Yachad family learning program, give voice to a Jewish identity that is more Israeli than American, recognizing the intuitively correct notion that while half the world's Jews live in America, the other half live in Israel; and when the two distinct cultures are brought together to co-exist, cross-pollinate, and generate new Jewish life for a new generation, "it will look like that time, yet also like our own."

Claiming Jewishness is the key that opens the door to language, identity, history, land and most important, values.  All our in play together in a remarkably inspiring way.

If you've never been with us for Shira B'Shishi, I encourage you to join us on February 15th.  Dinner is from the Hummus Place and Dan Nadel's band and Mika Hary's beautiful vocals.

You can sign up HERE and get a taste of the night by looking at this nifty video.

A leading Israeli paper recently wrote about us and so did the UJA website (UJA, along with the Charles H. Revson Foundation join CBE in supporting this great work.)

We're really proud of this special way to celebrate Shabbat would love to have you with us!

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