Waves ChoirsDanceKlezmer Sharon

  • Issue: September 1997
  • Designer: D. Grebu
  • Stamp size: 30.8 x 30.8 mm
  • Plate no.: 312 - 314
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Government Printers
  • Method of printing: Offset

The Zimriya world assembly of choirs

The Zimriya is a unique international musical event which takes place in Israel and earns it world-wide fame. The event - which brings together choirs from all over the world - has been held in Israel every three years since 1952. It was conceived by the late Aharon Zvi Propes, who was familiar with such choral events from Riga, Latvia, and who suggested at the time to Prime Minister David Ben Gurion that Israel should host such a gathering of choirs. Following Mr. Propes' death, the Government of Israel decided to name the Zimriya after him. Seventeen Zimriya events have been held in Israel. Each Zimriya is attended by more than 1000 choral singers. The current venue is at the Hebrew University's new campus on Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem. The participating choirs come from such far-away countries as Colombia in South America and Korea in Asia, from Iceland in the north to South Africa in the south, from the USA in the west to Russia in the east. Naturally, Israeli choirs also participate in the Zimriya. Choirs spend the day in workshops led by renowned conductors, learning works from different periods: Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern - as well as folksongs. Each evening the choirs get together for "Open Singing'. They also sing for one another in the "Choir to Choir" series. Choirs appear at different venues in Israel in the evenings and on weekends. The Zimriya scene is colourful and picturesque, as the choirs also wear their national costumes. On campus, a variety of languages and the songs of many nations can be heard. The Zimriya also helps choral music written by Israeli composers to be heard . One workshop is devoted to Israeli music. An anthology of Israeli choral songs is presented as a gift to each of the participants, in the hope that they will continue teaching and performing Israeli songs in their home country.

Israeli choirs benefit greatly from meeting with first-rate choirs from all over the world and working with conductors from abroad. Choral singing unites singers from far and near, who come to Jerusalem to sing together in complete harmony from the summit of Mt. Scopus.

top top

The Karmiel dance festival

The Karmiel Dance Festival is currently marking its tenth anniversary. During three days and nights in early summer, a national dance festival is held in Karmiel, a beautiful and picturesque city situated in the Galilee; three days and nights of dancing in the mountains. Hundreds and thousands of dance lovers of all ages gather from all over the country and around the world, in this immigrant-absorbing city established in 1964. Karmiel is named after the valley which divides the eastern and western Galilee, called Belt Hakerem in ancient times. The festival's artistic director since its foundation is choreographer Yonatan Carmon, who has shaped the style of Israeli dance troupes on the stage since the 1950's. The general manager of the festival is Aharon Salomon. The leading figure among the initiators of the festival was the-late-mayor of the city, Baruch-Wanger. The current leader-, since the second festival, is the present mayor, Adi Eldar. The central feature of the festival is community dancing of the thousands of participants lasting throughout all three days and nights of the festival, and the climax is provided by the performances of folklore troupes, professional Israeli dance troupes and outstanding foreign troupes appearing in all styles of dance. The festival presents a wide range of dances in Israel, including dances of Israel's 102 immigrant communities, preserved and performed to this day and serving as the foundation for Israeli dance, and dances of the Arab and Druze minorities. Participating troupes include child ("Efrohim"), teenage and adult troupes, troupes of the disabled and handicapped, and folklore troupes from all parts of the world and from the Jewish world. Other features include community singing of dance songs, midnight shows and outdoor performances in all parts of the city, dances of the nature festivals celebrated by agricultural settlements in Israel, best new folk-dance competition, and more.

The festival is supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, the Ministry of Tourism, the Foreign Ministry, the Karmiel municipality, the Zionist Federation and various sponsors. The folk dancing phenomenon is unique to Israel. In Israel - folk dances are not a disappearing art consigned to the museum, but a living and vital part of popular culture, a new, modern-day creation.

top top

Who is a klezmer?

The Baal Shem Toy, founder of the Hassidic movement, taught: Who is a rich man? He who is satisfied with his Jot.

The central virtue of Hassidism lies in the abundance of happiness and joy among its devotees and students. Indeed, Hassidism provided, and to this day provides, a source of hope for the troubled and the unfortunate... And since the BaaI Shem Toy required receptacles in which to place this happiness and pour it over the heads of the Jewish masses, he gathered to him the most outstanding music players (klezmers) and the best tunes - which he considered as combining the receptacle with the contents. In other words, the klezmer joins in his person the player and the tune, the singer and the song.

The klezmer brings forth the spirit of happiness from his heart. With his weeping instrument he plucks at the heartstrings. He joins the ear and the mouth, the tearful eye with the dancing foot. In 1978 it was decided to bring the klezmers from the courts of the Hassidic rabbis and from the wedding canopies, from the festive tables and the drinking houses - to the streets of a city. And since there is no city like Safed, whose lanes are filled with music by day and by night, it was only natural that this city should be chosen as the site of the Festival of Klezmers. And what is this festival? - The festival of music and its instruments, the festival of musical notes and scores of melodies for the ear and for the heart.

top top

Music and dance in Israel