Special Projects

 

Renaissance of Traditional Jewish Music

Jewish communities over the centuries have developed a treasure trove of beautiful music, unique to the Jewish experience. But the vagaries of Jewish history, with its dispersal and upheavals, have threatened this precious heritage with extinction.

 

Our “Jewish Music Renaissance” project strives to rescue and bring back to life the music of Jewish communities of yore. Some pieces, dating from pre-Holocaust Europe and Arab countries, have long been neglected and all but forgotten. We research, record and perform traditional pieces including forgotten Jewish folk music, ethnic songs, and Hassidic nigunim, from all ethnic and religious streams of Judaism. Now, rediscovered, Ron Shulamit’s Zmora orchestra is having many of these pieces arranged anew and recorded for posterity. One example is “Seven Voices,” by Israel Edelson, a special arrangement for our girl’s choir and chamber orchestra. This piece is based on inspiring and moving tunes dating back to the disciples of the Rabbi from Berdichev. The Orchestra then adds these pieces to their performance repertoire, thus making them available for a new generation of listeners.

 

The Jewish Music Renaissance program sponsored the recording of “One Thing Have I Asked”, a CD featuring Jewish melodies and nigunim, arranged for a recorder ensemble by Keren Ben-Nun and performed by the Melzer Consort; published a musical workbook, “Songs and Nigunim in New Clothes” for recorder quartets; and the Accordi-Ron Orchestra recorded “Rhythms of Shulamit”, a CD with traditional Jewish tunes, some in modern arrangement by I. Edelson.

 

All recordings, as well as sheet music, are available for purchase on our site.

 Music Therapy and Mainstreaming

Ron-Shulamit believes that every individual is entitled to equal opportunities in life. To this end, the Conservatory has pioneered a program of music and movement therapy for children with a range of disabilities such as Downs’ Syndrome, neuromuscular diseases, learning difficulties, developmental delays, autism, visual impairment,  even Post-Traumatic Syndrome (following terror attacks). With the help of our professional music therapy staff, many of these special needs children are mainstreamed into our regular music and movement classes. Music therapy is a potent tool for facilitating emotional expression, working through trauma, increasing attention span, improving co-ordination and ultimately enhancing self-esteem.

 

Ron Shulamit has been helping children and teens at risk of dropping out of school, from falling through the cracks, being drawn to marginalized and anti-social behavior. Children in crisis receive therapy utilizing music and dance in a positive and accepting setting and gain essential developmental and social skills to help them first express their difficulty and, in the course of therapy, learn how to cope with and overcome them. Therapists give them the self confidence and behavioral tools to respond to their challenges in a positive, productive way, and serve as positive role models as well (many of the children come from abusive or broken homes). Children come to us at the brink of being thrown out of school, removed from their home, sinking into depression, the victims of abuse, bullying and neglect, and, at year’s end, have made significant gains in the way they see themselves, their situation, and steps they have taken towards a better path in their lives.

Due to government cutbacks in funding we are in dire need of outside assistance to continue. We currently receive funding from several foundations and private donors, and welcome additional support, to enable us to reach out to more children.

Building Project

Ron-Shulamit’s greatest need is a new building of its own. We work in an elementary school in after-school hours, in cramped classrooms and poor work conditions. We have been given land by the government and now must raise building funds. The building will have rehearsal rooms, a 350 seat performance hall,  a music therapy department, a ballet studio, and several acoustic classrooms. Cost: $13,100,000

The building, or sponsored rooms can be dedicated in a donor’s name or someone of their choosing.
Donor Options:
Teacher’s Room                          $  60,000
Classroom                                   $100,000
Daycare Center                           $100,000
Recording Studio                         $250,000
Orchestra Rehearsal Room          $250,000
Therapy Department                    $500,000
Dance Studio                               $500,000
Library                                        $500,000
Small Concert Hall                       $900,000
Auditorium of 350 seats            $4,800,000

 

Help us give the Conservatory a worthy home!​

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