Emek Hefer Regional Community Center and Zayit, Emek Hefer, Israel | Hebraica Club, Caracas, Venezuela | Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, Tenafly, NJ, USA | JCC KEDEM, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
About the Project
Global MekoRock is an innovative artistic music project that connects teenagers from different Jewish communities around the world to the Bible and other Jewish cultural sources through music and art — a language that spans borders — while also forming connections between the participants and between their communities.
The project is a result of the partnership and cooperation between JCCs from Israel, Moldova, USA, and Venezuela as part of the Amitim Program.
Global MekoRock is a process of study and creation guided by leading musicians and artists together with professional facilitators who specialize in Jewish culture. It takes the teenagers on an experiential journey during which they generate an original and contemporary piece of art in their field of interest and get to know teenagers from other Jewish communities.
Global MekoRock is based on the MekoRock model initiated six years ago in Emek Hefer, Israel. Each community has a Beit Midrash where teenagers participate in study and in artistic or musical creation via joint workshops and seminars facilitated by advanced technology that take place throughout the project. The project culminates in a joint concert staged by the teenagers from all of the communities.
In its first stage Global MekoRock is a three-year project which invites all participants to take part in a unique identity building journey.
$100,000 for three years, plus in-kind and fees from participants
- Over 70 teens aged 15-18 from Global MekoRock communities have taken part in the project: studying and interpreting Bible stories and creating art inspired by Jewish sources, joint online music, art encounters, and concerts at the conclusion of the first year.
- During the first year over 40 different artworks (lyrics and music) were created, inspired by Jewish sources and centering on the joint theme “My Voice.” The compositions incorporate music ranging from rock to classical alongside dance and the plastic arts.
- Thousands of people, teenagers and adults alike, took part in the three concluding concerts of Global MekoRock in the various communities of the three different countries.
- Forty teenagers from Venezuela, Moldova, USA, and Israel took part in a first online encounter. They got to know each other, listened to the music created in each of the communities, studied together, and concluded with a joint singing of “Jerusalem of Gold.”
- Talented teenagers were encouraged to create their own artistic works based on Jewish values.
- Intensive and effective cooperation has taken place between the four JCCs.
- A joint seminar took place in Israel for the participating teens in October 2015
- “This project was something very new and unusual. We learn about Jewish traditions and history at the lyceum, but here we were able to go a bit deeper in special themes like creation, love, relations between people and G-d. And of course my friends, relatives and I were so proud to see some of my works at the exhibitions in KEDEM!” Jaqueline Mandalac, 16-year-old art director of the project and student at the T. Herzl ORT Jewish lyceum
- Daniela Hassan was one of the most active participants in Global Mekorock Venezuela. She wrote the lyrics for three songs (one in cooperation with fellow participant Annette Galarraga). In each Beit Midrash session, she always add a special reflection on the topic being analyzed. She played the violin or the piano, depending on the needs of the song. She was always happy and motivated to create music. She sees the Global MekoRock project as: “an opportunity to show the world the talents that we have either as songwriters or musicians.”
- Omek Sharabi is a 10th grade student at the Maayan School on Kibbutz Ein Hahoresh. Omer joined the MekoRock project about a year ago and has also continued this year. As a drummer, he did not naturally take to writing lyrics, but he proved to be one of the best lyric writers and composers on the project: “When I told my friends that I was taking part in the MekoRock project some of them were astonished, they said: ‘Jewish sources?… the Bible is something old… there’s no connection with rock music.’ But at the concluding concert I showed them otherwise, that it’s something big, exciting, and relevant. Jewish sources give my art greater depth than before; it gives me something else.“