Shimon Keinan is the heart, soul and passion behind Kol Shofar factory, located in Moshav Giv’at Yoav, Golan Heights. Kol Shofar was established in 1998, and this family business is the life’s work and a dream fulfillment for Keinan. “I love looking at a horn in its raw condition and imagining what it would look like as an elegant shofar. I love going through the various stages of the shofar-making process and constantly try to pinpoint and improve my technique,” said Keinan.
Born in Casablanca, Keinan made aliyah at a young age and grew up in Tiberias. Walking with his father to the synagogue, he was captivated with the shofar and began observing and learning the art of blowing the shofar. Not having the means to purchase an instrument, he made one using a rubber hose and a tin funnel that he attached to the hose.
At first, Kol Shofar produced only kosher shofars in traditional and new techniques that Keinan developed, earning a reputation for their high quality. Now, Kol Shofar’s unique workshop for shofar manufacturing also produces exclusive boutique shofars, artistic silver-plated shofars and unique horn-made mezuzah cases. In the early 2000s, Kol Shofar opened a visitors’ center, thanks to their customers who kept asking about the shofar-making process. “We found out that not much is known about the shofar and wished to give people a chance to learn more about this fascinating world. This has become our motto and vision, and we decided to open up the gates of the workshop to the general public,” said Efrat Amar, secretary to Keinan.
Kol Shofar’s Visitors’ Center is where your unforgettable experience begins, learning about all aspects of the production process. Activities are suitable for adults, families, children and even young children. Upon arrival, you are greeted in Kol Shofar’s tree grove, where you will hear Keinan’s inspiring story and learn about the different kinds of horns, the various shofars of the different Jewish communities, the various blowing styles and the halacha of the shofar.
The tour continues to the workshop, taking you on the journey that a simple, raw horn goes through until it becomes an elegant, sound-producing shofar.
You will hear a thorough description and see Keinan demonstrate the various stages of the process: drilling, sanding and polishing. Proceeding to the gallery, you will enjoy an impressive display of special horns from Kol Shofar’s private collection. You will be able to purchase from a huge selection of shofars of all types, colors and sizes, as well as the exclusive collection of boutique shofars and mezuzah cases. All items are handmade.
“Today, we are proud to be the only place in the world that provides a rare glimpse into the realm of shofar making, including explanations and a demonstration of the production process,” said Amar. “We are happy to make our knowledge about shofars accessible and host groups from all over the world at our Visitors’ Center,” added Keinan.
All tours must be scheduled in advance. Tours are held Sunday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
For more information and to schedule a tour: Office Tel./whatsapp 052-8008485 e-mail [email protected]
By Susan R. Eisenstein