(Courtesy of The Council for Hebrew Language and Culture in North America) The Council for Hebrew Language and Culture in North America is launching a month-long festival as part of its mission to promote Hebrew as a common global Jewish language. The festival, called Hagigah Ivrit (The “Celebration of Hebrew”), is currently running through April 7.
Sponsored by the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life and the World Zionist Organization, the festival will feature arts and educational events designed to immerse a wide range of Jewish audiences in the beauty of Hebrew and to encourage people throughout the Diaspora to learn the language of modern Israel as a way of creating a worldwide Jewish connection.
Hagigah Ivrit’s main event will be “The Hebrew Choir Festival 2019” on March 24 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, with New York area Hebrew Charter School and Jewish day school choirs performing Hebrew songs. This choir festival will honor the memory of Arik Einstein whose work shaped the landscape of Israeli music for decades.
Another event in the month-long celebration of Hebrew will be the Keshet Circus, at Congregation Ansche Chesed on the Upper West Side, March 31, organized with the Israeli American Council (IAC) of New York. Children are encouraged to dress in costumes to participate in the event’s excitement and whimsy.
Other events throughout the country will include performances by popular veteran Israeli musicians such as Ehud Banai, contemporary performers such as the Ethiopian-Israel Gilo Yalo and the Anbessa Orchestra; films including “Isha Ovedet” (“Working Woman”), an Israeli Film Festival; and a Shabbat meal by the celebrity Israeli chef Eden Grinshpan of DEZ.
“Teaching and promoting Hebrew among Jews in North America and the world is the most powerful way to bring together Jews from all over the world and create a global Jewish community,” said Rabbi Andrew Ergas, chair of the board of the Council for Hebrew Language and Culture in North America. “Hebrew language and culture have been crucial parts of Jewish identity for centuries, and our goal is to bring Jews together by reintroducing them to their Hebrew roots. Teaching Hebrew to Americans of all backgrounds is a sure way to show concretely the vibrancy and humanity of Israeli life and culture.”
More information about Hagigah Ivrit and an event schedule can be found at https://hebrewlanguagecouncil.org/hagigahivrit/.