Israel & Us

The Israel & Us Committee:

The Israel & Us Committee aims to bring the many aspects of Israeli culture to our community, including holidays, food, and traditions. The committee consists of Riva Levy, Edna Bryn-Noiman, and Beth Yakoby. We welcome any help and ideas that serve to bring Israel into our lives at the TJC.

On Sunday September 26, we enjoyed our first activity, which was a Shira B’Tzibur or Sing-a-long where we enjoyed the presence of about 40 talented singers. The two guitar players, Mathan Edvy and Lior Alon, were terrific. We sang awesome Israeli songs for about an hour and a half; it was tons of fun! Stay tuned as we plan to host another event in the near future!

Shir Ha’Codesh- The Song of the Month.

Another way to bring some Israeli culture to our community is by sharing a Shir Ha’Chodesh – the Song of the Month. Every month, we will post a new Israeli song that has meaning to the person who selected it. We welcome selections from the TJC community (email us). When you select a song, please provide some context and also introduce yourself.

The November Shir was written by Tirza Atar and composed by Yoni Richter, the “Shabbat B’Boker Yom Yaffe” (Saturday morning is a nice day) was performed by Arik Einstein, an actor and one of Israel’s greatest performers. The themes of many of his songs reflect nostalgia of his childhood in Tel Aviv and the areas around it. He died prematurely at the age of 74 (2013), which was a complete shock and caused deep grief to many Israelis (more information about Arik Einstein can be found in this Wikipedia link).  To enjoy the song, please go to YouTube.

The Israeli song of the month (״שיר החודש״)  I felt most compelled to share with you is ״בראשית״ (“In the Beginning”) by Idan Raichel. Raichel is a prolific composer, producer, songwriter and singer who writes songs in Hebrew, Arabic, Amharic, Spanish and other languages representing the diversity of Israeli society and the Jewish diaspora. Of the many songs I could have chosen, I chose “״בראשית for three main reasons. The first is the Middle Eastern musical style and rhythm which I hope will transport you to your favorite place in Israel.  Secondly, I wanted to choose a song whose lyrics are accessible. Like many of Raichel’s songs, “בראשית” references Biblical verses, so when you listen you should be able to pick out some familiar Hebrew words. Lastly, I wanted to share the message of “בראשית” with all of you: that love is the predecessor to our entire existence. Growing up in the Israeli desert city of Beer Sheva, in a new country where so much did not yet exist – it was a love for the idealist vision of a Jewish State that laid the foundation for us “Sabras” to grow. It was love that was the foundation of the home my parents, survivors and immigrants from Poland and Romania, made for us. They came to this just-established Jewish State with nothing other than love and hope. And it is this message that I strive to impart to my own daughters, Adi and Liron, my grandson Ben, and now I am happy to share with all of you.  

בראשית : 

בראשית Hebrew Lyrics: 

בראשית  English translation: 

More on Idan Raichel: 

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Edna Bryn-Noiman and my family and I have been members at The Jewish Center for over 30 years. We first joined TJC in 1990 when my youngest, Liron, started pre-school and I started what would be a 21-year role as a teacher of Hebrew, Jewish Philosophy, Mishna, Israeli Culture and Literature in The Jewish Center. To this day, I still teach Hebrew for adults from beginners to advanced and occasionally teach Israeli Literature in translation. We came to Princeton from Omer when my husband, Shai, accepted a job as a Senior Principal Chemical Engineer at FMC and I began working as a lecturer of Hebrew and Israeli Literature at Princeton University and later on at Rutgers University. Both my daughters, Adi  and Liron, attended the Hebrew School through Tichon. Through teaching and enrolling my daughters at the Hebrew School, I got to know many of the families that comprise our vibrant community.