The Soul Connection of Israel

The Cleveland Israel Arts Connection (CIAC) celebrates experiences that deepen our Jewish identity and share the beauty of Israel with everyone in our community through dance, film, music, literature, theater and the visual arts.

Recently, CIAC partnered with Tri-C Presents to bring the Israeli jazz trio The Hazelnuts to Cleveland. Along with a concert at the State Theater, they also made a stop at Mandel JDS for an intimate concert. “When Israeli artists come to Cleveland, we strive to create unique opportunities that would otherwise not be available,” said Debra S. Yasinow, Director of CIAC. “The Hazelnuts are a perfect example of how the Cleveland Israel Arts Connection works. This performance allowed the students to see Israel in a different, contemporary light.”

It was a very special opportunity for the students throughout Jewish Cleveland, as they were able to connect to their Jewish heritage and roots to be able to hear music from an Israeli band in both English and Hebrew. “They were able to connect their knowledge of Judaism and the Hebrew language to the music being played,” said Kim Favor, Middle School Director at Mandel JDS. “This was such a beautiful opportunity for students from Gross Schechter, Fuchs Mizrachi, and Mandel to come together and enjoy the music as a Jewish community.”

As amazing as it was for the students, it was equally as unique for the band. “It’s such an honor for us to come to Cleveland and perform for the entire community,” said Shira Z. Carmel of The Hazelnuts. “The effort it took from everyone to have us here must be thanked. It’s a dream come true for us.”

“I was fortunate to see The Hazelnuts in Israel, and I was on the committee to help bring them here to Cleveland,” said Terri Pontremoli, Director of the Tri-C JazzFest. “There's a wonderful soul connection that happens between the cultures of what is Israeli music and what is American music. And we will always look for ways to partner with the Federation, and look forward to many more years of collaborating for years to come.”

For more information on the Cleveland Israel Arts Connection, contact Debra S. Yasinow at dyasinow@jcfcleve.org or 216-593-2890.


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