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Using music, art, and love to connect with thousands of young Jews, helping them to open their hearts, look inside and ask themselves, “who am I?

Founded by Artists and Musicians for Israel, AMI-Neshima uses musical and artistic educational workshops to explore and strengthen Jewish identity among youth. In Hebrew, Neshima means breath, and is linguistically associated with Neshama, the Hebrew word for soul. With a focus on breathing new life into Jewish identity, AMI-Neshima utilizes a pluralistic approach to touch the souls of thousands of Israeli year. AMI-Neshima was created in response to a growing lack of Jewish identity. For example in Israel, where the students are politically and militarily active and aware, but for whom 30% (according to a recent survey), Judaism is of little or no importance in their lives. Unique in its ability to reach all sectors of society, AMI-Neshima offers student workshops, as well as teacher training, staffed by popular Israeli musicians to engage with the audience.

Recognizing music and art as a universal language, AMI-Neshima uses this powerful tool as a unifying factor, creating opportunities to open the hearts and minds of youth and allow them to embark on a journey of spiritual self-exploration and discovery.

Music has always played an important part in Jewish history. Sources record that Jewish tradition believes that music is a tool for touching souls and, indeed, it is more than just an invaluable part of our heritage, but serves as an essential tool in reaching the depths of our souls, exploring our identity, and bringing us together as one people.

Goals

• To enable students to be motivated to express themselves and develop a strong sense of Jewish identity

• To enable students to be motivated to express themselves and develop a strong sense of communal identity

• To develop a model to train teachers to become aware of creative educational techniques to strengthen students' identity

 

​​At its most fundamental, arts and culture changes individuals".

 It creates a space where the individual isn’t beholden to a preconceived script about his or her identity and gives permission to consider possibilities one might otherwise be reluctant to explore.  Further, as one unleashes his or her creativity, an individual develops capacities that are highly transferable to other arenas.  One gains greater confidence, expands his or her capacity for analysis, and acquires new tools for articulating a well-developed point of view.  The potential for this kind of expansion exists whether one is an audience member, a traditional artist who works outside the arts to make a living, or a “professional” artist who generates work for formal settings.

Outcomes

• Schools will adopt the program on an ongoing basis

• Students will be exposed to Jewish holidays

• Students’ will own their Jewish identity

 

The role of the artist is to tell truths, interpret, connect, and provide vision.  

Artists are fearless experimenters, accustomed to taking risks. They are change agents who produce compelling visual arts, performances, and media works that reflect, explore, and engage the times.  They leverage artistic expression to generate dialogue, and the ongoing call and response between artists and communities is a virtuous cycle of truth telling and visualization". The Nathan Cummings Foundation