In 1994, at the height of the aliyah (immigration) surge from the former Soviet Union, a group of new olim (immigrants) formed the “Song of the Heart” senior choir.
At first, the choir seems like any other performance group: a group of talented professionals of the same age group with a set of songs to play and a love for music. But once they hit their first note, it is so much more.
A look at the choir’s song sheets shows a melody of lyrics and language. The words are in Hebrew, the alphabet is in Cyrillic – but the songs tell the story of a medley of Jewish communities over time.
The Senior Choir sings a variety of Hebrew, Russian, and Yiddish songs. But no matter what language they use, they understand the words and their meaning – and it resonates from their voices in a way which gives listeners pause.
The members, originally brought together by their love of music, the need for forming a new community in Israel, and their shared experiences adapting to a new culture, have now transmitted their inspiration on to thousands.
Today the choir consists of dozens of members who meet on a weekly basis, training professional both for leisure and national competitions.
The “Song of the Heart” choir has traveled to perform across Israel and the Ukraine – and brought together an immigrant population that was once so distant into the heart and soul of Israeli and Jewish culture. The award-winning choir has become a source of great pride to the city.
The choir, while delving deep into their own roots, have also managed to touch people’s hearts. We look forward to the next generation of heartfelt singers who can pass on the richness of their cultural heritage.