In 2010 we launched our school for the arts, Rainbow of Sounds (Keshet Tzlilim in Hebrew), under the umbrella of Return to Zion Congregation. From the very beginning, the goal has been simple: if we believe in the physical and spiritual restoration of Israel, we can also believe in its cultural restoration. Music and artistic expression have been part of the Jewish heritage for a long time. Take King David as a case in point.
Therefore we have decided to develop this aspect of our culture in light of the Messianic Jewish vision and faith. The musical dimension of this project has been complimented with other art forms. Today, children (as well as adults) can choose from among these classes: piano, stringed instruments, wind instruments, guitar, drums, solfeggio/music theory, choral singing, vocals, chess, painting and musical composition.
Eight years of hard, but fruitful work are already behind us. Today more than 120 students are learning! Eighty percent of the students are children of new immigrants. They are not able to pay for this artistic-educational enrichment, but because of generous people who believed in this vision, it has been possible for them to participate. Some of them are from the congregation. Some of them are from surrounding neighborhoods. Instead of spending their time aimlessly, today these children are developing aspects of their inner potential. Here they find friends, discover new horizons and begin to develop and use their talents. (For example, they held a touching concert on Hanukkah for Holocaust survivors.)
Days of Creation
At the end of the kid’s summer vacation in August, we had five “Days of Creation” at our congregational facility in Haifa for over 50 boys and girls, most of whom are children of new immigrants. They learned what the Bible and natural sciences have to say about the Creation, the origin of life, and God’s plan for our personal lives. They were engaged in creative activities and, of course, spent time playing and making friends. From 9 am to 3 pm, the children were organized by age groups, participating in creative workshops – drawing/painting, working on a short film in the media studio and taking part in the particularly popular culinary club.
The “Days of Creation” were a special opportunity (and challenge) for us to prepare and implement an ambitious new undertaking. It was a broad, community-wide effort. On the last day, we took the children to the park and the pool. These days were important for the formation of a worldview, for building relationships and for the future of each child. We see great prospects for this ministry. Through the open hearts of children the Good News also touches both their parents and friends.
Material support of camps.
We would like to provide more support for children from needy families who want to take part in the school and other extracurricular events. We would like to be able to increase provision for educational excursions, healthy food, contemporary visual materials, etc. In addition, significant resources are required to pay teachers and specialists and to purchase and repair musical instruments and stage equipment.
Devoted and loving Staff.
Today in our school of arts and in children’s programs there are many good employees and volunteers, but with the growth of this ministry, we will be glad to find and add new, dedicated staff.
Pray that through these programs the Lord will touch the children and their families.