A program to foster “singing communities” that bring together diverse audiences to experience, celebrate, and deepen their connection to Jewish culture via Jewish music, especially piyyut (liturgical poetry). Participants in kehillot sharot study selected liturgical pieces, led by traditional paytanim (singers of liturgical poetry), musicians, or writers, and learn to sing piyyutim. In 2003, at AVI CHAI’s initiative, the Foundation piloted the first singing community in the German Colony of Jerusalem, with a remarkably diverse group of 40 participants who met weekly over ten weeks. The pilot phase was then expanded to four communities, including Tel Aviv and Netanya, and attracted expanded numbers in Jerusalem.
Now, in partnership with the International Cultural Center for Youth, the project currently is operating 10 groups around Israel (in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Emek Hefer, Yerocham, Herzliya, Haifa, and Beit Shean) with some 240 participants. In addition, the project leadership provides in-service training for its facilitators and paytanim and runs programs during the week and on weekends for community participants and the general public.