May 21, 2011: Music Teachers and Students from Tel-Aviv Visit Salem’s Music Center

Last Saturday, May 21st, 2011, the music center in Salem village near Nablus hosted teachers and pupils of Tel Aviv Municipal Arts High School A. This visit is a result of the ties that the school principal, Ram Cohen, and Dr. Ruthie Katz, the school’s music major coordinator, began to nurture with the Salem Music Center

Last summer. About two months ago, the staff of the music center visited the Tel Aviv Arts High School. They attended a demonstration class prepared for them by Mario Solan, musical expression teacher, and his students, Itamar Bellaiche and Noam Da Kalo. Last Saturday, Itamar and Noam arrived with their mothers Anna and Mali for their first visit at the Salem Music Center and joined a class that took place there, together with Mario and the center’s teachers Jubeir, Wasim and Amid.

Mario’s and Itamar’s clarinet performance enabled the pupils at the center to acquaint themselves with this wind instrument, that has been almost unfamiliar to them until now.

The class began with movement and expression exercises led by David Steinberg, coordinator of the Tel Aviv school’s drama major.

Visiting – beside these guests from the Tel Aviv school – were also Dr. Dochi Lichtenstein of the School for Music Education at Levinsky Teachers Seminar, and Noam Ben Ze’ev, music critic for Haaretz newspaper.

For us, members of the Villages Group who have been following the Salem Music Center program from its onset two years ago, yesterday’s visit was a pleasure and a milestone in the ties we have been tending with the people of this village for the past eight years. Cooperation with the Tel Aviv musicians augments the workshops given by Dr. Felicity Lawrence of Newcastle University at the Salem Center in November 2010 and April 2011. These activities open a window to different and varied musical worlds for the students and teachers in this village, among whose population of 6,000 there was only one single musician until a year ago.

As we updated you last month, the children at the Salem Music Center will be needing more musical instruments from this point on to further their studies and musical development, and enable a new class of students to join. The list of instruments includes 4 violins, 3 ouds, 2 tablas, 4 organs, 3 classical guitars, 1 bass guitar and 1 accordion.

Several donors have already helped us with the donations of one large organ, one accordion and a violin. We appeal to all those who might assist this, whether by donating instruments or making a financial contribution, to contact us as soon as possible. The children’s summer vacation, beginning in about three weeks, is activity-intensive at the center, and we would like to facilitate it with all the necessary instruments in time.

Please feel free to approach me for more information.


Ehud Krinis (ksehud “at” gmail) for the Villages Group

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  • Christopher Rushlau  On May 28, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    I begin to grasp the significance of this music program. It is like Harriet Beecher Stowe spending Sunday afternoons with the slaves on a plantation in the US South, rather than just writing about them in a mythological way from her safe home up in Maine. It is remarkable that the slave owner lets her visit them, and that she is willing to visit them. A slave-holding society is based on the presumption of defective humanity on the part of the slaves–“you cannot reason with them”. This ethos demands a strict refusal to test that hypothesis.

    • Assaf  On May 30, 2011 at 8:40 pm


      the response to this comment which only you received was based on only the first 2 lines (this is how I see it on the dashboard). I didn’t realize until later that there was more than that, and so I thought you were being cynical. After noticing that, I removed the reply but apparently you got it anyway. My apologies.

  • Christopher Rushlau  On May 29, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Assaf replied (I don’t know why it isn’t visible here):

    Forgive me my scant undrstanding of English language humore. I know who Beecher Stowe was, but I am not sure whether your comment was intended as a compliment, an insult or neither. But indeed, if in the future people will credit the Villages Group as helping bring about the end of the Occupation regime like they credit her work, then I accept the analogy regardless of the intention.

    (to which I reply): Agreed, given that all of Israel/Palestine is occupied territory. That is, the occupation is the illegal government known as “the Jewish state”.
    I hope this makes clear that I do not approve of the attitude (nor the legal lie) of Jewish supremacy.

  • Christopher Rushlau  On May 30, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Thank you, Assaf. If you can read this, then perhaps you can read my response to your response, which at this moment is “awaiting moderation”.
    Israel could use some moderation.

    • Christopher Rushlau  On May 31, 2011 at 5:18 pm

      If your last name is Oron (this is identified as your website on TOD, but in these things one cannot be too confident), I just sent them a response to your “a-historical” essay.
      The key element here is the “awaiting moderation” sign. Discussions with Jews about Israel have a vast proclivity to run into No Talking zones, trip-wires of forbidden ideas.
      That is the ghetto in which Israel finds itself confined.

      • Assaf  On May 31, 2011 at 5:38 pm

        Christopher hi,

        I don’t run the TOD site and do not set its comment policies.

        However, I am not surprised if their policy is to disallow comments. The comment threads to English-language opeds on Israel-Palestine more often than not devolve into, basically, people calling each other Nazis. Moving the thread somewhat closer towards sanity requires resources, of the type that the Guardian might have, but not the JVP.

        I hope this explains; anyway, if you want to continue this discussion it is better that you contact the TOD site admins rather than do it over here.

  • Christopher Rushlau  On May 31, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    I was just noting my surprise that that article turned out to be written by the same Assaf I’d met over here. As well as the problem of the self-imposed ghetto.
    Don’t you think it’s instructive to let people call each other Nazis? “Hate speech” I don’t buy the concept of. A threat is actionable in twin senses. Letting people talk things out, to the point of shouting, short of making threats, is probably the cost of really getting to the gist.
    I hope you’ll get TOD to show you my letter. It’s rather elegant. Getting Israelis to talk about the Jewish state cannot be put off any longer.

    • Assaf  On June 7, 2011 at 9:12 am


      There is a fine line between drawing historical analogies in a way that helps understand events and processes – and engaging in mindless mud-slinging and name-calling.

      Unfortunately, in the electronic Israel-Palestine debate there is no need for any fine line to be drawn. In a typical unmoderated site with I-P content, if there are enough visitors from certain constituencies, this result is all but inevitable. You are welcome for example to visit the comment threads for Youtube films on the subject.

      Some sites try to raise the bar somewhat, and employ moderators to act as referees. I am, if you will, the volunteer referee of this site. I do have to delete roughly 10% or so of comments, not counting the commercial spam that sometimes comes our way.

      • Christopher Rushlau  On June 7, 2011 at 9:31 am

        You have twice deleted one of my comments from this website. It may have triggered a “naughty word” filter and so I can’t even paraphrase it because I can’t gues which word tripped the tripwire. I presume you, as the administrator of this music school website, can see all comments including those “awaiting moderation”. I conclude that your reference just above to “mud-slinging” and 10% deletions was intended to tell other readers here that I was allowed to speak freely here while telling me that I could not speak freely.
        You can reassure me on this by publishing my comment, initially submitted May 29, 2011 at 5:04 pm. It quotes your comment (responding to my very first comment) that you published and then removed. I took the step of republishing it and replying to it.
        I am testing my hypothesis that Israel’s Jewish state problem is that it is officially not Jewish to recognize non-Jews in any respect touching on Jewishness–that Jewishness is entirely a matter for Jews alone, including the question of borders of the Jewish state, for example. Such a problem highlights the importance of “separation of church and state”. They are two almost entirely different ways of thinking and acting, perhaps roughly indicated by the idea that religion is other-worldly. When a state acts in an other-worldly way, both church and state suffer. Perhaps this is summarized in the Catholic trope, “reason never contradicts revelation”. I translate that as, “if it’s unreasonable, it’s not revelation.” It is unreasonable to ignore the person standing in front of you.


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