Academics and Research / Magazine Feature

Contemporary artists will use sound to teach about Jewish culture

Jewish culture will come alive through music, sounds, sermons, theater and language during “Shema,” an eight-month program starting in October at DU. Organizers of the program — co-sponsored by Hillel of Colorado and DU’s Center for Judaic Studies (CJS) — hope it will encourage young Jews in particular to learn more about their culture and religion.

Shema means “listen” in Hebrew and “represents the type of programming and access to Jewish culture that is associated with cities that have larger Jewish communities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York,” says CJS Assistant Director Jamie Polliard. 

“This is a great opportunity for the community to engage with some of the most contemporary artists working in this field today.” 

Galeet Dardashti, one of several visiting scholars and performers, will perform with her Middle Eastern music group, Divahn. The New York City-based quintet performs Mizrahi — Jewish music from the Middle East and North Africa.

“I like to bring Jewish history and culture to life, make it relevant to today’s world and challenge people’s stereotypes,” Dardashti says.

Dardashti will perform with Divahn in February and also will lecture and teach a class on Middle Eastern and Arab Music in Israel.

Each quarter the program will feature a different theme: “American Jewish Sound” in the fall, “Sound of the Sepharad” in the winter and “Sound and Spirit” in the spring. For more information, call 303-871-3660.

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