Solidarity through Song – UK Shabbaton Choir at ALEH
Mar 7, 2011
The famed Shabbaton Choir has been heard in synagogue services and concerts throughout the United Kingdom and abroad for twenty five years.
In association with United Synagogue, the Choir has participated in many emotional “Solidarity through Song” Missions to Israel under the leadership of the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks. The Choir and its cantors have entertained in communities under fire, hospitals, schools, care homes, day-care centres; giving concerts and conducting Shabbat services.
And on this trip – ALEH was their first stop!
Members of the Choir first gathered in ALEH’s courtyard, where they were briefed about the history and goals of ALEH. Yehuda Marmorstein, ALEH’s Director-General, and Maj. Gen (Res) Doron Almog, Chairman of ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran, were on hand to greet the group.
And then – ALEH’s Halls were Alive with the Sound of Music. The Shabbaton Choir sang a number of traditional songs as well as their own harmonies and arrangements. The spirit of the songs – and the singers – seemed to permeate the souls of ALEH’s children. Unable to speak, their appreciation was obvious through their facial expressions and their hand movements.
Choir participants were moved as well. “ALEH is a remarkable institution. The dedication of its staff and many volunteers is inspirational and the care and love given to their young charges is an example to us all,” said Peter Sheldon OBE, JP.
Syma Weinberg, who recently retired as executive director of the Chief Rabbi’s office, and who also served previously as Hasmonean Preparatory School deputy head and education consultant to Jewish Continuity, called it “an overwhelming experience.”
As the Shabbaton Choir left us with a song in our hearts – we share those sentiments!
Music therapy has been proven to be a remarkably effective form of therapy for severely disabled children. Music reaches their inner soul, draws them out of a passive state and facilitates communication with their surroundings. To sponsor music therapy, or to help purchase a custom-designed specially adapted instrument for ALEH’s disabled children, contact Esther
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