A New Dawn in the Negev: Sarab

A New Dawn in the Negev: Sarab

Sarab - Strings of Change is one of A New Dawn in the Negev’s most successful and heart-warming programs. Sarab, which means oasis, strives to change the social reality of the Bedouins of the Negev by providing quality music education, starting with children in elementary schools.  Music develops creativity, attentiveness, and appreciation of beauty; it provides a feeling of identity and belonging, and brings people together in the aim of achieving a common goal. Music education teaches perseverance, concentration, and focus; it affects students' general academic performance and endows them with valuable skills that serve them later in life. Moreover, learning to play an instrument is a time consuming task, keeping children out of trouble. Music can be the start of a different, better life for the Bedouin community, and a new basis for establishing fruitful cooperation and communication between the Bedouin and the Jewish communities. 

A New Dawn in the Negev launched Sarab - Strings of Change in January 2015. At the head and heart of the program is Omer Meir Wellber, a regular guest conductor at the Israeli Opera, the Semperoper Dresden and at La Fenice Venice, currently the Music Director of the Raanana Symphony Orchestra. In the first year, students learned how to stand with and hold their instruments, and play simple songs, receiving their first taste of classical music and music theory. For some students, this was also their first interaction with Jewish teachers. In the program’s second year, 67 elementary school students participated and even competed in a Negev-wide youth ensemble competition at the Be’er Sheva Conservatory of Music. Our students were the first ever Bedouin student group to participate, and they were welcomed and applauded by all sides of Negev society. The 20 most successful of the  67 students who studied the violin  with us in 2016 will be continuing their studies next year at the Beer Sheva Conservatory. 

Measurable objectives for the program in the upcoming year include:

  • Have 100 new students join the new cohort.
  • Purchase new violins and cellos
  • Develop a brand new music curriculum, based on both Western and Arabic music theory, with a strong emphasis on the Bedouin musical heritage.
  • Hold a community concert at the end of the school year for parents and community members.
  • Open a new class with students in high school
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IMPLEMENTORS
A New Dawn in the Negev
Organization goals and objectives: Founded in 2009, A New Dawn in the Negev is an Arab-Jewish community development organization based in Rahat, Israel. As a community-based organization, A New Dawn in the Negev is inherently attuned to the myriad challenges facing the Bedouin society, which include extreme poverty - the Negev Bedouin represent the lowest socioeconomic group in Israel - and social and cultural isolation, especially amongst the youth. The organization believes that facing these c ...
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