In Dordrecht, a city in the Netherlands, every Tuesday evening a group of Jews and non-Jews, amongst them Christians, meet to sing together. They form the choir “Al Naharot” (Hebrew for ‘On the rivers’).
Established by an Israeli conductor in September 2012, the choir started with 12 members. At the moment there are around 40 participants. In the region of Dordrecht it is a unique project, with the choir being open to everyone that loves the culture and music of Israel. “Al Naharot” wants to build bridges between different cultures and bring people together.
“The fun thing is that some songs remind me of the time when I just arrived in Israel and the radio would play songs about the coming of the Shabbat. I didn’t understand the songs then, but now, thirty years later, I suddenly have the text and explanation in front of me”, says choir-member Betty on the website of the choir. Betty, a Jewish lady, hopes that “Al Naharot” will become a ‘strong and known’ choir. “Especially now that the world is becoming so dark and the tone towards Israel and the Jewish people so negative.”
During the year the choir performs at different locations. Last year it performed during ‘Yom HaShoa’ (Holocaust Day), the National Remembrance Day in Holland (see Youtube video), in 2 synagogues, at schools and recently at a Christian, pro-Israel organization.
Under the direction of conductor Doron Peper the choir performs beautiful Israeli melodies, with words in Hebrew and Yiddish. The longing for peace has the upper hand, as this is the main message the choir wants to spread through their singing.
This article is based upon an article by MessiaNieuws from August 7, 2016.