Yair Harel 2


Yair Harel, Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist at The Magnes (Fall 2014)

July 10, 2014

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life is pleased to announce the upcoming residency of Yair Harel, Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist, this Fall. Yair Harel is a world-renowned Israeli performer, artistic director, and community organizer based in Jerusalem, and active in the revival and contemporary interpretation of the ancient art of piyyut (liturgical Hebrew poetry). Hebrew poems (piyyutim), chanted for centuries across the Diaspora, have been adapted to different melodies, evolving into a form of  “Jewish world music” with roots in Europe, the Mediterranean, North Africa, and the Middle East. This singing tradition, a core component of synagogue practice, has also entered secular life in Israel through public performances, workshops, and performing arts festivals, and is now spreading to North America.

In the course of the residency, Harel will be participating in the new PopUp Exhibitions and present two concerts at The Magnes, co-teach a new Jewish Studies course with Francesco Spagnolo, and give talks on the UC Berkeley campus and to the community across the San Francisco Bay Area. Yair Harel’s residency is supported by the Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist Program of the Israel Institute. Several of the activities connected to the residency are co-sponsored by numerous campus units, including the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, the Department of Music, the Center for Jewish Studies, and the Berkeley Center for New Media.

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