Students in ninth, 11th and 12th grades, along with the youth choir in the Bessie Hershey Religious School at B’nai Jeshurun Congregation in Pepper Pike, participated in a music video Sept. 9, supporting religious pluralism in Israel.
The music video features a new song “Sh’ma Yisrael,” a 21st-century Zionist call to action, co-written by Jewish singer-songwriter Naomi Less, of New York, and Fran Gordon, of Beachwood, as part of the Sacred Rights, Sacred Song project.
Sacred Rights, Sacred Song stands for “freedom of religion for all Jews regardless of gender or adjective (denomination),” said Gordon, who founded the project. Her work on the project combines 20 years of Jewish activism with her belief that music in general, and choral singing in particular, can be transformative.
“We’re supportive of Israel and want to make sure Israel is the best country it can be for all types of Jews all around the world,” said Rabbi Josh Foster, education director at B’nai Jeshurun. The synagogue supports religious pluralism and diversity in Israel, he said.
“Jewish groups all around the country and around the world are participating,” he said. “We are excited to be the group from Cleveland to participate.”
About 50 students at the synagogue sang the choral part of the song. Lyrics are “Sh’ma Yisrael, Lechol Am Yisrael” (Here, O’ Israel, to all of our people Israel). The song will be heard as the video flashes through different groups around the globe.
The video is scheduled to be posted shortly after Yom Kippur, and will be available at www.cjn.org.